Taking this week to a more traditional place, it was time for a Beef, Ale and Mushroom Pie...and gosh was it a good'un!
Using our delicious diced US Grain Fed Beef Brisket, which works perfectly for the low and slow cooking. Mixed with some delicious Black Sheep Ale and a variety of mushrooms we had a strong feeling this was going to be a good day.
Firstly pull the beef out of the freezer the night before you want to cook the pie mix up. Bring the Beef and Bacon to room temperature half an hour before you want to cook as this will give you a better result. Put the dried Porcini Mushrooms in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water, allow these to soak for 20 minutes. Whilst the mushrooms are soaking, heat a large saucepan, season the beef with salt and a little oil. Seal off the beef in small batches to ensure it doesn't boil. Put in a bowl and cover with a plate until needed. Dice the onions and sweat off in the pan, halfway through add in the garlic minced. Add a drop of the Ale to de-glaze the pan and so the onions can soak up all the deliciousness. Add in the sliced and quartered Carrots and cook for 5 minutes or so to get some colour. Add in the Porcini mushrooms then sprinkle over the sugar and flour. Stir until browned and all the juices have been soaked up. Tip back in the meat and any juices left in the bowl. Followed by the rest of the bottle of Ale, add in the 2 Beef Stock Pots and the liquor from the mushrooms. Don't pour out all the juices from the mushrooms as there may be grit at the bottom. I left a centimetre or so in the bowl.
Season with salt and pepper, add in the Bay Leaves and Thyme. Give the pot a good stir. Bring the pan up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for an hour and a half, covered, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. In a frying pan brown off the Bacon lardons until crisp and then add in the sliced mushrooms. Remove from the heat and let the mushrooms cook through with the residual heat. Add a splash of water just to get those nuggets of flavour from the lardons up. After the beef has cooked remove from the heat and add in the bacon and lardon mix. Stir and allow the pot to cool over night to use the next day. The pie can either be cooked with the mix at room temperature or cold, it doesn't really matter which. I did it from cold. Liberally butter and flour a pie dish, trim the pastry up leaving a lip on the sides, add in the pie mix with a slotted spoon as you may have more liquid than needed. The meat should pile up just over the top of the pie dish. Pour over enough of the beef mix juice to half way up the pie dish. Brush the edges of the pie with water and place the other sheet of pastry over the top. Pinch the sides together, make 2 incisions in the middle of the pie to let out steam. Do feel free to decorate the pie. Mix an egg and cover the top of the pie liberally, this will ensure the pie goes a gorgeous golden brown colour. Place the pie in a preheated oven at 200c and cook the pie for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve up with extra gravy and a side of buttery mash potato.
Up next Kangaroo and Red Wine pie...