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June 13, 2011 / Kate

Steak & Ale Pie

Y2, Week Three: And Now for Something Completely Different Pie

Ok, first off, I gotta say I’m nervous. I mean, since the article ran, there are A LOT of you out there. It used to be me, experimentally baking like a fool for the amusement of my friends and people who got sidetracked on Google. But now, now people, people I don’t know, are reading this and possibly even, egads, actually trying the recipes. Holy moly. That’s a lot of pressure. If something I tell you to do makes, say, your oven explode (don’t laugh, it can happen), I’ll never live it down. Ahh! Heart palpitations. Please forgive any typos, they’re just a result of the flop sweat making my keyboard all slippery. Gulp, here goes nothing…

This week’s pie lead me to utter a phrase I’d never thought I’d say: “I’m taking my beer and going home.” My sister nearly fell on the floor laughing. You see, I don’t drink beer. Yup, you heard right, I live in Wisconsin and I don’t drink beer. Finally, my shameful, non-secret is out. You have no idea what it’s like to go to grow up in a state renowned for its breweries and not drink beer. The questions, the ridicule, the always being the designated driver — all I can say is there was a considerable amount of therapy involved in my recovery from the undergraduate social experience.

Perhaps I was looking for an excuse to just be a regular person and actually buy a six-pack, perhaps it’s because I’m part English, but this pie spoke to me. And it spoke with a British accent which made it sound fairly intelligent, far more so than I. How could I argue? I’m some yahoo who doesn’t even drink beer.

For the record, I used New Glarus Brewing Co.’s Bock (called “Uff-da,” hah!) which I don’t think is exactly the super dark beer steak and ale pie calls for, but they used the word “chocolate” in the description and I was sold! Guinness, would probably be a good and more traditional choice, however I must say that the results from the Bock were spectacular. So, props to the teetotaler!

Other local foodstuffs I acquired were:

  • Bison from Cherokee Bison Farms, Ltd. located in Colby, WI. Purchased at the Dane Co Farmers’ Market (see local foods to the right).
  • Bookbinder’s Hot Horseradish Mustard, purchased at the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, WI (see right column). Arguably the best horseradish mustard IN THE WORLD. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Hey! I did it! I made it through my first blogging for the mass audience experience and survived. I need a drink. I’m taking my beer and going home. Beer pie, I mean. Oh, whatever.

P.S. I have 5 leftover Bocks if anyone wants them, heaven knows I’ll never drink them. It’s a miracle I don’t get tossed out of the state.


Beef Filling

2 tbsp butter (3 if no bacon is used)
4 tbsp olive or vegetable oil (6 if using bison)
2 medium onions roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices thick cut bacon, diced (optional)
1 1/4 lbs stew beef or bison, diced into bite-sized chunks
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp corn starch
8 1/2 oz dark beer
Juice and rind of 1 small orange
2 large carrots, sliced
2 tbsp tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tbsp horseradish mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of red potato, peeled and cut in half
8 oz mushrooms, quartered

Boil halved potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from water, dice into 1/2″ cubes and set aside.

Heat the butter and half the oil in a large pan, gently fry the onions, garlic and bacon until the onions are soft. With a slotted spoon remove from the pan and put to one side, add the rest of the oil and heat through then quickly brown the beef.

Stir in the flour, then the beer and juice and rind of orange. Return the onions and bacon to the pan with the carrots and stir well. Add tarragon, bay leaf, mustard, salt and pepper, stir and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer with the cover off for approx. 25-30 minutes (25 for bison meat) until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

At end of cooking time add the mushrooms and potatoes, filling should be thick and not watery. Remove bay leaf and allow to cool thoroughly.


2 sheets puff pastry dough (1 package), thawed
Filling, cooled
Beaten egg to glaze

1 9” pie pan, greased

Preheat oven to 375°.

On a well floured surface, unfold 1 sheet of pastry dough and pinch the seams together so it will not tear apart. Roll out the sheet to about 13”. Carefully place in greased pan (I find it easiest to “roll up” the dough around the pin and then unroll it over the pan); ease the dough carefully down the sides and bottom of the pan pressing it lightly into the bottom edge. Trim dough (with kitchen scissors) to leave only 1/2″ overhang.

Spoon filling onto dough and set pie aside while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out remaining sheet to about 10” (remember to pinch together the seams). Place over filling to cover, trimming to fit just over the pan edges if necessary. Roll the bottom crust edges over the top crust, and flute edges. Brush egg gently over top crust, and cut vents into the top with a sharp knife.

Place pan in the oven for about 40 minutes or until top crust has turned golden brown. Remove from oven and cool (in pan) on rack for 20 minutes. Slice and serve with your leftover beer. Cheers!



Leave a Comment
  1. Michael / Jun 14 2011 1:08 pm

    This looks great! I’ve got to try it. Every winter, I make a savory pie out of ground pork, chopped pork, and bacon (I call it a “three-pigger”). That one has a thick, warm-water and lard (I use Crisco) crust that requires string to reinforce the crust walls for baking. And cursing. It requires cursing, but the end result is pretty amazing.

    “Leftover beer?”

    • Kate / Jun 17 2011 11:48 am

      Sounds great! Cursing at bakery always works for me.

  2. T-Farm (@tfarmllc) / Sep 18 2011 7:02 pm

    This was fantastic with vege beef also. Very tasty, thanks Kate.

  3. Scott Lein / Sep 18 2011 7:23 pm

    This was amazing! Deliciously hearty and perfect for this cool, rainy day. I loved it with the vegetarian “beef” tips. Great recipe!

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