Tom Kitchin shares his recipe for a steak and ale pie made with his new craft ale, produced with the Isle of Skye Brewing Co.

  • 3.5 hours
  • Four
  • Easy
My grandfather Ben Robinson – or Popa as we always called him – was a true inspiration to me in many ways, and though I have such fond memories of family times together, I always remember him at his happiest deep in conversation or simply reflecting on life with a fine ale in his hand. He taught me a lot about respecting and understanding the importance of the provenance, quality and condition of beer – he was a connoisseur and very particular about the ales he drank. When we opened gastro pub The Scran & Scallie, I always kept his philosophy towards our beer choices in mind, and at the pub we are constantly seeking out the very best local craft beers, meeting the suppliers and brewers themselves regularly and hearing about their passion, heritage and expertise. It’s fantastic to see that more diners are enjoying beer with their food. This is largely down to a new generation of brewers who are crafting quality ales of such outstanding quality that they can help to elevate a dish in the same way wine can. The Isle of Skye Brewing Company, managed by Kenny Webster, is one of those brewers who are leading the way, taking the drama and passion of the Isle of Skye and bringing it to life in an outstanding range of ales. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with the brewers there to create my very own signature ale, named Yer Ben, after my grandfather. The opportunity to make an exceptionally smooth, creamy, delicately hopped beer that perfectly complements any meal, is a huge privilege and one of which my Popa Ben would, I’m sure, have been very envious and proud. I worked very closely with the brewers at Skye in the beautiful, dramatic highland landscape. They use only the very best authentic local ingredients. The joy for me was in working with brewers Pam and Mags, who as ex-chefs shared my passion for food. The fine ale we’ve created together makes the perfect accompaniment to a lovely seafood dish like oysters or fruits de mer, or earthy ceps, which are bang in season right now, or even the glorious grouse and game we have access to here in Scotland. You should be able to enjoy a really good craft beer with any meal and I hope the same goes for Yer Ben. Yer Ben launches this week and is available at The Scran & Scallie and online at www.skyeale.com

Ingredients

  • 1kg stewing steak, cut into 2–3cm pieces
  • flour for dusting
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 250g button mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • bouquet garni
  • 250ml red wine
  • 500ml Yer Ben craft ale
  • 250g ready-rolled puff pastry
  • egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with ½ teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
  • 1 piece of bone marrow, on the bone
  • choice of seasonal vegetables

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Dust the pieces of stewing steak all over with flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof sauté pan over a medium-high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Brown the steak in two batches for 4-5 minutes until well caramelised. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add another drizzle of oil. Add the onion, carrots and mushrooms, lower the heat and sweat gently for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and bouquet garni.
  3. Pour in the red wine and allow to bubble to reduce by half, then add the Yer Ben beer.  Bring back to the boil and return the steak to the pan. Put a lid on the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the steak is tender and the liquor has reduced and thickened.
  4. Raise the oven setting to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Transfer the beef stew to a pie dish, discarding the bouquet garni.
  5. Place a piece of bone marrow in the middle of the dish. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish with enough to overhang, then drape over the stew. Dampen the rim of the dish with water, then lift the pastry over the top of the stew. Press the edges of the pastry on to the rim of the  dish and trim away the excess pastry. Brush the pastry all over with the egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and bake for around 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  6. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then serve the pie with seasonal vegetables and teaspoons for the bone marrow, for those who want it.

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.