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English Food is Not a Joke - Steak & Ale Pie

English Food is Not a Joke - Steak & Ale Pie

English food is not a joke because...
Any cuisine that combines meat with ale gets gold stars in my book.

That's the answer I'm giving for Sam's Fish & Quips challenge. She's asked food lovers everywhere to help her prove that English food does not have to be a joke. After reading about it, I immediately wanted to participate. I lived there for almost a year and had plenty of amazing food (I have crazy fond memories of the cheese guy in my local outdoor market), however I couldn't come up with one dish that I wanted to make. So I called in the brigades - actually I just IM'd my friend Johnny and asked what he thought I should make:

me: What is your favorite British meal - like quintessential British?

Johnny: Meat pie! Like steak and onion pie!!!
I think this is a nice idea, a nice project - British food has a huge inferiority complex for a few reasons.

me: So what should i make?

Johnny: You should try steak and ale pie if you can manage it. I think it is pretty easy really and tastesome.

me: Why'd you choose that dish?

Johnny: It is the thing I like best that is "English"
Make a nice round pie - with leaves on the top of course.

me: Of course

Hrmm... a steak and ale pie. Funny, I never actually had one of those while I was out there - but I figured it was the time to start. So I hunted down a few recipes and cobbled together a pretty decent pie. I cheated and used puff pastry, but I didn't forget the leaves on top.The end result was pretty tasty, like a stew with an added pastry crust - and it was definitely not a joke. To see what recipe I used, and to see a bunch of step by step pictures,


Steak & Ale Pie
Inspired by BootsnAll

Sorry for the non-accurate measurements, I eyeballed a lot of it. Also, you may want to add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce to your marinade. I was planning on it, but didn't realize we didn't have any until it was too late.

1 1/4 pounds of steak - cut into large cubes
2 short sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh marjoram
1/3 - 1/2 pint of Newcastle (or other dark ale)
olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
flour (approx 4 tbsp)
2 carrots - chopped (Jimmy hates carrots, so I only used a few, you may want to up the carrot ante)
1 leek - chopped
1 medium sized onion - diced
1-2 cup beef broth
Puff Pastry (1 sheet) - thawed

Step One - Night Before

  • Put steak into medium sized bowl with lid (I actually used a tupperware dish). Add rosemary and marjoram (I ripped them with my hands) and mix with meat.
  • Add Newcastle, a splash (I eyeballed it) of oil, and some fresh black pepper. Mix well. Cover and marinate in fridge overnight.

Step Two - Make the Pie

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Strain beef from marinade (do not throw out the marinade, set it aside for now). Roll beef in flour until beef is covered. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, saute onion, leek and carrots in a little bit of olive oil. Cook until onions are soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Place beef in pan and brown on all sides.
  • When beef is browned, put the vegetables back in, and add beer marinade, and beef stock.
  • Simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to pie pan/baking dish. Top with puff pastry and trim sides.
  • Pierce pastry a few times for ventilation, add decorative pastry leaves if desired (I used my kitchen shears to shape them).
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.
















Join The Conversation
Brit-in-the-US Brit-in-the-US 9 years
this is one of most served pub meals and its awesome English food is the best!!!!!! for those who think different DONT KNOCK IT TILL YA TRY IT!!!!!
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
lol i accidentally have 2 bottles in my fridge! both are still sorta full! but yeah, i'm am def going to make this, this week. looks totally easy and DELICIOUS!
Food Food 10 years
dijon mustard is a great idea! and definitely add the worcestershire sauce, I planned on it, but somehow, "yah we have some in the fridge" translated to "nope we're out"
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
oh yeah! and probably some dijon mustard too
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
wow looks awesome and simple! i love how you used the pyrex dish to cook it in, i'll probably end up doing that myself. Some changes just by looking at it..I'd probably add some Worcestershire to this, more carrots,mushrooms, sugar and some garlic. i like a thick sauce so maybe some flour in the sauce. and sage! yeah, i'd probably add some sage
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
Good job Yumsugar.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
ooo! this sounds like it would be fun and easy to do then! definitely gonna try making it and round up some friends to taste test it! :evil:
Food Food 10 years
thanks guys - it was pretty tasty and relatively easy! (you just need to plan ahead for the marinating) - hey mandiesoh - you can substitute oregano (but it's stronger, so go easy on it) or thyme, or whatever herbs you think sound delish!
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
omg this is too good! meat AND ale?!? :dance: hahahaha i love this yum! i WILL try to make it! as soon as i can get a replacement for morajam?? cos i have no clue what that is :oops: mmm english food..bangers & mash... battered fish & chips...ALE... :drool: :drool: :drool: this is killing me!
SU3 SU3 10 years
Wow! That looks sooo GOOD and sooo DELICIOUS! :)
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Sa-weet! It's a party - ale and steak & ale pie for everyone! Better get started, Yum! :)
TheFairestLady TheFairestLady 10 years
That looks delicious. Good job, Yum!
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
im with you ALSW
amiemoos amiemoos 10 years
haha I can't believe you even have english ale! I work in a bar (in England) and we serve loads of that stuff.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I'm with Molly - can you make enough for all of us? We'll visit!
bobcatsteph3 bobcatsteph3 10 years
Wow that looks tasty! I want to give you gold stars for knowing your boyfriend hates a food, but sticking it in there anyway! I only ever got away with that if said hated food was completely unrecognizable! Way to go, picky eaters are very hard to manage!
Molly Molly 10 years
I'm moving in.
skinny-fat skinny-fat 10 years
bangers & mash, kidney pie, mincemeat...blecch ______________________________________________ Toto, I have a feeling we're not in America anymore :(
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Anything with beer really...
lorioz lorioz 10 years
This looks so good! I love meat and beer pies!
hills hills 10 years
wat are u trying to say! lol, steak and ale pies ok but toad in the hole with onion gravys yum, it sounds a little dodgey but its not a 'joke'!
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Ooh that looks yummy! We used to go to an English pub in Portland, OR run by some expatriates and I discovered there that English food is indeed NOT a joke. They make some very tasty stuff!
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Beer battered fish is great!
skinny-fat skinny-fat 10 years
IMO English food is a joke BUT this looks very tasty and I'm going to try it. The Belgian version "Carbonnade à la flamande" is one of my favorites. ********************************************** Toto, I have a feeling we're not in America anymore :(
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Looks great! I love BBF - beer battered fish!
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