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slice of steak and ale pie on a plate

How to Cook Steak and Ale Pie Recipe

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Steak and ale pie is a traditional British comfort food.  This pie is full of chunky vegetables, mushrooms, and buttery puff pastry.  Your whole family will love eating this amazing meal for dinner!



For the Steak and Ale Filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
  • 2 pounds 5 ounces stewing beef, cut into chunks (1.05 kg)
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped (2 medium onions; 325g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups carrot, sliced (3 large carrots; 306g)
  • 2 cups celery, sliced (5 medium stalks; 290g)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter (43g)
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, quartered (453g)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (40g)
  • 2 cups dark brown English ale or black and tan beer (475 ml)
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted beef stock (300 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon HP sauce (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed (13g)
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (2g)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Pastry

  • 1 pound 5 ounces puff pastry, chilled (600g)
  • 1 large egg, beaten


Making the Steak and Ale Filling (1 hr 15 min + 2 hrs 30 min cooking)

  1. Sear the beef.  Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.  Add one-third of the stewing beef and turn down the heat to medium.  Flip the cubes of meat with tongs, allowing them to get golden brown and crispy on all sides, then remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.  Brown the remaining beef in two batches.
  2. Cook the veggies.  Put the pot on medium-high heat and add the chopped onions.  Cook the onions until golden, then lower the heat to medium, add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute.  Pour some beef stock or ale into the pan and scrape off the brown fond from the bottom.  Add the sliced carrots and celery and cook until the celery just begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Cook the mushrooms.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the quartered mushrooms and cook until soft and brown, about 5 minutes.  Be sure to stir frequently to keep the mushrooms from burning.  Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Add liquid and thicken.  Dump the all-purpose flour onto the onion mixture and cook over medium heat for a minute to toast the flour slightly.  Pour in the reserved beef drippings, ale, and beef stock and bring to a boil.  Cook until slightly thickened.
  5. Add meat and veggies.  Dump in the seared beef chunks and any drippings from the plate.  Add the HP sauce, brown sugar, cocoa powder, spices, and cooked mushrooms and stir until well mixed.  If the beef is not covered with liquid, add 1/2 cup or more of beef stock, ale, or water to prevent the meat from drying out.
  6. Simmer.  Cover and bring the stew up to a full boil over medium heat, then turn the heat to medium-low.  Simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the lid and simmer for another hour.  The meat should be tender and the liquid should be thickened.  Be sure to stir the stew every 15 minutes or so to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
  7. Cool.  Let the stew cool to room temperature (or refrigerate overnight) before putting the pastry on top.  This step prevents the pastry from melting.

Assembling the Steak and Ale Pie (15 min + 35 min baking + cooling)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Put the filling into a dish.  Spoon the cooled filling into a 6-cup (1.4 liter) capacity dish.  Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg.
  3. Cover with pastry.  Place the chilled puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, making sure it is large enough to cover the dish.  Lay the pastry on top of the pie and press down the edges to seal.  Trim off the excess pastry, then brush with beaten egg and decorate as desired.  Don’t forget to cut a few vent holes to allow steam to escape.
  4. Bake.  Cook at 425 F for 35-40 minutes.  The filling should be gently bubbling and the pastry should be a rich golden brown.  Be sure to cover the edges with aluminum foil if the it is browning too quickly in the oven.
  5. Cool.  Allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.


  • Use pre-cut stewing beef with marbling of fat throughout the meat.  This means the meat will be more flavorful and tender.
  • Keep the vegetables chunky, as smaller pieces of veggies will break down into mush during the long cooking process.
  • Use a dark brown ale with a roasty, sweet flavor.  I used Yuengling Black and Tan.
  • Cook the stew low and slow.  Stewing beef is typically a tough cut and requires a long cooking time to become tender.
  • Let the stew cool before putting the pastry on.  Hot stew will melt the butter in the pastry, ruining the delicate layers in the pastry.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: pub style, mushroom, british meat pie recipes

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