The Red Lion Inn & Rambling in Betchworth, Steak and Guiness Pie followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding

by hillaryshort

The Red Lion Inn and Toby the dog enjoying a pint

It is a difficult time for me. I am watching my Father die and he now needs feeding. My strength comes from my family, rambling (British equivalent of hiking) and foods that are reminiscent of my happy, family childhood.
Yesterday we took a break from the lunch time feed and went to visit an old childhood friend who now owns a wonderful 18th century Inn. It is located in the picturesque village of Betchworth in Surrey. The Red Lion is a family affair because Paul, his wife Cindy and their two youngest children share all the responsibilities with special warmth and attention. Whenever I visit the Inn, I know that I am guaranteed a wonderful home-made meal cooked by their talented chef. Yesterday was no exception – steak and guiness pie, served with new potatoes, vegetables and a delicious gravy. The pastry melts in your mouth and I love the fact that the beef has been braised and shredded. With barely any room left in my stomach, I manage to devour my favorite desert – sticky toffee pudding with hot custard. The Red Lion makes the best one I have tasted in England.

Rambling in Betchworth

Another reason why I go to Betchworth and visit the Red Lion Inn is the famous rambling that the area provides. From the pub there is a 4 hour ramble that is worth a visit. However, please respect the Inn and don’t park in their parking lot. There is plenty of space on the road. Unless you plan to enjoy a hearty meal after your long hike. The photo above was taken on one of my rambles, taken on New Year’s Day 2009.

Beef Pie and a pint of Guinness stolen from the website

Gordon Ramsay’s Beef and Guiness Pie Recipe:

Serves 4

The filling for this pie is cooked long and slow, tenderising the beef and allowing the flavour of the Guinness to permeate it. You could prepare the filling a day in advance. For this pie I use a traditional shortcrust pastry, but you could use a puff pastry as an alternative.

750g lean braising steak, eg, skirt of beef
4 tbsp plain flour
Freshly ground salt and pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato purée
500ml Guinness
350g shallots, peeled
Few sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
500g shortcrust pastry
1 free-range egg yolk mixed with
1 tbsp water

1 Dice the beef into 2.5cm cubes. Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Roll the beef in the flour to coat.
2 Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the beef until golden brown in colour. Add the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Then pour in the Guinness and add the shallot, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
4 Transfer the meat to a 20cm pie dish 5-7cm deep.
5 Roll out the pastry and cover the pie. Scrunch the pastry to the edge of the dish and trim around the edge, leaving 1-2cm overhanging. Brush the top with the egg.
6 Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve immediately

Jamie Oliver's Sticky Toffee Pudding

Jamie Oliver’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe:

Serves 8

• 225g fresh dates, stoned
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 85g unsalted softened butter
• 170g caster sugar
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 170g self-raising flour
• ¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons Ovaltine
• 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

for the toffee sauce
• 115g unsalted butter
• 115g light muscovado sugar
• 140ml double cream

“dessert recipes | serves 8
You are going to love this pudding – it has a rich, fantastic flavour and the sauce is amazing. Fresh Medjool dates are best to use, but dried ones work well too.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with 200ml/7fl oz of boiling water. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes to soften, then drain. Whiz the dates in a food processor until you have a purée. Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar until pale using a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Ovaltine. Mix together well, then fold in the yoghurt and your puréed dates. Pour into a buttered, ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

While the pudding is cooking, make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. To serve, spoon out the pudding at the table and pour over the toffee sauce”.

The Red Lion's garden in the summer