Beef and Ale Pot Pies

450g/1lb stewing or braising steak, cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
30ml/2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
30ml/2tbsp plain flour
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 Cumin Rubbed Smoked Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
75g/3oz fresh or frozen peas
600ml/1pint pale ale or good, hot beef stock
10ml/2tsp tomato purée
15ml/1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
½ x 500g pack shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten

Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a moderate heat. In a large plastic bag add the flour and seasoning. Add the beef and toss in the seasoned flour.

Cook the beef in batches for 3-4 minutes until brown, turning occasionally. Transfer to a large casserole dish.

In the same frying pan cook the onions, Cumin Rubbed Smoked Garlic and carrots for 3-4 minutes and transfer to the casserole dish.

Add the peas, ale or stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook on the hob for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly and remove the bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6, 200°C, 400°F.

Spoon the beef equally into four 300ml/½ pint round or oval ovenproof dishes. Brush the edges of each dish with water.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut four equal rounds of pastry to fit the pie dishes and seal around the edges. Make a small hole in the centre of each pie to allow the steam to escape.

Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 until pastry is golden brown.

Serve with seasonal vegetables, crusty bread or mashed potatoes and any hot gravy from the pan.


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