The Culinary PreLash – Part One

The first in a series of articles about alcoholic cookery! We start gently with a steak and ale pie…

cooking pie steak and ale student Whatsburnin

Now that exams are over, anyone staying in Exeter probably now has an abundance of two important commodities: Time and Alcohol.


These could be combined in a number of interesting ways, many of which I’m sure are very familiar, however I’ve decided to apply them to my cooking.


Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more recipes involving Malibu, Jack Daniels, Vodka and Baileys – think of it as the culinary prelash. I’ve started easy this week, with a fast (and lower fat!) version of the classic steak and ale pie

350g diced beef
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, roughly cubed
8 closed cup mushrooms, quartered
400ml good ale (I used Tanglefoot)
8 tsp gravy granules
4 medium potatoes
2 tsp butter
Splash of milk
Salt, pepper, paprika and mixed herbs

Cut the beef into bite sized chunks, and in a large saucepan fry until no longer pink. Season with pepper. Remove the meat and juices and add a little more oil and the onion to the pan.

Fry until soft over a medium heat, adding a few spoons of beef juice to help them soften up. Add the carrots and mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are browned. Add a sprinkle of paprika and about ½ tsp mixed herbs.

Return the meat and juices to the pan, stir, then add the ale. Allow to bubble for a minute or so and then add the gravy granules. TIP – to stop lumps forming, dissolve the granules in 50ml warm water before adding them.

Cover the pan and allow to bubble for about half an hour. Uncover and raise the heat for the final 10 if the gravy looks too runny. While this is happening, slice, boil and mash the potatoes, adding the milk and butter and a good sprinkle of salt.


When the gravy’s reached a good consistency, pour the stew into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and brush a little milk over the top. Grill until browned. Serve with green veg and maybe a chunk of crusty bread to mop up the juices…

Love it? Hate it? Improved it? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to check out or follow WhatsBurnin on Facebook for more cool ideas…