There are not many comfort foods more satisfying than a good old steak and ale pie. This tasty recipe shows you how to make mini steak and Guinness pies, a very Irish meat pie.
Steak pie filling, topped up with gravy
Steak pies pre-oven
The steak is slow-cooked so that you have a deliciously tender steak that melts in your mouth, and the Guinness adds the traditional and excellent porter ingredient that gives these pies a special taste.
Of course, you can always use a traditional ale if you cannot get hold of any Guinness. The beer you use will affect the taste of your meat. I am based in Ireland so for me, there is no real issue to get a Guinness 8-pack down at our local Aldi.
Freezing steak pies
These individual beef pot pies are easy to make and are great to freeze. You can just make them upfront and freeze them after you have cooked them.
Then you just need to take them out of the freezer and cook them at 180C for 30 minutes in the oven or 20 minutes in the air fryer to reheat them from frozen.
These mini Guinness pies are ideal as a quick and easy lunch idea or can even be eaten cold in a lunchbox (make sure you defrost them first! 🙂 )
But these nice little small ones are just handy, if you make enough of them, to create some snack meals upfront. With the quantities of ingredients mentioned in the recipe I made 15 mini beef pot pies. That is quite a few snacks, that you can enjoy at any time, especially if you freeze them in.
Some cooking tips
How you slow cook your meat is up to you, either in the Instapot, as I did, or in a casserole dish or Dutch oven. But you need to braise the steak well to make it soft and tender.
The onion adds some taste to the sauce, and if you do not chop the shallot you will find some lovely pieces of shallot in the sauce that you can put into the individual pies. You can even experiment by adding a touch of mustard to the pies if you wish, to give a bit of extra kick. I tried with a few of these pies and they were really tasty.
Mini steak pie with some shallot and a dab of mustard
I recommend using a silicone muffin tray as the pies seem to stick less in the oven than if you use a metal tray.
Of course, if you did not want the hassle of making your own pastry you can always choose some ready-made pastry. But this is a shortcrust pastry that I do believe you will enjoy the taste of. It complements the beef rather well and is easy to make.
Mini Steak and Guinness Pies
I hope you enjoy making these individual steak and ale pies. Please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!
This recipe for mini steak and Guinness pies is great to make upfront. Made with slow-cooked chuck steak, you can freeze these pies and eat them as a delicious savoury snack whenever you fancy.
1 kg lean chuck steak
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 shallot, whole
1 onion, finely chopped
400ml beef stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 500ml can of Guinness
1 tsp tomato puree
Some sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp Bovril
1 tsp Bisto Gravy Granules
For the pastry
500g all-purpose flour
Cook the meat
Cut the meat into 1 1/2 inch sized chunks. Season the flour with salt and pepper and then brown each piece in a frying pan in the vegetable oil. You may need to do this in batches. When browned on all sides then put the meat aside in the pan you intend to cook in. (I cooked this in my Instant Pot but you can also slow cook in the oven in a Dutch oven).
When the meat is cooked add the onion to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add this to the cooking pan, together with the shallot.
Then add the beef stock and the Guinness to the pan, together with the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, tomato puree, garlic mince and Bovril.
Now cook the meat. I cooked this in the instant pot on slow cook for 3 hours, followed by a High Pressure cook for 35 minutes. This gave me some deliciously tender pieces of beef. [You could also slow cook in the oven in a Dutch oven for 4 hours at 160C, or a single high pressure cook in the Instant Pot for 60 minutes - I was trying out the slow cook feature.]
After cooking, remove the beef pieces and shallot from the pan and thicken the gravy by putting the Instapot on saute and adding the gravy granules to thicken up the gravy. Simmer for 5 minutes until the gravy has thickened.
Make the Pastry
While the meat is cooking, make the pastry. Mix the sugar, salt and milk together. Then in a mixer or food processor mix the butter and flour together.
Add the eggs and the milk mixture until a smooth pastry is formed. The pastry should be easy to form into shapes. Put the pastry in the fridge for an hour.
When the pastry has cooled and the meat has cooked you can start making the pies:
Assemble the Pies
Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 3-4mm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut round pastry pieces for the base and top that suit your muffin tin. The pastry of the bottom should extend beyond the edge so that you can crimp top and bottom together properly.
Place the pastry in the muffin tray and fill with lumps of steak and shallot using a spoon. Then top up any gaps with thick gravy from the pan. (Optional - you may wish to add a dap of mustard at this point).
Brush egg wash (whipped egg with a splash of water) around the edge of the base pastry and place the top pastry layer on top. The egg wash should act a bit like glue.
Then crimp top to bottom pastry layers using a fork. Make sure you get a good crimp to prevent any leakage. Repeat for all the pies.
Brush the top with egg wash and place the muffin tray in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes to cook the pies.
These pies are great to freeze. Freeze them after they have been cooked and have cooled down. Store them in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer.
You can reheat them from frozen in 30 minutes at 180C in a normal oven, or 20 minutes in an air fryer at the same temperature.
Great as a snack for lunch or in the evening.
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