Beef, Porter Ale and Stilton Pie

I've fancied making a beef and Stilton pie ever since M&S introduced one into their Gastropub range. I noticed that the M&S one has port in, but I used a Porter ale instead. The result was tender beef in a velvety, rich and very tasty gravy.

So with all that in mind I set about making one. I was very pleased with the end result and am really embarrassed to tell you we ate it all - yep the whole lot. Nothing at all was left so it worked out a bit of a dear do, but hey ho.
This really ought to have served four :)

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You will need:
1kg casserole or braising steak, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 small bunch fresh thyme
a small handful of black peppercorns
400ml Whitechapel Porter Ale available from Asda (or another dark ale)
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
6 chestnut mushrooms - quartered
1 large onion - sliced thinly
440ml beef stock made from a Knorr beef stock cube
1tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp of redcurrant jelly
a couple of good shakes of Worcestershire sauce
100g Stilton cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten
500g ready made puff pastry

To make the pie filling:
Put the Porter Ale, beef, garlic, thyme and peppercorns into a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at
least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

Remove the beef from the marinade, pat dry with kitchen paper and dredge in the seasoned flour.
Strain the marinade through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and set aside.
Note: you only want the liquid so throw away all the bits (peppercorns and thyme etc)

Heat the oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a flameproof casserole and fry the beef in small batches for 2-3 minutes each time, or until browned all over.
Once the meat is browned, remove from the casserole dish and set aside.
Return the casserole dish to the heat and fry the mushrooms and onions for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato puree, and cook for a minute before adding the Worcestershire sauce and redcurrant jelly.

Now return the beef and the reserved marinating liquid to the casserole and add the beef stock.

Cover with a lid and gently simmer for about 2½ hours, or until the beef is nice and tender.
When it is, strain off half of the cooking liquid from the casserole dish and set aside to make the gravy for serving.

Remove from the heat and crumble the Stilton into the casserole and stir until nicely melted. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool right down. While that's happening you can preheat your oven and get the pastry at the ready!

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 3 quarters of an inch and cut large enough to cover your pie dish. My dish was about 10 inches by 7 inches.
Line the edge of your pie dish with a strip of pastry like in the picture.
I'm not good with pastry but whatever it tastes okay and that's all that matters, isn't it?!

Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg and lay over the pie dish. Crimp the pastry all around the edge to seal, then trim off any excess pastry.

Make a small hole in the middle of the pie top so that the steam can escape whilst cooking. Brush all over some of the beaten egg.
Put the pie into the oven to bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is piping hot.

To make the gravy:
Put the reserved cooking liquid into a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to a gravy consistency.
Stir in a knob of butter until melted, and the sauce is smooth and glossy.
Keep it warm until needed.

When the pie is cooked serve with mashed potato and the gravy. I made carrot and potato mash with was rather nice I must say.


  1. I'm kinda sad we don't have more meat pies over here in the US. It's a really hearty, comforting dish that's perfect for the cold weather!

  2. Yum, yum, yum. That looks fantastic - so warming and tasty.

  3. A beef, ale and stilton pie sounds so amazingly good!

  4. Wow look at that crust.. that looks perfect!

  5. That looks amazingly delicious Jan! Todd would loved this. He's a real pie and mash man! Probably his East Ender roots I think!

  6. Jan, that pie looks absolutely gorgeous !!!!!

  7. That looks perfect for this cold weather Jan, just the thing to warm up with :)

  8. I had such a craving for mashed potatoes and gravy Jan...this would have cured me!!!!

  9. Have given you a little award - check out my blog! :D

  10. ooh wow, that sounds delicious.

  11. I just found your blog and I love it! You have some really delicious looking recipes... can't wait to browse around :)
    -Mini Baker

  12. Love the addition of the chestnut mushrooms! Sounds like the flavors here work perfectly together. Can't wait to try.

  13. Jan, this the best of British...indeedy delicious, chappette!

  14. Oh my goodness! This looks divine... I made a steak & guinness pie last week, but I think your one would taste far superior; must give it a try!


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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