Abby’s (British) boss was boasting about her husband’s steak and ale pie a few weeks ago, and being that we love meat and beer, we knew it was going to have to be on the menu at some point.
(sidenote: it’s really hard to write in the third person and seeing as I’ve already messed up in sentence one, let’s just go ahead and accept that Abby is writing these. Thanks.)
So, we met my mother for a quick lunch in the strip district on Friday, and were still hemming and hawing about what to make for dinner given that our fridge was essentially missing any sort of protein. I remembered the pie, chastised AJ for not remembering it earlier, and we headed to Wholey’s. I felt like a recipe was necessary since I tend to prefer some guidance for my first time cooking a dish, so I googled “steak and ale pie” and picked on the first link that seemed reasonable.
I’ll save you the full details, but basically we got what we needed at Wholey’s, marveled at the good prices and promptly came home to sit on the couch. Somebody started whining about being hungry around 5:30, so I started into the kitchen. The recipe actually calls for puff pastry, but I didn’t have any and I wanted to be fancy and make my own crust. (Great decision, by the way, as it lead to a dessert mistake masterpiece.) Since the crust dough had to rise, I started on that first. Over the years I’ve gotten better at dough, especially with our recent foray into pretzels, and I was confidently armed with a pretty simple cold butter recipe. (Cook’s note: use a big food processor. Mine is tiny and I
had to break up the amounts and it was a lot of mess, frankly.)
Fast forward to 8:30, and dinner was ready. I didn’t have the right ceramic baking dish, so my presentation was lacking, but I added some hearts to the crust to make up for it. The final dish ended up with a creamy finish, which was amazing to me. Slow cooking, for the absolute win.
Let me tell you, the next time you want some comfort food and have 3 hours to spare, please make this. And call us for dinner.
- The real star of this show was the cast iron skillet. I did everything in this pan save for bake in it, which I would have done if it were an inch or two smaller. Thank you Andrea.
- I used Southern Tier’s Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale as my simmering liquid. It was new to us, and appears to be just as delicious to drink as it was to cook with.
- I actually cooked with butter as the recipe calls for. I almost never do this, but I figured I’d go all out for NYE.
- I didn’t use mushrooms, ’cause ew.
- The only change I would make is to let the bacon start to get crispy and then add the butter and onions. The flavor was there, but it was all chewy.
- I served with fried potatoes, which was absolutely the right choice, spiced with garlic, onion, oregano and Old Bay.
- AJ remarked that it would be awesome to “make this like chicken pot pie.” He meant in individual ramekins, and he’s right, although we don’t own any. Maybe next year.