No-nonsense Steak and Ale Pie

You will need

600g braising beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tbsp plain flour
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
600g casserole vegetables (we suggest a mix of carrot, swede, onion, celery)
300ml brown ale
400ml hot beef stock
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped

For the pastry

375g all-butter puff pastry, ready rolled
1 medium egg, lightly beaten

1 x 3-litre lidded ovenproof casserole pan
1 x 1.8–2-litre ovenproof pie dish, about 5cm deep


1. Tip the beef into a large, heavy-based casserole pan, coat with the flour and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Put in the centre shelf of the preheated oven set to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the oven, add 150ml of water, stir well and return to the oven to cook for a further 1½ hours. Decant the filling into the pie dish and allow to cool completely. 

2. Turn up the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Brush the edges of your dish with beaten egg and lay the pastry on top like a tablecloth. Pinch the edges so they stick to the dish and trim off any excess pastry. Decorate as you wish.

3. Cut a hole in the centre for steam to escape and brush the whole pie with beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Higgidy Family Kitchen 'The Cookbook' by Camilla Stephens