Beef & beer pie

Beef & beer pie

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(40 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 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 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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9th Oct, 2013
This was lovely, very easy to make. Used readymade shortcrust pastry, really tasty.
22nd Sep, 2013
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!
21st Sep, 2013
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!
25th May, 2013
I found this a bit too overpowering with the ale- I used Hobgoblin. I added about 100ml extra of hot water and some chicken stock to lighten it which worked. I didn't bother with the pastry but just whacked on some puff pastry instead. Was a roaring success all round.
6th Feb, 2013
This recipe is quite bitter with the dark ale. The recipe for the beef and veg casserole is a much better recipe for a pie. It's a very similar recipe only with no ale and the gravy is gorgeous.
sue40beck's picture
5th Feb, 2013
Used the filling for pasties added a few chopped carrots and drained the sauce to use as a gravy. Very tasty.
6th Jan, 2013
Yummy, scrummy and delicious. Used light ale and puff pastry but everyone loved this pie. Try the blueberry cheesecake for pud - also delicious!
bella0307's picture
2nd Jan, 2013
This was my first time making a steak pie and I chose this recipe over the others listed on my search, because of its relative simplicity. I made it yesterday and it was absolutely delicious - rich and flavourful, and amazingly straightforward even though of course you do have to allow several hours of overall cooking/prep time. I used a middling-brown ale, not bitter but with a robust aroma, and I toyed with the idea of using a sheet of frozen puff pastry that I had on hand, but in the end decided to have a go at suet pastry, using some shredded suet that I'd got in to make a clootie dumpling ( but hadn't done:) The pastry was tender and golden, the filling glossy and melt-in-the-mouth, and my husband really enjoyed the extra sauce which he could help himself to...truly this pie was a hit with us all. I loved the heart detail, too, it made it a bit special and I was so proud when I presented it to the family! This recipe will now be among my favourites.
26th Nov, 2012
This was so easy to follow and it was fantastic! The slow simmer brought out they best in the meat and it was so tender it just melted in your mouth. My husband who is a Brit thought it was "Lovely" which is a compliment in itself! Thank you!! :)
19th Nov, 2012
Roy, we cooked this for a dinner party, and made a smaller gluten free version for a wheat intolerant friend. We managed to find gluten free beer (made by Green's, I think) in Sainsbury's. Instead of the Worcestershire sauce, we used red wine vinegar and celery salt, and it still tasted delicious!


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