A staple in British cuisine, Steak and Ale Pies are quintessential comfort food. It’s the grown-up and cooler British cousin of the American Chicken Pot Pie. My recipe has tender prime rib that’s cooked down with some shallots, carrots, potatoes, beef stock and-you guess it- Beer. Not just any beer, mind you. Most Brits use an ale in their pies but here in the US, it’s a little harder to find the kind of Ales they use- here there seems to be random beer flavored with even more random flavors (Banana Bread Ale? Seriously?). The more American equivalent would be a dark Stout beer. I happen to love Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Black Out Stout for this dish, and just for drinking in general during harsh Cleveland winters. It’s a great counterpart to the sweetness of the veggies, the smokiness of the Worcestershire and the heartiness of the meat and potatoes.
The dish itself stems back to year AD43, when romans brought their humble and admittedly not-mouthwatering meat pies with them to Britain. Since then, of course, Englanders have significantly upped their game and created a dish that is not only delicious, but nostalgic and comforting as well. It’s the kind of piping-hot meal you crave on nights where the winter is at it’s coldest and you simultaneously need to be at your warmest.
My version is not hard to make at all; as a matter of fact, you can make the filling in advance- and then warm it up prior to baking it with the pie dough top. Full disclosure: I was inspired for this meal by my leftover prime rib from Christmas dinner. I just started testing with it and it led me here. And now I’m certain this will be a dish I will wholeheartedly crave every single winter, especially after the holidays are over and we all have to find a way to get through the REST of winter.
Easy, Nostalgic AND qualifies as a comfort food?
We might just get through this frigid winter season after all, folks- with an assist from this Steak and Stout Pot pie.
Steak and Stout Pot Pie
Serves: Approximately 3-4
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
¼ C flour
5 oz. prime rib, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ white onion, diced OR 2 Shallots, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried parsley
7-8 Mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 clean potatoes, skin-on and cut into ½ in cubes
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 C. Beef Stock
1-12 oz. bottle of Stout Beer (I like GLBC’s Blackout Stout, but use your own preferences.)
One circle of pie crust, You can use pre-packaged, or my recipe on the blog is titled
“Perfect Pie Dough: How To Get It Right, Every Time” from the archives.
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water
In a Dutch oven on med/high, put the vegetable oil in. Place pie dough out to rest at room temperature.
In an separate bowl, toss the steak pieces in the flour to lightly coat. Then brown them on all sides and place onto another plate, set aside.
In the Dutch oven where the steak was at, sauté the onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and both dried thyme and basil. Cook until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, prime rib beef from the plate we set aside earlier, and of course, the bottle of Stout. Stir well to combine and simmer for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie dough to 1 inch larger than the approximate size of your cast iron skillet. I used a smaller skillet than the usual regular size here, but had filling left over. So you could place this in a full-size cast iron skillet. Just be sure to measure whatever size your skillet is ahead of time.
Place the filling into the cast iron skillet, and then place the pie dough on top of it, careful to roll the edges under to prevent burning. Brush the top liberally with the egg wash and then place in the oven to bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before scooping out servings for your guests. (Or if you’re me, you just stand over the stove with a fork and eat right out of the skillet. You know, whatever works for you. Just saying.)