Beef and Ale Pie


1 tbsp oil
750g diced Aune Valley braising steak
2 onions finely chopped
300g diced root vegetables such as carrots parsnips or swede
500ml ale
450ml beef stock
1 tbsp mustard and 2 tbsp cornflour blended in a little cold water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g plain flour
50g lard cut into cubes
50g hard margarine cut into cubes
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp cold water
1 medium-size egg beaten
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add half the steak and brown quickly on all sides, then remove from the pan. Add the remaining meat and brown in the same way. Return all meat to the pan and add the onions and root vegetables.
Add the ale and beef stock, cover and simmer for two hours, or until the meat is tender.
Stir in the mustard and cornflour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into a medium size pie dish. Leave to cool before putting pastry on top
Whilst the beef is cooking, make the pastry. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the lard, hard margarine and salt and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add enough water to form firm dough. Place dough in fridge to rest.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a circle large enough to cover the pie.
Arrange the pastry over the ale and beef and seal the edges with water. Preheat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, gas mark 7.
Make a hole in the middle, using a sharp knife. Brush with beaten egg and place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

How to cook perfect sirloin or rib eye steak

2 Sirloin Steaks not too thin
2 small knobs of butter about 1/2oz (10g) each
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder (this is optional and does not overwhelm the steak)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
This method is for medium rare steak. Simply allow extra cooking time if you prefer medium or well-done steaks.
Using a flat frying pan or a skillet (there is no difference in cooking time), pour the olive oil, one knob of butter and sprinkle on the salt, black pepper and garlic granules (optional). Set your stove top ring to a medium heat. Ours goes from 1 to 9 and we set it at 6. Allow it 2 to 3 minutes to heat through, so that the butter has melted and the pan is hot.
Place the steaks on the frying pan. Arrange them so that the fatty edges are in the middle of the pan.
Cook for 2 minutes on one side. Then turn them over and cook for 1½ minutes on the other side. If you like them medium rare, do not exceed these timings.
Remove from the pan onto warm plates (not hot, as cooking will continue) and leave them to relax for 5 minutes or more.
Add ½ mug of boiling water to the pan and toss in the second nugget of butter and the Balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat down to about 3 so that it reduces without boiling dry.
Pour this “jus” over your steaks.


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