“I generally have a meat pie on Sunday; it is baked at a public oven, which is very properly allowed, because one man can attend it; and thus the advantage is obtained of not keeping servants from church to dress dinners.”
Samuel Johnson, quoted in The Life of Samuel Johnson, Volume One by James Boswell
There’s something about the combination of pastry and meat that delights the senses and comforts the afflicted. We Brits discovered this truth early on and made all manner of meat pastries a culinary staple—see sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, pork pies, etc. The jewel in the crown, however, has to be steak and mushroom pie. Found on every pub menu (yes, even gastropubs), it warms the heart as much as the stomach.
As with other British delicacies, this pie can be made with leftover beef, if such a thing exists, or elevated with the use of a fancier cut. The addition of mushrooms and stout or ale (optional) enhances the rich and savory flavor of the dish. It may be made with puff pastry or regular pie crust (what we call shortcrust pastry). Served with chips (French fries) or mash, and boosted by a dash of brown sauce, it is a kid-friendly crowd pleaser.