1¾ cups plain flour
1 tsp fine salt
150g unsalted butter, cut into 0.5cm cubes, chilled
80ml ice-cold water
Extra plain flour, for dusting
1kg diced chuck beef
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
½ bunch thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
2 tsp brown sugar
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 egg, beaten
Mushy peas, to serve
Boiled potatoes, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C. Put 1½ cups of the flour, fine salt and butter in a food processor and pulse 4 times. Add water. Pulse 4 more times or until mixture almost comes together.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press out dough into a rectangle shape.
Using a little extra flour, roll out dough to a large rectangle about 50 x 30cm.
Fold in pastry from 2 short sides to meet in middle, then fold in half to enclose seam. Repeat rolling out and folding 3 times. Wrap folded pastry in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, put beef in a medium bowl and toss with remaining flour. Heat oil
in a large saucepan over a high heat. Cook beef, in 2 batches, for 5 minutes or until well browned. Return all beef to saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes or until aromatic and tender.
Add tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in ale. Bring to a simmer. Add stock and sugar. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1½ hours or until beef is tender. Season with sea-salt flakes and pepper. Transfer to a wide 1.5L casserole dish.
Use a rolling pin to roll out pastry to 5mm thick. Brush 1 side with a little egg. Drape pastry, egg-side down, over beef mixture and dish rim. Use fingers to press pastry onto dish to seal. Use a sharp knife to trim excess pastry. Brush top with remaining egg. Use a sharp knife to cut a hole as a steam vent. Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry has risen and is golden and crispy.
Serve with mushy peas and boiled potatoes.