Raise the roof! BrewCult have brought back their first GABS beer from 2013; a beer that completely stumped me in how much I enjoyed it. It’s a Balsamic Baltic Porter and goes by the name Acid Freaks. Balsamic, yep, that’s not a typo, it’s a beer with vinegar in it.
Even if you’re not a huge balsamic vinegar fan, I recommend giving this one a burl. I did and am now a convert to this oddity of a concoction and to the wondrous world of balsamic. And, after having Acids Freaks again on tap during the recent Brewsvegas festival in Brisbane, inspiration hit.
In my former blogging life with drunkenspeculation.com I made a meat pie with BrewCult’s Pepper Steak Porter: time for a Pie Off!! So without further ado, introducing my latest creation… a Balsamic Baltic Porter Steak & Onion Pie. I’ll post the alternate option of Pepper Steak Porter soon and you can decide. My vote is for this one though (just quietly) – rich, hearty, with a sweet and subtle balsamic twang. But don’t take my word for it, take my boyfriend’s: after having it for dinner he proceeded to eat it for breakfast and lunch the next day until I rescued the remains for my dinner that evening. It was pretty bloody good!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 750g lean diced steak*
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 beef stock cube
- Salt and pepper to season
- 3/4 cup Brewcult Acid Freaks Balsamic Baltic Porter
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon castor sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
- 1/4 cup water, extra
For the base:
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 30g beef dripping
For the pie top:
- 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
What to do:
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat, add half the beef and brown on all sides. Add to the slow cooker and then repeat with remaining beef.
- Heat remaining oil over medium heat and add onion, fry for 1 minute or until slightly softened. Crumble over stock cube and season with a good amount of black pepper and a teeny bit of salt (already plenty in the stock cube and soy sauce). Add the porter, water, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by about half.
- Pour porter mixture over beef and slow cook on high setting for 5 hours. Add more water as necessary if the mixture becomes too dry during cooking.
- Combine cornflour with the extra water. Turn off the slow cooker and stir through the cornflour mixture. Continue stirring until it thickens. Set aside to cool and start on the pie base.
- Sift flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Place water and dripping in a saucepan and heat over low heat until dripping has melted. Pour into dry ingredients and stir with a flat-bladed knife until combined.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough lightly until smooth. Roll out pastry to line a 20cm pie plate.** Place into greased pie plate.
- Fill with the cooled meat filling and finish with the pie top.
For the pie top:
- Combine egg yolk and water and brush the edges of the pie base. Cover pie with a square of puff pastry (it may take more than one***) and cut off edges so you have a nicely rounded pie.
- Using a fork, squish down the edges so your pie doesn’t blow its top. Brush top with the egg mixture and using a knife make a couple of slits in the top to allow any surplus hot air to escape.
- Bake in a hot oven (200 degrees C) for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top, then reduce heat to moderate (180 degrees C) and cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Serve as desired. If reheating, place in a slow oven (about 150 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes – that way the pastry will be nice and crispy.
*I bought a hunk of roast beef and cut into 1.5cm x 1.5cm-ish chunks.
** I only had a 24cm pie plate. (Hence my pie looks a bit empty in the photos.)
*** Especially if you have a 24cm pie plate too.