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Make the beef stew the day before, or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost before assembling the pie. Make the pastry the day before and chill.
Put the steak in a bowl, sprinkle over the flour, season, and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, deep casserole and fry the steak in batches, adding more oil, if needed, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with the remaining steak.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the shallots for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Drain off any excess oil and pour in the stout, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to pick up any caramelised bits. Add the balsamic vinegar, herbs and beef to the pan. Pour in the stock, season, and bring to a simmer.
Simmer with the lid on for 2-2½ hours until the meat is very tender, or cook it in the oven at 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Top up with a little water during cooking, if needed. Leave to cool; remove the herbs.
Put all the pastry ingredients and a pinch of salt in a food processor, and pulse until they look like breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water and pulse until it forms a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
Heat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Stir the cheese into the beef and transfer to a 1.5 litre pie dish with a lip. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Brush the rim of the dish with a little beaten egg, put the pastry lid on top, and crimp the edges. Make a steam hole, and brush with beaten egg. Use the offcuts to decorate the top, if you like.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.