Sunday, 15 March 2009

Traditional English Steak & Ale Pie Recipe

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - The pie crust

It is quite a while since I posted a recipe, so I thought I would dust off the cooking utensils and pull something together. One of my favourite comfort foods is Steak and Ale Pie. There is nothing more satisfying than tucking in to a good pie, mashed potato and peas. Now it would be rotten of me to tell you this, without letting you into the secret of my favourite traditional Steak and Ale Pie recipe :o)

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - The pie crust part 2

After you have tried this great recipe for a traditional English Steak and Ale Pie, please be welcome to either email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your feedback. Thank You ~ Graham :o)



* * * INGREDIENTS * * *

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Ingredients

(Serves 4)

750g Braising Steak (or neck/shin of beef)
2 - 3 onions (sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 bay leaf
Plain flour
Puff Pastry or Shortcrust Pastry
2 - 4 rashers of smoked bacon
6 - 7 mushrooms
A Knob of Butter
500ml Dark Ale/Beer
250ml Beef Stock
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
Salt and Pepper to season

Please click HERE to for a UK/US weights and measures conversion table


The first step is to dice the steak (in this example I have used shin of beef, but you could use braising steak or neck of beef - any cut that requires slow cooking is ideal) into reasonable sized pieces.

Whilst doing this, heat up the pan until it is very hot. It is important to get the pan hot, so that you can brown off the steak. Put seasoned plain flour into a dish and place each piece of steak into the flour, thoroughly coating all sides.


Then add the pieces to the pan. It is really important to get lots of colour into the steak at this point as this is will help give the stew a lovely dark colour. Add salt and pepper as the steak browns.

Once browned on both sides, remove the steak from the pan, and put aside.


Next dice some smoked bacon and add to the pan with a touch more butter. Any caramelised bits on the bottom of the pan from browning the beef will add to the flavour as we cook the bacon.
Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Brown off the bacon
Now add the sliced onions and chopped garlic clove.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Add the onions

We are looking to caramelised the onions down, so keep the pan on a high heat.
(To help caramelise the onions you can add a small sprinkle of caster sugar).  Keep stiring the onions whilst cooking them so that they do not burn on the bottom (as the burnt pieces will give the mixture a bitter aftertaste).

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Cook down the onions until they are soft and golden brown v1

Once the onions are caramelised you will see them turn really soft and brown.

Now you can add the remaining ingredients. Firstly add 6 or 7 large chopped button mushrooms and mix them in well to ensure they get coated in the onion and bacon mixture.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Add the chopped mushrooms to the onions

Next slowly pour in the Ale, allowing it to reduce down a bit before pouring in the beef stock.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Add the Ale and reduce to burn off the alcohol

 Add in the browned steak pieces that were cooked earlier, making sure that they are covered by the stock. Finally add a bay leaf and cover the pan.
Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Add the stock and the meat and allow to slowly simmer for 2 hours

Allow it to gently simmer for around 2 hours.

When you remove the lid you will see that the sauce has reduced and thickened and the mushrooms are wonderfully soft.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - The beef and stock will be rich and creamy

Allow the beef and ale to cool
(to get the best flavour possible, it would be ideal to leave it overnight)

Once cold place the beef into your pie dish,
layering with spoonfulls of the sauce, mushrooms and onion.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Add the filling to the pie dish

It is important to pile up the steak and vegetables, to ensure that the pastry lid doesn't sink when you put it on. You can either use shortcrust or puff pastry. If you are using ready made puff pastry, roll two layers together. Next, coat the rim of the pie dish with an egg wash to help the pastry stick, before finally placing the lid on the dish.


Once you have placed the lid on the dish, crimp the edges with your thumbs and fingers to form a seal and stop the pastry shrinking during cooking. If you have any leftover pastry, you can add some decorative leaf features onto the top of the pie.

Trim the excess pastry from the edge of the dish and coat the top of the pie in egg wash (Egg wash using 1 whole egg and one egg yoke, to give the pie a deep golden brown colour).

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - Ready For The Oven

Finally cut a cross mark in the centre of the lid of the pie with a knife to allow steam to escape through during the cooking process.  This should help avoid a soggy pastry.

Bake the pie in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200C/180C fan/ Gas Mark 6.

