Steak and ale pies are not a unique or a new concept. However, good ones are not easy to find. So, off to the laboratory/kitchen we went and, after several iterations, we came up with a winner of a steak and ale pot pie! This may just be the best beef pot pie out there! Just saying. We love this savory beef rendition and we especially like to make it when the weather turns a bit cooler and we crave comfort food. These Steak and Ale Pot Pies are easily baked in the air fryer oven in individual portions for a delicious personal meat pie meal!
What cut of beef is best for pot pies?
We like the top sirloin steak for its texture in this pot pie recipe. It cooks perfectly resulting in tender pieces of steak without being mushy, fatty, or gristly. You can certainly experiment here, but a lean cut of meat that doesn’t require an exceptionally long cooking time will be best. The goal is to have tender beef pieces in your finished pot pie.
What type of beer to use in Steak and Ale Pot Pies?
The beer makes a difference for sure, so choose wisely. After all, why would it be a “steak and ale pie” if the ale didn’t matter?
If you have made similar steak and beer stews or savory meat pies before and wondering why they taste so bitter, this is due to the type of beer in the dish. So there are some beers that you should avoid:
- Avoid hoppy, exceptionally bitter beers for this as the flavor will be too bitter in the end. The beer reduces quite a bit, and the flavors will intensify.
- Also avoid tasteless beers that you drank at college keg parties or ones that (not naming names here) are popular American lagers. They will add nothing in terms of flavor to the dish.
This may be obvious, but avoid fruit-infused beers.
There are still a multitude of options to choose from, but for this beefy pairing, an English-style brown ale works very well. Using an English ale as a starting point, you can find similar beers from many countries that are light on the hops but have a significant flavor. We recommend using a style similar to Newcastle Brown Ale, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, and Sam Adams Brown Ale. You can even go with a lager (I know it’s not an ale, but it works) like Shiner Bock. There are so many microbrews and local establishments that it will be easy to find one that works well.
Guinness is a popular beer to enjoy in a stew, especially in its homeland of Ireland. We wanted to go with a different flavor profile in this beef pot pie that would stand out against a Guinness stew or pie variation of it. If you are looking for a Guinness stew, check out our recipe for Guinness Beef Stew.
Although all the ingredients play a role to create a savory pie, the three key ingredients that lift the flavor over the top are the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
The tomato paste gives a deeper overall profile and is really a background player here, albeit an important one! The Worcestershire sauce and Balsamic vinegar provide more forward, rich flavor, but not so aggressive and overpowering in the dish. This trio creates a deep flavor profile that is hard to resist.
Puff Pastry Crust
We decided on a top crust of puff pastry instead of a traditional pastry shell that encases the pot pie. Being traditional was a distant second to finding something that is delicious! The puff pastry cooks perfectly, isn’t soggy, is super easy, and looks beautiful with the egg wash. Puff pastry is a great and no-fuss alternative to a flaky pie crust and can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Plus, in our opinion, the bottom of a pot pie just isn’t something we love about the dish. It’s the worst part so we just left it out!
Air Fryer Pot Pies
We have to admit that we have been very hesitant to jump on the air fryer trend. Honestly, having a kitchen appliance that only does one thing taking up counter space is really not our jam! But when Calphalon came out with the Calphalon® Performance Countertop French Door Air Fryer Toaster Oven, we knew this was a win-win appliance all around.
The Air Fryer functionality is similar to convection on a larger oven, but when you are only trying to heat a small countertop oven, everything is so much quicker! Preheating the oven takes just a few minutes, and it cooks these Steak and Ale Pot Pies beautifully!
Also, since these are individual-portioned pot pies, this whole dish is super easy to make in advance, and enjoyed throughout the week on busy nights by just popping one or two in the oven and in 20 minutes, dinner is served!
Find the Calphalon® Performance Countertop French Door Air Fryer Toaster Oven on Amazon!
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Steak and Ale Pot Pies! If you give it a try, click the heart to like this recipe, leave us a 5 star rating and a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Beer Braised Short Ribs
- Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragù
- Chili with Kidney Beans
- Cozy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
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