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A Very British Beef and Ale Pie

My beef and ale pie is an autumn-winter stalwart in our house, it is hearty and simple food. Served in individual portions with a store-bought puff pastry lid mean that this recipe can be a mid-week dinner with a bit of planning.

Portrait image of a beef and ale pie served pot pie style in a red pot with a fork removing steaming pie filling

Beefy and Boozy Pie, Perfect Comfort Food.

I have no idea why but most of the time this recipe calls for steak and becomes a steak and ale pie. For me, this type of dish is calling for something like shin of beef or shoulder.

Something cheap and a cut of beef that just loves being cooked slowly with plenty of flavour.

Essentially this is a beef stew with a pastry lid. I am well aware that there is a vocal minority online that claim that unless it is pastry all round then it aint a pie.

Those people are wrong!

As for beer choose something that you like to drink. I personally usually use a stout in this recipe but experiment and play around!

The beer you use will have a profound impact on the taste of the recipe.

Portrait image of a beef and ale pie served pot pie style in a red pot

Can I Use Store-Bought Puff Pastry?

Absolutely, in fact I would encourage you to make this pie with store-bought puff pastry! 

I made puff pastry for my pork pie with apple and cider not so long back. It is a labour of love and to be honest not as good as good store-bought pastry.

There are some recipes that just come together better in an industrial facility and I think puff pastry is one of them.

Now not all pastry is better from the store, in fact, using anything other than a homemade pastry for a sausage roll or a traditional Cornish pasty should be punishable in the worse way possible.

But for puff pastry, go right ahead!

I also prefer a tall pie dish for this recipe but it would work out just as well as a plate pie.

Portrait over head image of two beef and ale pies served pot pie style with glazed carrots and broccoli

Can this be Prepared in Advance?

Most definitely, in fact, any slow cooked beef dish will likely taste better and improve on day 2.

So feel free to cook up the filling a day or two in advance and then simply pop on a lid and bake it in the oven!

If you wanted to you could cook the filling for this beef and ale pie in a slow cooker or even an electric pressure cooker.

Use the ingredients I have mentioned and follow my instructions as to what to saute.

  • Cook in an Instant Pot for around 40 minutes with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
  • Cook in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

If using either of these methods then you will want to thicken your sauce.

I prefer to mix an equal quantity of butter and flour and stir it through. But you could also use cornflour or arrowroot mixed with water to gain your desired sauce.

Landscape image of a beef and ale pie served pot pie style in a red pot
Winter Warming Beef and Ale Pie
Yield: 2 Servings

Winter Warming Beef and Ale Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cooling TIme: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours

This beefy and boozy pie definitely falls into the territory of being a pot pie. It is a glorious slow cooked beef stew under a puff pastry lid and it is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 100 g Onion
  • 300 g Diced Shin of Beef
  • 2 Tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 150 ml Stout
  • 150 ml Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 20 g Butter
  • 125 g Button Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Plain Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • Ready Made Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg Beaten

Instructions

  1. Cut the onion into a medium dice and cut the beef into 1.5-2cm cubes.
  2. Cut the button mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low-medium heat and add half of the oil.
  4. Fry off the onions until a dark gold colour which should take 10-15 mins and then transfer to a medium pan.
  5. Place the flour, salt, pepper and dried thyme in a bag along with the beef and toss it around to coat.
  6. Batch fry off the beef in the frying pan with the remaining oil until nicely seared.
  7. Transfer to the same pot as the onions.
  8. Deglaze the frying pan with the Worcestershire sauce and then pour in the stout, beef stock and then bring to the boil.
  9. Pour this over the beef and onion mix, stir in the grainy mustard, add the bay leaf.
  10. Simmer over a low heat for 90 mins.
  11. Melt the butter in a frying pan
  12. Cut the mushrooms into pieces about the same size as the beef.
  13. Saute the mushrooms for 5 mins and add to the beef and then continue too cook for a further 30 mins.
  14. Allow to cool, you can do this as far in advance as you wish, you can even freeze it.
  15. Fill the pie dishes to the top.
  16. Roll out the pastry.
  17. Mix together the flour and water and brush on to the edges of the pots.
  18. Take a thin strip of puff pastry and stick it around the edges.
  19. Now take a larger piece of the puff pastry and cover the top pie dish trimming away the excess pastry, repeat with any remaining pots.
  20. Brush with beaten egg before placing in the oven and baking for 30 mins.

Notes

My pie pots are 10cm in diameter and 5cm deep, I like to serve with honey and butter glazed carrots and roasted broccoli.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 909Total Fat: 60gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 245mgSodium: 700mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 48g

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!

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Corina Blum

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

The filling in this pie sounds amazing! I would definitely gobble it up even though it's not really winter any more.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 25th of April 2018

There is always room for a pie :D

Jacqueline Debono

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

My mouth is watering just reading this recipe! I love slow cooked beef and I love pies! Def on my to-do list (you have a couple of typos in your recipe instructions!)

Brian Jones

Wednesday 25th of April 2018

Thank you.

Lucy - (Recipes @ Globe Scoffers)

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

Delicious! A perfect pie for a perfect winters night.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

Thanks Lucy, totally agree.

Swayam

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

This is such a comfort meal. Perfect for the weather. I have never made pot pies but I think now I should!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

You should definitely give them a go, fill them with what you like.. Pastry top and off you go, simple :D

Sarah

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

What an absolutely perfect meal for a cold winter's night! And with the snowy season right around the corner, I have a feeling this will be making it onto the menu quite often!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

We have snow forecast this week too :D