Elk Steak & Ale Pie

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2019 - Kjell Hedstrom

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I had my first steak & ale pie in a London pub after a long 14 hour work day at London Heathrow. It was an amazing thing that put me on the path to savoring the British meat pies. Jamie Oliver and  especially Angela Boggiano have made these pies famous and promotes easy versions of them.

Inspiration for this recipie came from:

Dragon’s Breath is perfect for braising as it gives a smooth and rich flavor without the bitterness from other dark beers.

Dragon’s Breath is perfect for braising as it gives a smooth and rich flavor without the bitterness from other dark beers.

For this recipie we use a German style dark Hefeweizen by Missoula Bayern Brewery.  The dark ale gives a smoother flavor than the Guinness. Overall I found that dark Hefeweizen is hard to beat when cooking with beer.

For the herb ingredients I recommend fresh herbs if possible. The measurements are roughly accurate since I measure in my hand and not with measuring spoons.

 Ingredients for filling

1.5 lbs or 700g elk cut in cubes

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, diced 

3 potatoes, cut in cubes

3 tbsp flour

salt

pepper

2 tbsp rosemary

2 tbsp + 1 tbsp thyme

2 cans of diced Italian style tomatoes  

2 bottles of dark beer - Hefeweizen  

cooking oil

 

Ingredients for the pie crust

egg, beaten

puff pastry  

 

Make it happen

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat.

  2. Toss the meat with flour and 1 tbsp thyme. Use your hands to move the meat around until it’s all covered in the flour mix.

  3. Using a dutch oven, pour some oil in and on medium high heat brown the meat in batches and put to the side once it’s browned

  4. Add onions and the rest of the herbs, stir them now and again for a few minutes.

  5. Add the potatoes and carrots, let them dry while stirring for a few minutes.

  6. Pour in the ale and using a wooden utensil scrape loose any brown bits that got stuck at the bottom.

  7. Add the meat and the diced tomatoes and turn down the heat once it starts to simmer.

  8. Keep it simmering and reducing until the sauce is thick. Stir with a wooden utensil regularly and scrape up any sauce that is sticking to the bottom. This simmering and reducing should not be rushed. It will likely take between 1.5 - 3h. Optional: simmer for one hour with the lid on, then take off the lid. This will give extra time in case your meat is tough.

  9. The stew mix is reduced enough when you can take a wooden spoon and move it across and it gives you a 1/2 second glance of the bottom of the pot before the stew fills in the spoon track.

  10. Once it’s done cooking the meat should be tender and the sauce should be thick and rich.

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 375-400F

  12. Let the meat cool down

 Bake it 

  1. Optional pie bottom: if you want a crust pie bottom then roll out the puff pastry, egg brush it lightly to make it stick better and press-form it on the bottom and the walls of the form. Bake it for 20 minutes and let it cool a little down before the next step.

  2. Pour the mostly cooled down meat mixture into round oven-safe forms

  3. Roll out the puff pastry, use flour to avoid making it sticky. make it about 1 inch wider than the oven form

  4. Place pastry on top of the oven form, cut off any excess that is more than 1 inch off the side

  5. Pinch the sides of the pastry so it sits firmly on the oven form

  6. Make a cross in the middle to allow steam to escape.

  7. Brush the pastry with the egg

  8. Bake it for 45 minutes or until golden brown

  9. Once done, let it sit and cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

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Time to Eat

My preference is to serve the pie with a green salad on the side and with a spoon or two of mango chutney. A dark Hefeweizen is a perfect beverage with this meal.  

My meatpie loving son on the other side likes lingonberry with his pie and with some mashed potatoes to go with it.

you can’t go wrong either way ;)

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