Steak & ale pie served in a pie dish with a slice cut out

Next level steak & ale pie

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 3 hrs plus 1 hr chilling and resting

More effort

Serves 6-8

Discover the secret ingredients that take the humble steak and ale pie to new levels. But, be warned: one slice just won't be enough

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: Per serving (8)

  • kcal939
  • fat49g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs80g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein38g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons or smoked bacon, chopped



    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

  • 1kg beef shin, cut into large chunks



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

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped



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

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp malt or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown miso paste (optional)
  • 400ml sweet brown ale
  • 600ml beef stock made from 2 stock cubes
  • few thyme sprigs, stalks and leaves separated


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

  • 2 bay leaves

For the pastry

  • 700g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 150g lard
  • 150g butter, plus extra for the dish



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

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten


  1. Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large casserole dish and gently fry the bacon for 5 mins until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pan, brown the beef well in batches for 5-8 mins, adding a drizzle more oil if you need to, then set aside. 

  2. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook on a low heat for 5 mins. Stir in the flour, then add the tomato purée, vinegar and miso, if using. Tip the beef and bacon, along with any juices, back into the pan and give it all a good stir. Pour in the ale and stock, and nestle in the thyme stalks and bay. Season generously and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 2 hrs or until the meat is really tender. Leave everything to cool slightly, then strain off about half the braising liquid into another container. Leave to cool completely. Can be made up to two days ahead and kept chilled in the fridge – the pie will be better if the filling is fridge-cold when added. Can also be frozen for up to three months.

  3. To make the pastry, mix the flour, mustard powder, lard and butter with a generous pinch of sea salt until completely combined, then gradually add up to 250ml ice-cold water to make a soft dough. This can be done in a food processor if you prefer. Knead the thyme leaves into the pastry, then cover and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hr. Can be made up to two days ahead and kept chilled, or frozen for up to a month.

  4. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and put a baking tray in the oven. Heavily butter a 26-28cm pie dish and dust well with flour. Cut off a third of the pastry and set aside. Roll out the remaining pastry to a thick round that will easily line the pie dish with an overhang, then line the tin. Tip in the beef mixture. You want the filling to be slightly higher than the rim of the dish. Brush the edges with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to a thick round, big enough to cover the pie, then lift onto the pie dish. Trim the edges, crimp together, then re-roll the trimmings and cut into decorative shapes, such as leaves. Brush the top with more yolk. Make a hole in the centre of the pie with a knife, and put it on the hot baking tray.

  5. Bake for 20 mins, remove, brush again with yolk, scatter with sea salt and bake for 20-25 mins until golden. Leave to rest for 10 mins while you heat up the extra gravy.

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Comments, questions and tips

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MissFroggy's picture
1st Dec, 2019
This was SO delicious! I must confess that I cheated with the pastry, but I followed the filling recipe exactly and it was a real winner, so next time I’d love to try making the flavoured pastry too! I wasn’t sure about adding miso and vinegar - but it made the gravy so rich and flavoursome. A proper winter treat!
Siobhan158's picture
30th Oct, 2019
Made this for the family and it really was next level! The gravy using the extra liquid from the beef mixture was lovely. Would highly recommend.
11th Sep, 2019
Used less stock, about 400ml, for a thicker gravy and substituted brown miso paste for a good spoonful of Bovril. Was absolutely cracking! Well worth making the pastry too - the thyme leaves and mustard powder flavoured it beautifully and really complimented the meat.
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