* 1 1/2 lbs braising steak
* 1 pint english ale
* 1 pint water (approximately)
* 2 beef bouillon cubes
* 2 tablespoons plain flour
* 2 large onions, peeled and diced
* cooking oil or beef drippings
* 2 teaspoons English mustard
* salt and pepper
* 12 ounces ready made shortcrust pastry
* 8 tablespoons ready-made mashed potatoes, approx
* 6-8 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
* 1 ounce butter, for the pie topping
1. Peel and chop the onions. Cut up the braising steak into small cubes.
2. Heat some oil in a large and deep saucepan. Add the onions and sauté gently for about five minutes until soft.
3. Add the meat and cook to seal.
4. Add the flour and stir in to meat juices.
5. Continue to cook to cook out the flour, adding the beer gradually to prevent sticking to the pan until all the beer has been added.
6. Add beef stock cubes, salt and pepper to taste and stir until dissolved.
7. Add water to thin down the gravy. The amount will vary according to how much juice has come out of the meat so add gradually until the right consistency is achieved.
8. Add the English mustard and mix well.
9. Once boiling reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently for at least two hours.
10. Allow to cool slightly.
11. Pre-heat oven to 210C/425°F.
12. Roll out the ready made shortcrust pastry and line 4 individual pie moulds with it, or use individual aluminium pie containers.
13. Line each pastry round with greaseproof paper and bake blind for about 5 – 10 minutes; using heavy beans to keep the pastry flat.
14. Remove the greaseproof paper and beans; divide the steak in ale mixture between the 4 pies.
15. Mix the Stilton cheese into the ready-made and well seasoned mashed potato and pile on top of the steak and pastry bases.
16. Place a knob of butter on top of each mashed potato topping and bake in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and the potato and Stilton cheese topping is golden brown & bubbling.