Beef & beer pie

Beef & beer pie

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 4 hrs

Moderately easy

Serves 4
A steak and ale pie is a comforting classic - this version has suet pastry and a dark rich gravy

Nutrition and extra info

  • Before baking

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1356
  • fat75g
  • saturates36g
  • carbs111g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre5g
  • protein56g
  • salt3.2g
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  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 small celery stick, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 tbsp butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 700g beef shin, featherblade or stewing steak, cut into large chunks



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cube
  • 2 sprigs thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 540ml can dark ale or beer

For the pastry

  • 500g plain flour, plus a little extra

For the pastry

  • 250g vegetarian suet

For the pastry

  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

For the pastry

  • a few pinches poppy seeds

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  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Using a flameproof casserole dish with a lid, soften onion and celery in the butter. Stir in the flour until it has disappeared, then stir in the beef and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble in stock cubes and add thyme. Pour over ale, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hrs. Remove lid and cook for another 30 mins – this should thicken the sauce nicely.

  2. Increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. For the pastry, whizz the flour, suet and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until there are no suet lumps. Keeping the motor running, dribble in 1 tbsp water at a time until the pastry starts to come together, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands.

  3. Roll out half the pastry and use to line a 20-22cm pie dish. Using a slotted spoon, spoon in all of the meat, then pour over some of the sauce until the meat is just coated. Put the rest of the sauce into a saucepan. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Trim the edge with a small, sharp knife, then crimp or fork the edges to seal. Make a small heart from cuttings. Brush top of the pie and heart with beaten egg, then dip heart into poppy seeds and stick to top. Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown and crisp. Reheat sauce and serve with the pie along with some mash and greens.

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Comments (40)

melpadge37's picture

I love this recipe, I've made it a few times now but I tweak it a little. I always double up on the celery and I add mushrooms. This time, I also added a splash of red wine. Delicious! x

fairystoryteller's picture

With a couple of tweaks this pie was amazing and I will be making it again. I used feather cut braising steak (sometimes called flat iron steak) which cooks in about 2 hours at 150c and is beautifully tender. The sinew running through the middle which looks gristly when you cut it up, melts to a soft jelly as it cooks and I really recommend this cut. I put the beef into a colander once cooked to drain out all the gravy and, because I thought it lacked 'oomph' I added a dollop of dijon mustard and a good tablespoon of redcurrant jelly. I also thickened it up with a bit of slaked cornflour. I baked the pie in an old fashioned metal enamel pie tin and this helped achieve a lovely crisp pastry on the bottom of the pie. Amazing to avoid a soggy bottom with a pie which has so much gravy in it - I was a bit smug I have to admit....

Prairie girl's picture

Your smugness is well deserved . I love your tweaks to the recipe .

fairystoryteller's picture

Thanks Prairie Girl! x

lurvlyloz's picture

i used ready made shortcrust pastry. the gravy was amazing and the whole pie was yummy. It was really quick to prepare and just left it to its own devices for the afternoon. would probably slow cook next time but i hadn't decided to make it in time yesterday.

joylock's picture

I have made this pie many times now but always use shin of beef and cook it slow, slow, slow... Always add mushrooms and use ready made shortcrust pastry for the top. If you freeze the filling it seems to give it more flavour when defrosted. It's a very good stand by.

LStevens78's picture

The pie was delicious! A real all round family pleaser - usually unheard of in our house! I didn't have quite enough vegetable suet for the recipe so improvised by making it up with 50g of butter. And I think my food processor struggled a little with the pastry so I finished it by hand in a large mixing bowl, which was much more fun for me and my six year old who was helping!

CotswoldMummy's picture

I love this recipe...don't always use thyme and have found that Snecklifter beer is great in this recipe. I don't always make it as a pie either...sometimes just a casserole and add in some sausages which always goes down well

vrog's picture

I can't work out what went wrong but this was horrible!! I often make steak pies and I agree that the filling was delicious. I haven't used suet pastry for a pie before, only for steamed puddings. It came out of the oven golden but with the fat from the suet sizzling on top. The pastry had all the delicacy of a deep fried doorstep and I could hardly cut through it. I see everyone else is full of praise, so it must have been me ;(

kieraann's picture

Made this for Sunday dinner yesterday. Added a few mushrooms at the onion/celery phase and used Newcastle Brown Ale. Took about 15 minutes longer in my oven for the pastry to brown. Served with honey roast roots and mustard mash. It was delicious! The gravy is really good!! Will definitely cook this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Joannalbutler's picture

Made this for Sunday dinner and it was delicious. Used lean stewing steak and old peculiar, like some of the others. I also cooked the meat for longer too, to make it nice and tender. Will definitely make this again. Yum.

twobit's picture

Beautiful, used puff pastry as some the others and thought it was absolutly lovely.
Also used old peculiar to go with time i might slow cook the beef for even more tender

georgidsimpson's picture

Amazing pie, made it with Theakstons Old Peculiar ale which really added flavour to the pie. Also used ready made pastry which worked a treat! YUM! Def cooking this again!'s picture

Great pie. Thank you.'s picture

Amazing pie. Really delicious.  

charlottefjordan's picture

This pie is amazing! I currently live in Kenya and have wanted to have a go at it for ages; I got hold of some excellent beef and ale is difficult to find so used a bottle of local larger (Tusker) which worked a treat. Made it for dinner guests who all loved it. Didn't make the heart for the top, but wrote 'xmas' with left over pastry instead; a perfect warm up to the festive season!

richpettz's picture

Love this recipe, ahev made it many times now and it always goes down well. Only change I made is to slow cook the filling over night before serving for lunch the following day. Makes the filling even more delicious! I make it with Theakstons Old Peculiar.

kazlouandandy's picture

This was lovely, very easy to make. Used readymade shortcrust pastry, really tasty.

cazzydance's picture

I have made this countless times and my husband and any other lucky guests absolutely love it!! The one I do though- to balance out the bitterness of the beer is to add some sugar. It makes it a lot more palatable if you find it too strong. Cranberry sauce would also be a great addition if you wanted to balance it out!

bassymum's picture

This was superb! I used Marston pedigree pale ale, (on offer at corner shop), I thought that this complimented the beef perfectly, not bitter. Also a bottle to drink with the meal!
I cheated and used ready made light puff pastry.
Will make again soon, need to review my choice in stock cubes though as 2 gave a nice beefy taste but too much salt for my palate, low salt stock cubes next time.
Great success with mash, beans & carrots. Strawberry cheesecake for pud!


Questions (1)'s picture

Hello, is there a reason for using vegetarian suet as opposed to standard suet?

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