Beef and Ale Pie Recipe

We thought we’d share one of our favourite family recipes. This Beef and Ale Pie recipe has been used by our family for close to 20 years and never fails to impress. Crisp-yet-melt-in-the-mouth pastry filled with a rich Beef and Guinness filling. Yum!

Obviously, pies are not just for special occasions; they should be eaten all year round! This Beef and Ale pie recipe is definitely one of our go-to meals on a chilly Autumn or Winter evening, usually a Saturday or a Sunday. The shortcrust pastry recipe has been honed over years and it is pretty special. Buy the best beef you can afford for the filling – our preference is Irish stewing steak.

This recipe serves 4 if you are feeling particularly hungry, or 6 with a large serving of green vegetables on the side.

Beef and Ale Pie Recipe Ingredients


  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Cold Water to mix

Pie Filling

  • 1 x 440ml bottle/can Guinness/Irish Stout
  • 600g Irish stewing beef (in pieces)
  • 2 beef oxo cubes
  • 1 medium onion (approximately 125g) chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • Salt
  • Pepper (be generous)
  • Garlic
  • Onion granules
  • Mixed herbs
  • 1.5 tbsp oil

Additional items:

  • Egg – for egg wash
  • Baking brush
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pie dish

Method: Pie Filling

In a large sealable bag tip in the cornflour, salt and pepper and all the beef pieces and scrunch around until the beef is completely covered.

Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan to a medium/high temperature.  Tip in half of the beef and stir until browned all over.  Fish out the beef and set aside in a bowl.  Repeat with the second half of the beef.

Add the last half tablespoon of oil and sauté the chopped onion.  Once see-through, throw the beef back into the pan.  Pour the entire can/bottle of Guinness over the beef, crumble in the stock cubes and sprinkle over garlic powder, onion granules and herbs (to taste – I probably throw in about 1tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion granules and ½ tsp herbs but this can change with my mood…)

Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Turn the heat off and leave to cool while you make the pastry.

Method: Pastry

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir through the salt.

Pour in enough water (small amounts at a time) and bring together stirring with a knife.  It should come together into a ball without the need for you to handle it.

Very lightly shape into a flat disc shape, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes or so.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C

Pie Makers: Assemble!

Once the pastry has chilled, divide the disk into two pieces – approximately 60/40 split.  Roll out the large piece first – this is for the base.  Roll it out about 5cm wider (all around) than the base of your pie dish – this should be large enough to take the pastry up the sides and just over the lip/rim of your dish.  It doesn’t matter if the pastry is thin – this should avoid a soggy bottom!  Don’t worry if the pastry splits – just patch it up with any excess bits.

Set aside while you roll out the lid – this needs to be about 1cm (all around) than the size of the tin.

Tip the pie filling into your pie dish.

Wet the rim of the pastry casing (this helps the lid stick) and then transfer the lid on top.  I tend to roll the pastry lid around my rolling pin and then roll it over the lid – saves breakages trying to lift the whole thing up.

Press the two edges together to seal.  Lightly trim overhanging pastry (about 1/2cm max from the edge of the dish – the pastry will shrink as it bakes).

Decorate with any excess pastry if you feel like it (leaf shapes?!)

Time to crimp the edge

(bear with me, I’m not going to use technical language!)

Left hand: index finger and thumb lightly push the pastry rim in towards the pie

Right hand: index finger knuckle presses between the left hand digits

Hope that makes sense?

Finally, egg wash the whole pie, including the edges. 

Using scissors, snip a small hole in the centre of the pie to allow air to escape.

Bake in the centre of your oven for 25 minutes – check the colour, make sure the pastry is becoming golden evenly – turn it round in the oven if necessary.  Continue to bake for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately with mash and veg – Beef and Ale Pie heaven!

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