First make your stock by dissolving the Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pot in 400ml of boiling water. Stir until thoroughly dissolved and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 140˚C fan assisted/Gas Mark 2/300˚F.
Heat half the olive oil in a large, heavy-based casserole dish. Add in the onion and fry, stirring often, until it turns golden-brown – this should take around 15 minutes. This process drives out the water and brings out their natural sweetness.
Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Have the confidence to make the pan really hot. Add in the remaining olive oil and heat through.
Add in the chunks of beef and fry until browned on all sides. I use large chunks of beef as these will caramelise much better than small cubes, which would simply stew in their own juices. Rather than over-crowding the pan, cook the beef in 2 batches if necessary.
Remove the browned beef from the pan and add it to the casserole dish with the fried onion.
Add the ale into the frying pan that the beef was fried in, bring the ale to the boil and cook until reduced by half. This is important as otherwise you will have too much liquid.
Add the reduced beer and the Knorr Beef Stock to the beef and onions in the casserole dish.
Bring all the contents to the boil, simmer uncovered to reduce slightly, then stir in the diluted cornflour, mixing in well. Add in as much or as little cornflour as you like, as the thickness of the gravy is very much a matter of personal taste.
Cover the casserole and transfer it to the pre-heated oven. Bake for 1 hour 40 mins to 2 hours, until the beef is very tender.
Once cooked remove the beef and ale mixture from the oven, transfer it into a 24cm (1.6L capacity) pie dish and allow to cool. It’s very important that you cool the pie filling before putting on the pastry crust – otherwise the pastry will melt.
Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C fan assisted/Gas Mark 6/400˚F.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry to around a 3mm thickness.
Brush the egg wash around the top edge of the pie dish. Place the rolled out pastry over the pie dish and press it down firmly around the edge to seal the pie, forming a lid. Trim it but leave an overhang of pastry around the edge of the dish.
Brush the pie with the remaining egg wash; this gives a lovely golden brown glaze to the pie once cooked. Bake for 30 minutes in the pre-heated oven or until golden-brown.
Take the pie out of the oven and there you have it – a British classic.
Recipe courtesy of Knorr