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Traditional British Meat and Potato Pie

Meat and potato pie is a British institution, my version remains pretty traditional and uses beef shin and two types of potato.

It’s an old-fashioned plate pie this homely treat is wrapped in homemade shortcrust pastry top and bottom and it is delicious!

Traditional meat and potato pie served with garden peas.

Traditional Meat and Tater Pie Recipe

Food memories really do evoke strong feelings in me and I am constantly cooking and revisiting the food of my childhood.

This recipe is just that, I would have eaten this everywhere from home to the school canteen and from the local chip shop through to St Andrews Football Ground!

It is the old-fashioned food that has fallen out of favour. That is likely due to time, this recipe is not quick, but it is certainly not difficult.

I find that is the same pattern for many old recipes, they use very simple techniques, very cheap ingredients but do require time.

It is a pattern that you see in everything from a classic cottage pie, steak and stilton pie, cheese and onion pasty or Scotch pie to my favourite faggots and peas!

I guess that is because, relatively speaking, we have become very much cash-rich and time-poor.

Close up of a meat and potato plate pie showing the filling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of meat should I use?

The pretty non-descript name for this recipe underlines its roots. It would have contained whatever was available and cheap at the time. 

In many cases it would have been off-cuts of meat that would have been for a Sunday roast and sometimes even leftovers.

I often use beef shin, it is my favourite cheaper cut of beef at the moment, but you can use any stewing beef!

Can I use shortcrust pastry?

Yes, you could.

I’m a self-confessed pastry dodger, I really dislike making pastry! But for some recipes I make an exception, this is one of them.

In all fairness with the help of a food processor, it is super easy. You can use store-bought pastry as I do with my corned beef and potato pie.

The pastry is a shortcrust pastry, it is the same pastry used in a traditional Cornish Pasty and chicken and bacon pie, to my cheese and onion pie.

Do I have to use two types of potato?

No, but I do because they serve two purposes.

I use a floury potato to thicken the gravy, they are cut small and should break down. Then I add some larger cut waxy potatoes and these provide the bulk.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, let’s face it butchers shops, pie shops, pubs and footie grounds all have pre-made pies ready to rock and roll.

Make up the pie, and encase it in the pastry, freeze it on baked or bake and refrigerate.

To cook from frozen cook for 10-15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F then reduce the heat to 180°C or 350°F for 50-60 minutes.

If it’s “fresh” go for 180°C or 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Overhead traditional British plate pie with shortcrust pastry.

Serving Suggestions

This meat and potato pie is a superb hearty affair and all you need to add is some veggies on the side.

Here I’ve kept it super simple with some green peas, although at the footie I would always ask for mushy peas.

Buttered cabbage, garlic green beans and roasted tenderstem broccoli also make great side dishes.

These glazed Chantenay carrots also make a great side for this pie, as does this swede and carrot mash.

Don’t forget to reheat any leftover gravy!

A slice of traditional meat and potato plate pie served with peas.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • 22-25cm or 9-10″ pie plate. I got mine from Ikea if that helps!
  • Stirring and serving spoons or kitchen tongs.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Vegetable peeler.
  • Food processor.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
A slice of traditional meat and potato plate pie served with peas.
Yield: 4 Servings

Meat and Potato Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

When it comes to comfort food it is hard to beat a pie, this classic British Meat and Potato Pie takes a while but it is a glorious simple slice of old fashioned cooking.


  • 350g (12oz) Stewing Beef
  • 150g (1 Cup) Onion
  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Carrot
  • 25g (1 Small Stick) Celery
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Floury Potatoes
  • 150g (1 Cup) Waxy Potatoes

For the Pastry

  • 300g (2⅓ Cups) Flour
  • 75g (5 Tbsp) Lard
  • 75g (5 Tbsp) Butter
  • 3-5 Tbsp Water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg


  1. Cut the beef into a 2cm (¾") dice.
  2. Add the oil to a 20cm or 8" saucepan over a medium high heat.
  3. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper then fry in two batches to get a nice colour, then set aside.
  4. Peel and slice the onion into half-moon shapes around 5-6mm or (¼") thick.
  5. Cut the carrot into 1cm (½") thick rounds.
  6. Finely dice the celery.
  7. Return the pan to the heat but reduce to medium.
  8. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until the onions soften, this will take around 10 minutes or so.
  9. As the vegetables cook they will release liquid, use this to scrape the bottom of the pan and remove any crispy bits.
  10. Return the beef and any resting juices to the pan, add the Worcestershire sauce and reduce by half.
  11. Pour in just enough water to cover the beef and add the bay leaf, reduce the heat to low, add a lid and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.
  12. Peel and cut the floury potato into a 1cm (½") dice and cut the waxy potatoes into a 2cm (¾") dice, do not peel the waxy potatoes.
  13. Remove the lid and add these potatoes to the pan.
  14. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for another 30-35 minutes until the floury potatoes begin to break down and the waxy potatoes are cooked.
  15. Remove this stew from the heat and allow it to cool completely!
  16. Whilst the pie filling is cooling add the flour, lard, butter and salt to a food processor and pulse to create breadcrumbs. *See Note*
  17. Transfer the flour and fat mix to a mixing bowl and add the water a little at a time whilst mixing with the back of a knife.
  18. You want to just bring the pastry together and not knead it, then wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge whilst the filling cools.
  19. When you are ready cut the pastry in half and roll out the first half to 2-3mm (⅛") thick.
  20. Dust a 22-25cm (9-10") pie plate with flour and line it with the first piece of pastry.
  21. Spoon the cooled pie filling into the pastry. Remember to keep and left over gravy!
  22. Roll out the second piece of pastry, this time a little thicker.
  23. Brush the edges of the bottom layer of pastry with beaten egg and add the top sheet of pastry. Then work around the edges of the pie with a fork to seal it.
  24. Brush the pie with more beaten egg and add some decoration if you want. Then place it in the oven and cook at 200°C or 400°F for 30-35 minutes.
  25. Allow the pie to sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


You can make the breadcrumbs by hand but work quickly because you do not want the fats to melt.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 769Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 16th of June 2024

Absolutely beautiful tasting it.thank you for the recipe.

Brian Jones

Sunday 23rd of June 2024

Glad you enjoyed this Keith, thanks for taking the time to write to me and let me know.

Brian :)


Thursday 1st of October 2020

Trying this today! Thanks for the recipe!

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of October 2020


Anthony Hartill

Monday 28th of September 2020

Can you look at stage 13 and clarify. I am assuming the 1" dice is for the floury potatoes to thicken the gravy, you have used waxy twice .... may need a bit of editing.

Nice recipe though

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Thanks for the heads up Anthony, you are completely correct, I have corrected my error.


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