In this house, steak and ale pie is the King of all pies...
I've been making steak and ale pie for years - I often start off by braising beef this way, and sometimes it even gets the traditional pastry lids when it actually ends up as a pie (I usually like to do them individually in pots with just a puff pastry or rough puff pastry top), sometimes it ends up not as a pie, but with fluffy dumplings on top, soaking up the juices, or occasionally it's served with baguette slices laid on it near the end, smothered in a mix of butter and mustard and topped with cheese... and sometimes, it's 'just' served as a beef casserole with potatoes and vegetables.
|This is my pie - it's a small one - everyone elses' is about double the size!|
It's just the kind of braised beef dish that's soooo good, and so versatile that I go back to the core ingredients time and time again but end up using them in different ways. Usually, I make this quantity the day before, and put half in pots for making pies the next day so it's nice and chilled before putting the pastry lids on, and the other half is frozen for another time. You can get away with putting it into the fridge to chill for just an hour or two before putting pastry lids on and baking if you're using individual dishes for the pies, as it will cool down quicker (and if you want to top it with dumplings, you can just pop them on top as soon as it's cooked, and cook for another 20 minutes or so until they're fluffy and cooked - adding mustard, parmesan and some thyme if you have it is lovely!).
This quantity serves eight people (or if they have Desperate Dan appetites, maybe six?) and is easily doubled if you want to cook in bulk.
If you're counting calories, it is 2,965 calories for the whole quantity of filling, not including pastry, and therefore 371 calories for an eighth (of filling only - so for a low calorie meal you could always have the filling as a braise with steamed green veg and some new potatoes, and try to ignore those eating it pie style with chips!!).