Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Shass" and Ale Pie

My favorite EPL/WWI Poetry/Downton Abbey podcast, Men in Blazers put out a challenege to their readers this week.  They wanted us to make a traditional British pie and send in pictures.  Since it was so freezing this weekend, I figured this was the perfect time to give it a try.
A delightful combination of shooting and passing make this a proper pie that only the GFOPs would love.  The use of Boddingtons only adds to its allure.  A cursory google search showed that the true classic British pie is steak and kidney.  Unfortunately, my normal kidney purveyor just had his farm bought out from under him by the newly capitalist Branson, so I was unable to source any kidneys for this pie.  Not to worry, a nice steak and ale pie would be just as tasty.  This pie uses slow cooked beef, potatoes, mushrooms, and fresh herbs in a hearty Boddingtons gravy.  The buttery pie crust is flaky and easy to make. If you are looking to cultivate the enviable and stout body of a British pie lover, you should eat this every day.  Otherwise...all things in moderation. 
This pie was absolutely delicious and Mark and I ate massive quantities for dinner.  Then I secretly had a huge slice for breakfast the next morning before he woke up because I was worried that he would shame me for eating pie as breakfast...
"Shass" and Ale Pie
4 pieces bacon
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 Tbs. flour
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp. each fresh thyme and rosemary
1 can Boddingtons Ale
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper
Pie Pastry:
1 cup butter, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces and frozen
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup ice water
1 egg, for the egg wash
 1.  To make the pastry, add the flour, salt, and butter to a food processor.  Pulse 6-8 time until the butter is slightly incorporated into the flour and the mixture.  Drizzle in the water while pulsing until the dough forms.
2.  Divide into two pieces and wrap the dough in plastic wrap.  Set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3.  In a large pot, add 1 tbs. olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Chop the bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove the bacon and reserve in a bowl.

4.  Slice the stew meat into 1/2 inch pieces.  You don't want giant hunks, the way that you would for a beef stew.  Toss the meat with 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1 Tbs. flour.
5.  Turn the heat on the pot with the bacon fat up to high and brown the meat on all sides for about 4 minutes.  Remove the meat and put in the bowl with the bacon.

6.  Add chopped onion, garlic, mushrooms, and peeled, cubed potato.  Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and chopped herbs.  Cook down for 10 minutes.

7.  Add the whole can of Boddingtons and add back the meats.  Add the frozen peas and cook down until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

8.  Roll out the pie crusts and place one in the bottom of the pie plate and reserve the other for the top.
9.  Fill the pie with the steak and ale mixture and top with the other half of the dough and brush with a beaten egg.
 10.  Cut out some holes, preferably using "SHASS" cookie cutters or just make Xs with your knife if you are lazy.
11.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden brown.
 12.  Allow the pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

One Year AgoStuffed Baked French Toast
Two Years Ago:   Rosemary Roasted Chicken




  2. I got to eat some of this and it was SO DELICIOUS. Flaky crust, savory insides. Get it, girl.

  3. thanks for share.