About this recipe:Black Sheep Ale reminds me of walking the Yorkshire 3 Peaks last year. They serve 'Black Sheep Pie' along the route and I thought… I can do that. Well maybe anyway. You can do it with any other ale too I suppose, and I used to do something similar with Guinness, but found that it’s got a slightly more bitter aftertaste to it than the Black Sheep.
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Method Prep:1hr › Cook:4hr › Ready in:5hr
Cut the stewing steak into cubes and roll in seasoned flour (stick plain flour on a plate and add some salt and pepper). Shake off the excess and add to an oven-proof casserole dish.
Slice the veggies (onion, mushrooms and carrot) fairly thinly, add it to the casserole dish and pour the whole bottle of beer over the veg. Add the stock cube, a little bit of water and add some salt and pepper.
Cook on a low heat (150 C / Gas 2) for as long as possible – approximately 3 to 4 hours, more if you can!
Half an hour before the end of the cooking, add a couple of tablespoons of flour to the casserole, mix well, and turn the heat up to about 200 C / Gas 7.
Cook the flour into the casserole for about 20 minutes, then take out of the oven and leave to cool. Tip: I pour the whole thing into a new, flat, baking dish so that the surface area is increased and it cools faster. Once the meat is cooled, it should have a really thick gravy on it and pretty much need spooning out of the dish.
Make the shortcrust pastry (remember the cooler you keep everything, the better): Sieve the plain flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut up the butter into small pieces and put into the bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers (you can use a food processor but I prefer it done ‘traditionally’). When it looks like breadcrumbs, stir cold water in tablespoon by tablespoon using a knife. It should start coming together as dough. Knead the pastry (only a bit!) until it’s smooth and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour to rest.
Line a big pie dish (or the lid of your biggest pyrex dish) with the shortcrust pastry.
Spoon the cold steak mixture into the pie dish and roll out the top. Paint the edges of the pie with milk or beaten egg to make it 'sticky' and then stick the top to it. Crimp the edges with your fingers, cut a couple of vents in the top and decorate with pastry leaves (if you want to).
Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 till the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve with mash and veg!
You can make the steak filling ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to make the pie.