A Lovely Meal.

We are very busy boys. There is no denying that. We both work shifts, we both work long hours, and we both have to travel to our main jobs. Sometimes, that means meals are quick and easy and nothing too stressful, but on the rare days that we’re both off, there’s no excuse not to break out a little something extra.

That being said, we both are also working today, St Valentine’s Day, and whilst that’s not the worse thing in the world, it means that trying to arrange a nice meal together, means it ended up being the same day that we perfected our previous posting of Love Potion No. 9B – which you should also go check out.

So, we had a day off together, and we broke out some of our tapered candles, put them into our repainted IKEA candle holder (it was repainted to match up with the grey and yellow scheme of the lounge) and JK went out and bought some roses to set the mood.

All the while, Ted was in the kitchen preparing dinner – a steak and ale pie. It may seem unromantic but at the same time, it’s humble, homey and heartfelt. We needed something filling and warming seeing as we’ve been embracing some really cold weather, which is never fun.

Pies are often a luxury that people don’t always explore because they can be time consuming. You’ve got to make the pastry, you have to make the filling, and it feels like it takes hours and it does, we’re not going to lie, but it is completely worth it.

Our pies are always about the homemade nature, and they’re always about making sure you’re full and the accompaniment is simple. This time around, we just served it with some mashed potatoes, which can be easily jazzed up with a little bit of wholegrain mustard or grated cheese. And pies aren’t always that hard if you just grab some pre-made pastry. We know, we are such cheats with this, but it cut out a couple of hours and a few steps.

The Two Burrs’ Steak & Ale Pie

The Ingredients

  • 500g lean diced beef steak
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 500ml Yorkshire Golden Ale
  • 250g tin peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 500g Jus-Rol Shortcrust Pastry Block (at room temperature)

The Method

  • Preheat the oven to about 180°C
  • In a pan, heat about two tablespoons of oil on a medium to low heat – we don’t want the meat to stick or brown too quickly, it needs to be tender.
  • To the oil, add the diced beef steak and seal the meat.
  • Once the meat is sealed, add in the red onion, chestnut mushrooms and garlic clove. Fry until soft.
  • Pour in the Yorkshire Golden Ale and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Now, add in the tin of peeled plum tomatoes – no need to chop them up, as they cook, they should be easy enough to break up with your spoon.
  • With the pot simmering, add in some boiling water. What you add in is really up to you depending on how saucy you want your pie. We prefer a little bit of sauce so we added the full litre.
  • Leave the pot to simmer for about an hour, checking regularly and stirring to ensure the meat isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Whilst the filling is cooking, and towards the end of the hour, get out your pastry and roll it to a nice thickness. You don’t want it too thick or too thin, it needs to hold its filling and also it’s shape once out of the tin.
  • Line the base of the tin with pastry and once the filling is cooked, add the filling in – we used a Falcon Enamel pie tin that we picked up from a store. It’s a good size for a pie to share so long as you have a big appetite at the time you want to eat.
  • With the rest of the pastry, create a lid for the pie, making sure you pinch the base and the top of the pie together with your thumbs to create a rustic flute effect around the edge.
  • Make a couple of holes to allow any steam to escape and if you want to add decoration to the pie then go ahead. Egg wash the top of the pie (beat an egg in a bowl and then brush the top of the pastry with it).
  • Put the pie in the oven and bake until golden brown. It should take about 20 minutes, but in our experience, everyone’s ovens work differently so just check on it after 15 minutes. You should know how well your oven works by now and can adjust accordingly.
  • Once the pie is done, take it out the oven, give is a minute or two just to cool slightly and then cut and serve. We just cut it in two because the pie dish is really just made for two.
  • Add your accompaniment and enjoy!

We will admit that this pie is boozy. You can definitely taste the ale with a full bottle in there, but that’s what we like. It made for a lovely dinner for the two of us and the sense of warming was nice. It of course can all depend on your tastes and we’re not going to come knocking on your door if you half the amount of ale you put in, you’ll just have to add a little extra water in there.

Also, we’re both Yorkshire boys, so using Yorkshire Golden Ale was a must for us – we use it a fair bit when it comes to making a recipe with it, but by all means, add whatever ale you prefer (just know that it isn’t as good as Yorkshire’s).

So, there you have it, our romantic little dinner for what was our Valentine’s Day. Sorry it’s not up before the big day to inspire you, but we’re new to this, cut us some slack and head over to our Instagram to check out behind-the-scenes and extra bits we’re not adding on here just yet!

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