Prepare the meat by cutting it into small pieces, removing all the fat. Season with salt and cracked pepper (rub this in well).
Heat a large frying pan with some oil and add the chopped onion. Cook for one minute until the onion has softened. Add the diced beef, the meat is ready when seared on all side and no pink can be seen.
Pour in half the bottle of ale, simmer for 1 minute.
Add the caraway seed, cracked pepper, thyme, whole peppercorns and mustard powder, simmer for one minute.
Add a good dollop of Bovril, I find this less salty than stock cubes, add to taste.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn on the slow cooker and add the cold water and plain flour, this again is to your own liking, if you want a thicker gravy add more, mix well and add the rest of the ale. Add the browned beef to the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 hours.
Once cooked, spoon the beef and gravy into a pie dish; cover the dish with pastry and trim. Crimp the edges of the pastry and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes at 200°C or until the pastry is golden.
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