Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
- 450g/1lb stewing or braising steak, cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
- 30ml/2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 30ml/2tbsp plain flour
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 75g/3oz fresh or frozen peas
- 600ml/1pint pale ale or good, hot beef stock
- 10ml/2tsp tomato purée
- 15ml/1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ x 500g pack shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a moderate heat. In a large plastic bag add the flour and seasoning. Add the beef and toss in the seasoned flour.
- Cook the beef in batches for 3-4 minutes until brown, turning occasionally. Transfer to a large casserole dish.
- In the same frying pan cook the onions, garlic and carrots for 3-4 minutes and transfer to the casserole dish.
- Add the peas, ale or stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook on the hob for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly and remove the bay leaves.
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6, 200°C, 400°F.
- Spoon the beef equally into four 300ml/½ pint round or oval ovenproof dishes. Brush the edges of each dish with water.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut four equal rounds of pastry to fit the pie dishes and seal around the edges. Make a small hole in the centre of each pie to allow the steam to escape.
- Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 until pastry is golden brown.
- Serve with seasonal vegetables, crusty bread or mashed potatoes and any hot gravy from the pan.