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Deep Filled Beef & Ale Pie

I must admit, I love a good pie especially a deep filled pie with a shortcrust pastry bottom and a puff pastry top. Many of you don’t have the time to make pastry for a pie so this recipe uses shop bought pastry to make it really easy and less time consuming to make.

I made the shortcrust pastry myself but won’t include the recipe as you will find a few different recipes for it on this site and in my book. Instead, I will tell you how to use store bought to make this particular pie. If you would prefer to make your own then search my site for one of the many pastry recipes I have done.

Pie’s make a little go a lot further as the pastry is filling. They are also great to freeze either cooked or even better uncooked. You can then cook them from frozen at 180C GM5 for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven. Just ensure the pie is piping hot all the way through before serving. It is also important that, if the pastry you use was frozen then you cook it before freezing again.



400-500g lean stewing beef or steak pieces

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large onion or 2 medium, chopped

3 – 4 carrots peeled and diced into cubes

200ml ale not lager, Guinness will also do

100ml water

70g flour or use bisto to thicken at the end

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 beef stock pot

1 packet ready rolled shortcrust pastry

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten in a cup

3 tbsp good quality oil



Heat the oil in a pan then fry the beef till browned all over.


Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook till the onion softens


If using the flour, add it now and stir really well so it coats the ingredients. Cook for about 1 minute. Skip this step if using bisto to thicken it.


Place the ingredients including the contents of the pan in a pot, your slow cooker or pressure cooker and stir really well.


Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a medium heat and keep on a rolling boil for 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender. You may need to add more water.


Cook on low for 6-8 hours or High for 2 -3 hours until the beef is tender. Remove the lid for the last hour


Cook on pressure 60 for 35 minutes. This is how I did mine.


When cooked, thicken it with bisto if you didn’t use the flour. You want it nice and thick to hold together in the pie.


PreHeat your oven to 180C or GM4 and allow the pastry to come to room temperature so it is easier to work with.


Grease a deep pie dish with butter.


Open the shortcrust pastry then line the base of the dish. You want it to overlap the sides a little.


Pour the pie mix in and spread evenly if needed.



Brush the sides of the pastry with beaten egg. This makes the top stick to it.


Open the puff pastry and lay it on top so it covers the pie.



Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg. Don’t be shy with it, you want a nice golden brown colour when cooked which is what the egg does.


Press down on the edge with a fork till you have the whole thing sealed the whole way round.


Pierce about 10 holes with a fork around the pie. Don’t do this before you brush it with egg as the egg will cover the holes. They allow hot air escape as the pie cooks and so keeps your pastry from bubbling and bursting.


Cook in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes brushing all over with beaten egg halfway through to give it a lovely golden brown colour.
Or allow the egg to set then cover and freeze. See the intro for cooking instructions if you freeze it.


Serve immediately with your favourite potatoes. I love it with creamy mash.


NOTE: It is easier to cut and portion it if you allow it to cool completely. This is handy if you want to freeze it in nice even portions.

    • Sinead
    • 9th March 2017

    Had this last night – thought I would have some left for freezing but there wasn’t a scrap left

    • Serena
    • 18th March 2017

    Hi I made this yesterday and it tasted delicious but I had to change pots twice during the cooking as it burnt the bottom of the saucepan while cooking – have you any tips to stop this?

    1. That is an issue with your saucepan Serena. It sounds like it isn’t a heavy bottomed pot which are the only ones that don’t stick though even they do from time to time. Best to use a slow or pressure cooker if you have one.

    • Sandra W
    • 6th April 2017

    Hi Liam I wanted to cook this for dinner this evening and was wondering would I get away with using puff pastry on the Base aswell as I don’t have short crust, would it work or go through the pastry thanks Sandra ?

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