For the pie filling:
1kg (2lb 2oz) braising steak, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 tbsp black peppercorns
400ml (14fl oz) Leicestershire pale ale
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
100g (3½oz) chestnut button mushrooms
8 shallots, peeled, halved
500ml (17½fl oz) beef stock
75g (2½oz) Hampton Blue cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten
For the pies:
500g (1lb 2oz) frozen puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
little flour for dusting
1 egg yolk for glazing
Serve & Cook
Prep time 20 minutes
(leave to marinade overnight)
Cook time 2hrs 15 minutes
1. To make the pie filling, place the beef, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and ale into a bowl. Cover with cling film and ideally leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
2. Preheat the oven 200°C. Remove the beef from the marinade, pat dry with kitchen paper and dredge in the seasoned flour. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a flameproof casserole dish and fry the beef in small batches for 2-3 minutes each time, or until browned all over. Once the meat is browned, remove from the casserole dish and set aside.
4. Return the casserole dish to the heat and fry the mushrooms and shallots for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Return the beef and the reserved marinating liquid to the casserole and add the beef stock. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 1½ hours, or until the beef is tender.
5. Strain off half of the cooking liquid from the casserole dish and set aside to make gravy for serving. Then crumble the Hampton Blue cheese into the casserole and stir until melted. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool.
6. Cut the pastry into 4 then roll out each piece until a little larger than the top of the pie dish. Brush lip of pie dish with egg yolk place over pastry, press to dish edge to seal and trim off excess pastry. Make a slit in the centre for the steam to escape and slash top lightly to decorate. Brush pastry top with egg yolk beaten with a little water.
7. Finally, bake in a pre-heated oven set to for about 25 mins until pastry is golden brown and filling is piping hot.