Slow Cooked Lancashire Steak & Ale Pie with a Black Pepper Crust recipe

Slow Cooked Lancashire Steak & Ale Pie with a Black Pepper Crust

Slow Cooked Lancashire Steak & Ale Pie with a Black Pepper Crust - Credit: Archant

The Boho Baker shares her hearty dish that’s full of Lancashire goodness

Preparing the Slow Cooked Lancashire Steak & Ale Pie

Preparing the Slow Cooked Lancashire Steak & Ale Pie - Credit: Archant

There is a lot going on in this pie, but it is certainly worth the extra effort. I’ve used steak from Taylors Farm Shop’s home reared limousin cattle, with local vegetables that were grown in Scarisbrick. The Dark Lancaster Ale compliments the black pepper pastry with its rich, earthy tones, creating a hearty meal that celebrates some of the finest produce Lancashire has to offer.


900g Lancashire braising steak

16 small shallots

250g baby rainbow carrots, chopped

200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped

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300ml Dark Lancaster Ale

200g maple bacon

400ml beef stock

4 tbsp plain flour

10g butter

1 bay leaf

Sprig thyme

For the pastry

650g plain flour

250g unsalted butter, cubed

150-200ml iced water

2 tbsp ground black pepper

Pinch of salt

1 egg, whisked, to glaze

You will need

Large round pie dish, slow cooker or lidded casserole dish and baking beans


Start by preparing the pastry. Sieve the flour and black pepper into a bowl and gently rub in the butter using the tips of your fingers. Add a pinch of salt, then spoon in the iced water a little at a time until the pastry begins to bind. Knead gently to combine, wrap in clingfilm, and leave to chill in the refrigerator whilst you cook the pie filling.

Braise the steak in a heavy saucepan, cooking until the meat has browned and the edges are starting to caramelise. Place in the slow cooker or casserole dish to rest whist you prepare the vegetables.

Peel the shallots, either by hand or by boiling for one minute (the skin should slip right off). Heat the 10g of butter in frying pan and add the shallots, bay leaf and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the butter doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

Slice the bacon and sizzle on a high heat for three minutes until the edges start to crisp. Add the baby rainbow carrots and chestnut mushrooms, and cook for a further 4 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the plain flour, and stir until the juices thicken and darken. Stir in the shallots and then add the contents to slow cooker/casserole dish with the braised steak.

Pour over the beef stock and dark Lancaster ale, stirring gently until well combined. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook overnight on low for 8 hours. Alternatively, if you’re using a conventional oven, cook on 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3 for two hours or until the steak is soft and tender.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll half of it out on a worktop that has been lightly dusted with flour. Line the bottom of the pie dish with pastry, weigh down with baking beans, and blind bake in the oven on 220C/430F/Gas Mark 7 for 10 minutes. Take the pie out of the oven, remove the baking beans, and gently ladle in the slow cooked filling, being careful not to add too much of the gravy. Brush a little of the whisked egg around the edges of the pie to secure the crust. Roll out the remaining pastry, wrap the pastry sheet around the rolling pin, then release on top of the open pie to create a lid. Gently press down the edges to create a seal.

If you wish to create a decorative crust, use the remaining pastry to cut out leaves, weave braids, or any other decorative items that you like. Stick to the pie lid using the whisked egg before glazing the entire top of the pie with a coating of egg wash. Pop back in the oven for a further 40 minutes, or until the pie is crisp and golden.

Remove the pie from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with garlic mashed potato and some of the left-over gravy from the slow cooker.

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