- Preheat the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C. Put the beef in a mixing bowl with the flour and some salt and toss to coat. Transfer to a lidded, flameproof casserole dish and add the onion, celery, thyme, tomato purée, sugar, ale and the stock. Season, bring to a simmer on the hob, then put the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hrs, adding the mushrooms for the final hour, or until the beef is completely tender.
- Once the meat is properly cooked, remove the casserole from the oven, and put back on the hob. Add the mustard and bring to a simmer and cook, lid off, for 10-15 mins until the sauce is reduced to your preferred consistency (if you’re serving with mash, we recommend keeping it quite saucy). Transfer to a rectangular pie dish, roughly 30cm x 20cm, and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Once cool, preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Unroll the pastry and cut out a rectangle slightly larger than the pie dish. Wet the edges of the pie dish with water, then drape the pastry over the top and press down to secure them. Cut 2 strips from the offcuts. Brush the pastry on the pie all over with beaten egg, then arrange the strips to form a cross and brush everything again with egg.
- Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins, covering the pastry loosely with kitchen foil if it’s getting too dark, until the filling is bubbling up over the sides. Remove from the oven, leave to stand for 5 mins, then serve.
Tip: To make this alcohol free, just replace the ale with a further beef stock cube made up to 500ml.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
Make ahead: Make the beef casserole, then cool and freeze for up to 1 month, or assemble the pie without baking, cover in clingfilm and kitchen foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. Cook straight from frozen, adding an extra 15-20 mins onto the cooking time and covering the pastry with tin foil once golden. You can also assemble the pie 24 hours in advance, cover in clingfilm and chill until ready to bake.
See more Beef recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.