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Phil's steak and ale pie

The votes are in... and today Phil Vickey is cooking a British classic - his perfect steak and ale pie!

Steak and ale pie

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours


500g good chuck steak, cut into 4m pieces, a little extra fat is fine

vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

2 x Oxo cubes

300ml water

150ml bitter beer

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

couple pinches caster sugar

2 tbsp good quality tomato puree

olive oil

4 large flat mushrooms

3 tbsp plain flour

4 tbsp very soft unsalted butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1kg shortcrust pastry blocks (x 2, 500g blocks) - roll each block into a disc.

Mashed potatoes and peas, to serve


  • Brown the seasoned steak in hot oil for 2-3 minutes to get a nice colour

  • Place the beef, Oxo cubes, water, beer, carrot, onion, sugar, salt, pepper and tomato puree into a saucepan and bring to the boil

  • Turn the heat down and barely simmer, partly covered. for between 2 and 2½ hours. Keep checking the meat and do not overcook it or it will be dry and stringy.

  • You may need to occasionally top up the liquid with a little extra boiling water to keep the meat covered

  • While the stew is cooking preheat the grill to its highest setting

  • Brush olive oil over the mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper

  • Grill for 15 minutes to dry out the mushrooms - once cooked they take on an almost meaty texture. Cut into ½ cm slices and reserve.

  • Mix the flour and softened butter together

  • Once the meat is tender, and the stock has reduced somewhat, stir in the flour and butter paste, the stew will thicken nicely. If it ends up too thick then add a little water.

  • Once thickened, stir in the cooked mushrooms and warm through, then cool and chill well

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190C gas 5

  • Line a 26cm pie dish with one disc of pastry rolled out, add the chilled filling and really pile up

  • Egg the edge and cover with the second disc of pastry, seal well and crimp the edge

  • Pinch the edge around to look nice, brush with beaten egg, the make a couple of slits in the middle

  • Bake in the pre heated oven for 25-35 minutes until browned and piping hot

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