This hearty steak and ale soup recipe is comfort food in a bowl. Topped with golden brown caramelized mushrooms and puff pastry croutons.
The steak and ale flavor originated as a meat pie in Britain, but variations of it exist all around the world. Normally, it is made of steak in an ale gravy that is all wrapped up in a rough puff pastry pie dough.
What Kind of Ale?
Similar to regional cuisines of North America, the type of ale for steak and ale soup recipe varies. The most commonly used ales are amber, brown, or Guinness because they have deeper flavor.
Use whatever your favorite ale is for this recipe, but I would avoid bright and hoppy beers like IPA’s, hefeweizen, or lagers.
How To Brown The Mushrooms
The best way to enjoy this steak and ale soup is with the mushroom browned and added in right before serving.
You can do this by cooking the mushrooms in the pot over medium heat at the beginning. Or you can cook them right before serving.
The reason for waiting until the last moment to add them is so that cooked mushrooms don’t become bloated with the soup broth. This tends to remove the golden brown caramelization that you worked so hard for. So instead, the mushrooms become more of a garnish.
If you cook them at the beginning, which is my recommendation, it leaves behind fond. This is the little bit of leftover food that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Then, while cooking the steak it gets lifted up and becomes part of the gravy.
This is a great way to add the flavor of the mushrooms to the steak and ale soup, while waiting to add them in at the end.
Top Recipe Tips
- Choose a good quality steak for this recipe. I recommend ribeye, but for a more economical cut use top round or even stew beef. They both have good meaty flavor without costing too much.
- Take your time searing the meat and get a nice beautiful brown crust to each piece. This helps develop a stronger flavor.
- To make this steak and ale soup gluten free, substitute the all purpose flour for tapioca flour.
Steak and Ale Soup Recipe
This steak and ale soup uses rustic vegetable cuts to keep with being a pub food. You don’t have to be precise with them, but make sure that they aren’t so large that they don’t cook in time. Try not to have any larger than 1-inch pieces.
Make grocery shopping simpler with this printable grocery list for this steak and ale soup recipe recipe. It lists everything in standard grocery store amounts. If no size is specified, even the smallest package provides more than enough.
Steak and Ale Soup With Mushrooms
- 4 Tablespoons butter, split in half
- 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 pounds steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
- 6 celery stalks, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leavs
- 3 thyme stems
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, optional
- 1 bottle ale of your choice
- 1 quart beef broth
- 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, split in half
- salt and pepper, to taste
- puff pastry croutons
- In the bottom of a heavy duty pot, melt the butter. Add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until golden brown and caramelized. Remove and set aside.
- Add two more tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt. Toss the pieces of steak in the flour, then add them to the pot. Save the rest of the flour for later. Brown the steak pieces until a nice, deep golden brown crust has formed. Add more butter to the pan as needed.
- Stir in the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook until the onions have sweat. About 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the rest of the flour until even distributed.
- Pour in the ale, beef stock and half the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Strain out the bay leaves and thyme stems and add the second half of the balsamic vinegar and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and serve with puff pastry croutons.