Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2021

Steak Bake

Becky Excell‘s first cookbook: ‘How to Make Anything Gluten Free’, has over 100 recipes for everything from home comforts to Fakeaways, cakes to dessert, brunch to bread.

The second recipe we are showcasing from her new book is the Steak Bake. “When I asked you guys what you’d eat if you could suddenly eat gluten again for one day, so many of you said the same thing: steak bake! With golden, puffy layers of buttery pastry, packed with tender, juicy beef, I can definitely understand why. So this one is for all you guys who miss this!”

How to make anything gluten free

How to Make Anything Gluten Free by Becky Excell
(Quadrille, £20)
Photography © Hannah Rose Hughes



Steak Bake

With golden, puffy layers of buttery pastry, packed with tender, juicy beef, this is a fantastic recipe that everyone is going to love

Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine british
Keyword beef, pasty, puff pastry, steak, steak bake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Becky Excell


For the pastry - makes 600g / 1lb 7oz

  • 295 g gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • a pinch salt
  • 225 g very cold butter cut into 1cm / ½in cubes
  • 1 egg white
  • ice cold water

For the filling

  • 250 g beef sirloin (short loin) steak
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 200 ml gluten-free beef stock
  • ¼ tsp gravy browning sauce
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


For the pastry

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together your flour, xanthan gum and salt.

  2. Make sure your butter is really cold; if not, put it into the fridge or freezer until nicely chilled.

  3. Add your butter to the bowl and stir it into the flour. Gently squeeze the butter with your fingertips, to break the cubes down a little – make sure your hands are cool as we want to avoid the butter getting warm! Definitely don’t try and rub them into the flour as we want to see chunks of butter in the mix at all times.

  4. Add your egg white to a jug (pitcher) and add ice-cold water to the jug until the mixture reaches 130ml / 4½fl oz in total. Mix briefly to combine. 

  5. Gradually add threequarters of the wet mixture to your mixing bowl, tossing the mixture with your hands, or using a knife to cut it in, between pouring. This will allow the mix to hydrate, but don’t try to form a dough at this point.

  6. Once you’ve added three-quarters of the wet mixture, start to add it in even smaller quantities, still tossing in between. If your dough doesn’t start to come together after adding all of it, you might need to add up to an extra 15ml / 1 tablespoon water.

  7. Once a dough starts to form, only then begin bringing it together with your hands – you don’t want it to be too dry or sticky, just somewhere in between.

  8. Using your hands, form a rectangle with the dough and wrap in clingfilm. It should have visible streaks of butter in it. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

  9. Remove your dough from the fridge and remove the clingfilm. Roll it out on a lightly floured, large piece of non-stick baking parchment until just over 1cm / ½in thick. Fold over the bottom of the dough so it meets the centre, then fold the top of the rolled-out dough over that, like a letter in an envelope. Try your best to get the layers fairly evenly folded, but at this stage, it doesn’t matter if it looks messy.

  10. As we need to keep the dough as cold as possible, cover and return to the fridge for about 15 minutes.

  11. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling 3 more times, turning the pastry 90 degrees each time you roll. On its last trip to the fridge, chill it for no less than 30 minutes before using.

  12. You can freeze this pastry for up to 2 months; defrost fully before using.

  13. T I P S: Chill! Using cold water, cold butter and chilling the dough makes your gluten-free pastry stronger and more workable. Making any type of pastry on an incredibly hot day isn’t advisable, as the warmer your dough is, the more fragile it will become. Remember that when using rough puff pastry, you cannot simply just reroll it (or any offcuts) into a ball. You’ll destroy the layers you’ve spent time creating! If you do have any offcuts, you can always bake them and roll them in cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.

For the filling

  1. Using a sharp knife, chop your sirloin steak into small chunks that are around 2 x 1cm / ¾ x ½in.

  2. Add the vegetable oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat. Add your chopped beef and fry until lightly browned on all sides. Stir in your flour until all the beef is evenly coated. 

  3. Pour in your stock, gravy browning sauce and black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer until the mixture reduces to form a nice, thick gravy. Turn off the heat and allow to cool briefly.

  4. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan / 220°C / 425°F and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.

  5. Place the pastry on a large sheet of non-stick baking parchment. Cut it in half, rewrap one portion in clingfilm and place in the fridge while you roll out the first pastry portion into a large rectangle, around 20 x 30cm / 8 x 12in, and 2mm / 1/16in thick.

  6. Cut the rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, each 15 x 10cm / 6 x 4in (you need 2 rectangles per steak bake). Brush the edges of one of the rectangles with a little beaten egg.

  7. Spoon a good tablespoon of steak filling into the centre of two of your rectangles, then place your remaining rectangles of pastry on top, pressing down around all the edges. Use a fork to seal the edges.

  8. Score 4–6 lines diagonally across the top of each bake with a sharp knife and then brush the top with beaten egg. Transfer your steak bakes to your lined baking tray.

  9. Repeat, using the rest of your pastry and filling. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven and enjoy served warm.

  10. T I P S: Remember that when using rough puff pastry, you cannot simply just reroll it (or any off-cuts) into a ball. You’ll destroy the layers you’ve spent time creating! If you do have any off-cuts, you can always bake them and roll them in cinnamon sugar for a sweet, buttery treat. If you don’t have time to make your own pastry, use store-bought gluten-free pastry instead.



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