Beef & beer pie

Beef & beer pie

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(48 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 4 hrs

More effort

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

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



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 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


  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, questions and tips

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21st Jun, 2020
Can’t rate this high enough! Fantastic recipe thanks, so much easier than pies I’ve made in the past and turned out a lot better! I have to confess to using a Jane Asher packet mix shortcrust pastry but with just an addition of mushrooms I followed the rest of the recipe. Our beef was just the cheep Tesco’s one but it was perfect in this recipe. I only made a pastry lidd as the family aren’t big fans of too much pastry bottom and found the gravy thickened up so nicely that I just left it in the pie rather than drained it off to make a gravy. Served with chips and peas for a pre Father’s Day treat and it went down a storm, will definitely repeat. I’ve hated making pies in the past but this has been great. Would highly recommend, thanks!
Felicity Hayes's picture
Felicity Hayes
21st Mar, 2019
I came back to the oven 2 hours later and all the liquid had gone and the meal was burnt. Really not impressed with this one.
Elliepooch's picture
20th Mar, 2018
Amazing! serve with Cheesy mustard mash, rich, indulgent, Yummy! Used ready made puff pastry for a light crunchy lid on top of individual pie dishes, no bottom pastry as needed to leave room for cheesy mash!
21st Mar, 2017
Love this recipie, I've made it multiple times and it's always great. Has gone down really well with guests. Can easily cheat and use readymade pastry if you're in a rush.
13th Apr, 2016
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
25th Feb, 2016
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....
Mrs MM
10th Apr, 2016
Your smugness is well deserved . I love your tweaks to the recipe .
4th May, 2016
Thanks Prairie Girl! x
22nd Feb, 2016
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.
2nd Oct, 2015
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.


6th Aug, 2017
Hi there, I want to make this using ready made pastry. How much should I use please? Will one block be enough for a base and top? What size pie dish? Many thanks.
30th May, 2015
Hello, is there a reason for using vegetarian suet as opposed to standard suet?
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