Happy St. George’s Day everybody! Today is our national holiday in England but we really don’t celebrate although my darling Mum did send a card and a truely great English recipe!!! St George’s Day is not celebrated as much in England as other National Days are around the world; it is simply acknowledged. It was once a major feast in England on a par with Christmas from the early 15th century. However, this tradition had waned by the end of the 18th century. In recent years the popularity of St George’s Day appears to be increasing gradually. Now, on with the recipe:
Beef and Ale Pie – Serves 4. This is actually supposed to be David Beckham’s fave English meal! Maybe if you make a good enough one he’ll come for dinner!! Here’s hoping…..
2lb braising or chuck steak, cut into chunks
1tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
7fl oz light brown ale
2 cups beef stock
4oz shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
1. Toss steak in flour and season. In a large heavy-based pan with a lid, heat oil and add steak.
Cook till browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Cook in batches to leave room in pan. Add onions and bay leaf and cook for about 5 mins till beginning to soften, then add mushrooms and cook for a further few mins. Raise heat slightly and pour in a little ale. Stir well to get any bits from bottom of pan, then add rest and cook for about 5 mins.
2. Preheat oven to 392*. Pour in stock and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer and add meat. Cook for 1 hr, till meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and spoon into a pie dish. Let gravy bubble to thicken, then pour over meat.
3. Roll out a little pastry and cut into strips. Wet edge of pie dish with egg wash then cover with pastry strips. Roll out remaining pastry large enough to cover pie, then use to top dish. Press edges together and crimp so secure. Brush with egg wash, and put in oven till golden brown, about 15-20 mins.
4. Serve with potatoes and veg.