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Recipe of the month: Steak and cider pie

Serves 6-8

This can be prepared in advance, once the meat is cooking it will look after itself and timing is not crucial.


2 lb/900g lean beef, such as braising, stewing steak or diced shin.

1 oz/30g flour

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt

Pinch of ground mace

2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

1 onion, peeled and sliced

½ pt/280ml beef stock

½ pt/280ml brown ale or dry cider

1 bay leaf

10 oz/280g puff pastry

4/5 new potatoes

To glaze: beaten egg or milk


1. Cut the beef into 1 in/2.5 cm cubes. Put the flour and seasoning in a bowl or paper bag and shake a few pieces of meat at a time in it to give them a light dusting of flour. 2. In a heavy pan or flameproof casserole dish heat the oil and fry the onion until golden. Push to one side and brown the meat a few pieces at a time. Pour on a little of the stock and scrape up any residues stuck to the pan. Add the rest of the stock, the ale or cider and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour until the beef is tender. Cool the meat quickly and either cover and refrigerate until required or transfer it to a pie dish. 3. Boil the new potatoes until tender, we have found adding a few halved potatoes to the top of the pie protects the pastry from getting soggy. 4. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Roll the pastry and cover the meat and potatoes in the pie dish with it, pressing down well to seal the edges. Lop off any excess pastry and use it for trimming the pie. Slash the top to let the steam escape. Brush with the glaze. Bake for 30-35minutes.

We suggest serving this with a crisp green vegetable like kale or Savoy cabbage.


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