Beef & beer pie

A steak and ale pie is a comforting classic – this version has suet pastry and a dark rich gravy

  • Prep:1 hrs
    Cook:4 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 1356
  • fat 75g
  • saturates 36g
  • carbs 111g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 56g
  • salt 3.2g


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small celery stick, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 700g beef shin, featherblade or stewing steak, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cube
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 540ml can dark ale or beer
  • 500g plain flour, plus a little extra
  • 250g vegetarian suet
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • a few pinches poppy seeds


Make-ahead tip
To assemble the pie in advance, cool the beef filling before putting into the pie. Both the filling and pastry can be made up to 24 hrs in advance too, just keep chilled in the fridge before assembling.


  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.