Recipe: Beef and Ale Pie for British Pie Week

The smokey spiciness of chorizo works so well with the beef and the puff pastry that it lifts this traditional dish to a new level — a tasty recipe to enjoy at home during British Pie Week.

Serves 4


4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
800g braising steak, cut into 2cm chunks
200g small shallots, peeled
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 garlic cloves, grated
¼ bunch of thyme, tied together with string
2 bay leaves
150g cooking chorizo, skin removed and sausagemeat diced into 1cm chunks
200ml ale
600ml beef stock
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 x 320g sheet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
2 egg yolks, beaten


Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large, ovenproof casserole dish over high heat. Mix the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of black pepper together, then toss the steak in the flour and shake off any excess. When the oil is hot, add a batch of steak and fry until well browned. Remove the steak and set it aside, brown the remaining beef, then remove it and set it aside with the rest.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the casserole over medium-high heat, add the shallots and remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and fry until golden, then add the tomato purée, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the ale to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the dish with a wooden spoon to maximise flavour. When the alcohol has reduced to a syrup, add the beef stock and paprika. Simmer over medium-high heat for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid then return the beef to the pan. Stir well, cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry to fit a pie dish around 24cm in diameter, with 1cm overhang. Place back in fridge on a baking sheet for 30 minutes to rest.

Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Remove the thyme and bay leaves from the dish then gently stir in the chopped parsley and coriander. Spoon the casserole mixture into the pie dish.

Brush the edges of the chilled puff pastry with the egg yolk and cover the pie dish, pressing the pastry into the edge of the pie dish to seal. Cut a hole in the centre of the pastry then brush all over with egg yolk. Place the pie back in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is a deep golden colour.  

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