This weekend we prepared one of our favourite new dishes to cook: a beef pot pie made with beer. We chose to use Wellington Brewery’s delicious County Dark Ale, which we thought would be just neutral enough for this recipe, but would still provide some rich flavours. You can use any beer you’d like. Here’s the recipe…
3 pounds worth of cross rib steak
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 – 7 large shallots, or 1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups of any beer
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme, plus 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
Puff pastry (we used a frozen store-bought dough, but you can make your own from scratch too)
Season steaks with salt and pepper, and toss with flour. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Shake excess floor from steaks and cook each side until browned. Cook in batches if necessary, then transfer to a plate to cool.
Add the chopped shallots to the same pot, with a little more oil if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium. Add garlic, stir, and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
Add tomato paste to the pot and cook, while stirring, until it darkens; about 5 minutes. Add the beer (about a whole tall can), rosemary sprigs and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and cook, while scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid reduces by half; or about 8-10 minutes.
Add 6 cups of water and bring back to a boil. Return the beef to the pot and season with more salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until the liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon; about 2.5 or 3 hours.
Add the extra chopped thyme to the pot and stir. Remove the original rosemary and thyme sprigs.
Roll out the puff pastry dough (we used store-bought) on a floured surface. Transfer the filling to a cast iron skillet (any baking dish will do). Place the dough over the filling and crimp around the edges of the skillet/dish. Cut a few slits in the centre of the crust. Brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Place the dish in the oven at 375° and bake for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and flaky.
The pie was a huge success. We’ll definitely be making it again in the future, and using the basic steps as a guide, will experiment with other ingredients and flavours.