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Member recipe

Serious Steak & Ale Pie

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(46 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 3

Traditional English pie inspired by the fells of the lake district and a long walk up Pavey Arc and Stickle Tarn in the snow.

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  • 1/2 tbls Oil- I used olive oil.
  • 1kg Braising Steak stripped of big fatty pieces and cut into chunks;
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Large Onion chopped roughly
  • 2 Large Carrots chopped into discs
  • 500ml Strong Ale- I used Badgers
  • 4 Beef Oxo cubes
  • 1 Vegetable cube
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2-3 tsp Thyme, or a small handful of fresh thyme if preferred
  • 300g Ready to roll puff pastry
  • 1 Egg, beaten lightly, to glaze
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • You may also want to use Mushrooms, Peas, Potatoes or any other desired vegetables in this pie - depending on what you are serving with!


    1. Heat the oil in the pan with the onion and garlic for 1 mintue.
    2. Add the steak - I usually cut the steak gradually into the pan. Cook until the meat is seared all over and there is no pink left. By this time there will be some juice in the pan and this should be sizzling.
    3. Pour in half the Ale and allow to simmer for a minute, then pour in the rest with the thyme, chilli powder salt and pepper.
    4. Crumble in the oxo cubes- both the beef and the vegetables. (you may want to use more or less cubes depending on how thick you like the gravy). Add in the chopped vegetables.
    5. Simmer for 10 mintues and then transfer to a large casserol pot. If the gravy doesnt cover the meat then add some water and mix in.
    6. Pop the dish into the oven at gas mark 3 or 4 and leave for at least 1 hour 30 mins.
    7. 20 minutes before you want to serve, roll out the pastry and cut appropriate size tops for your pie dishes. Take the dish out of the oven and ladel the meat into the individual dishes. Pop on the tops on the dishes and put back in the oven for 20 mins (gas 4). You could make one large pie using the casserol disk if desiered.
    8. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for a while- as the filling can be extremely hot! Enjoy!

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Comments (54)

whats4t's picture

as soon as I started to read this recipe it was obvious that the amount of stock cubes was ridiculous and can`t imagine anyone with any culinary sense even thinking to use so many!! And why a combination of beef and vegetable cubes? Doesn`t make any sense. The finished dish would be like the vastly over salted commercially produced rubbish on sale in supermarkets, garages and on cheap pub food menus. Shame on Good Food for putting it on the site..

OllyRambo's picture

As other users, I should have read the reviews, and should have had the courage of my convictions when I thought too many stock cubes. Too salty. Had to reclaim with tins of tomatoes before putting filling in pie. A shame as I have come to trust BBC good food without question after many successes.

SarahD11's picture

I cannot believe this has been allowed to be posted on to a "Good Food" website with 5 stock cubes in it. The amount of salt is many times over the the recommended amount allowed. Unbelievable!!

0182mum's picture

It's always down to personal taste with any dish wether in a restaurant or home made. I personally found this absolutely disgusting! At first listening to other reviews I only put in two beef oxo cubes. I only put two teaspoons of thyme instead of the three as I am well aware of how strong a herb it can be, after a while I tried it yuk! So I put another two beef oxo cubes in to give it some savoury flavour and then added a knorr stock pot (rich beef). This did not disguise the funny taste so I ended up spooning the 'gravy' out and washing the beef with boiling water to get rid of the taste, then made up some normal beef gravy to go with the meat. Don't know if it's the thyme or chilli but I'm sorry this is not a good tasting beef pie filling, savoury it ain't just herby bland tasting water with a hit of chilli powder. Sorry my quest for a rich tasty beef pie filling continues!

Gigi1962's picture

my first attempt at making a pie with ale in and I used a stout, it was delicious and I would recommend the recipe to anyone

suepol's picture

The men of my family absolutely wolfed this one down. I made individual pies and used Hobgoblin beer. I left out the garlic as I can't eat it but the flavour of the gravy, (I didn't use all the cubes either) was so rich. I used the leftover liquid and added flour to make a thicker gravy to pour over the mash we ate with it.
Definitely a new favourite in our house

lynchipp's picture

Love this used a mix of ox cheeks and braising steak, also used reduced salt stock cubes.

sss_mx5's picture

Really REALLY wished I had read the comments before adding all the stock cubes.... Waaaaaaay too salty, had to drain and start again! Luckily the local tesco express had real ale on its shelf - hope I've rescued it - the proof is in the eating, as they say. Otherwise a good recipe and easy to follow. Agrees with the others though, 1kg for 3 ppl?!?? I don't think so! We did diced beef 400g and will have more than enough for two servings, left overs will do a spare pie.

Sqee's picture

So my choices for this were as follows:
- Out of lack of Ale I opted for a Schwarzbier
- I floured the Sauce before adding the second 250 ml beer
- I didn't have Oxo cubes, so I went with some random amount of beef stock (by eye)
- For my herbs, I chose basil and fresh chillies plus paprika.
It tasted fantastic. Really enjoyed the recipe.

abbyrees's picture

This is a lovely tasty dish, which can also be used to make a stew (if calorie counting!!). I agree with other, it is very salty and only 1 or 2 stock cubes need. I halve the recipe and it would easy serve a family of four!!

grannymarion's picture

This was excellent, a rich tasty gravy. Used Theakstons Old Peculiar which made a rich strong gravy, plus 2 Knorr beef stockpots and 1 Knorr veg. cube.

jinxdflame's picture

Amazing recipe - I added peas and used a golden ale

tashaboo86's picture

Erm...1kg of Beef for 3 people???

abbyrees's picture

Halved the recipe with 300g of beef for 2 and there would have been more than enough for 3, so I can imagine 1kg recipe would feed at least 6.
Really nice, but like others I put in less stock cubes. Really nice dish that is easy to do and could also make a lovely casserole, if you had no pastry.

troyboy2493's picture

Mine is not a suggestion but I would like to know about freezing this pie for later use. Any suggestions.

jcg020170's picture

Hi, delicious! However, 4 Oxo cubes?!!! Over the top salty!! Luckily I tasted in time to save the dish... Had to drain and pretty much start again. Luckily we had more beer in the house ;). Resounding success for family with teenage boys. Didn't have any thyme, so cooked the beef with sticks of celery which I removed before putting on the pie crust. After ladling the meat into pie dish I reduced the stock for a while and thickened with a little cornflour. Served with rice and peas and followed with jam tarts made with left over pastry!

mmariaaah's picture

This steak and ale pie is fantastic! I have made this pie several times and it can be varied in so many ways - from what type of ale to different vegetables. Perfect for the cold and dark nights that are now upon us. Thanks again for this lovely heartwarming recipe!

foodyfoodfood's picture

Great recipe, it came out so well, amazingly tasty and the easiest thing I've made in a while, but looked like it had taken the most time! A definite staple for the winter!

gazbo83's picture

Four OXO cubes is three too many. Was far too salty.

bitsymac's picture

I have cooked his pie a few times now and it has become a family favourite, I stick to the recipe as posted, even my daughter who is vegetarian could not resist this delicious pie


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