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - The pie crust part 3

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - The pie crust part 2

Traditional Steak & Ale Pie - A Sample of the Pie


Graham xx

Please be welcome to leave any feedback or comments below:


bren said...

i like very much.
saludos desde espaƱa.

no more said...

thanks for making my mouth water before i have to go to

Looks delish! Well i'm not a mushroom fan but everything else looks absolutely tasty, I can't believe you cook like that. Some people here marinade steaks with beer, i've never tried it. When you said "steak and ale" i thought "I didn't know they had those restaurants in england" That is a chain here, of course they don't serve anything like this. They should, amazing! Thanks for posting, i love looking at the photographs that you include with them. You must have soft lighting in the kitchen, I have harsh flourescent lamps so it always comes out white and sterile looking if I photograph in the kitchen. bah


Memories Of Mine said...

I hope this was your dinner the other night :)

Look very yum, just needs some tomato sauce to complete the meal.

Anonymous said...

Yum! this is a great recipe Graham!
Too bad I got hungry now but it's 1.24 am :S besides...I already had dinner :P
I'll definitely cook this...I'll find ale in Salta, no matter how many days it takes me :)

Michelle said...

Very interesting recipe I may have to try this someday. Looks Yummy!

Marjie said... looks delicious hun!I've always loved your recipe posts. They're very tempting to make in my own kitchen. =)

linda said...

My husband would eat this every night of the week if he could.

I make sausage rolls using premium mince meat and vegetables and they never last long. Comfort food is great.

Anonymous said...

I must say it looks yummy... even if it's only visually! I wish I could smell it... mmmm....

I love pies, or quiches, especially in the winter!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for visiting my blog and your comments..

Great pie.. delicious..

Have a nice week..


Mimi Lenox said...

That looks divine. And you cook too....

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

Crazy awesome an English man who can cook to boot?

That looks delicious, in America all we have is peach cobbler or chicken pot pie.


Michelle Hix said...

Graham....I don't even know what to say...that pie is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

You have mad skills in the kitchen my friend!

Anonymous said...

This pie looks especially delicious. I could eat it right up. I am taking the recipe and gonna try it later, although I am here in the states, I imagine it would taste similar.

jojo said...

Looks good! I have never seen smoked bacon in that size. I will talk to my butcher, but the canadian bacon or smoked pork chops are sold much smaller!

I may try this with some scallions or leeks. It looks like a nice dish for a chilly night!

Robin Easton said...

Oh my god, my dear beautiful little goober! This is soooo amazing. I am floored. I knew you were a good cook but this is torture. I would even eat this. And I've not eaten red meat in forever. This looks so delicious I can hardly stand it. You really are such a gem, a deep lover of nature, one of the kindest souls I've EVER met, funny as all get out and a bloody brilliant cook. I love this kind of soul food. I am just so proud of you, all the time. Who taught you how to cook, you mom/dad? Or did you just teach yourself. You have wonderful connection with cooking and food. I too LOVE to cook but have had almost NO time for it for over a year now, due to book related work. I do make excellent soups, pasta, dressings and sauces and dips to die for. And used to make all my own bread, rolls, etc. Not for a long time now...due to work. I also do fantastic stir fries and things like that. I miss cooking.

I have so enjoyed your warm friendship Graham. It means so much to me. You have made me laugh and cry and wonder and rejoice. I hope to get time to drop you an email. But in the mean time know that you are thought of so often and that I have the highest respect for you who you choose to be.

Have you yet decided where your nest adventure will take you? Let me know if you post about it. I would love to read it. You are a special friend Little Goober!

Hugs and love,

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Elise said...

Solicitor loves steak pie. It's such a man's dish. He gets it rarely. I think I might surprise him, you twisted my arm! xx

David Lee said...

This pie is awfully mouth-watering! And would keep me busy in the kitchen, again. My colleagues are going to visit our place next week. I think this would be just perfect for them.

Cocaine Princess said...

Hello Graham,
I believe that is a meal that would even make Chef Ramsay drool.

Queenie Jeannie said...


My Grandmother used to make this - and oxtail soup - and I miss it so much!!! Thank you for the delicious memories!

Lilly said...

Wow, how good does that look? You have a great blog, a bit of everything. Well done. I am now following. I follow the lovely Robin Easton and she has good taste in blogging buddies. Hi from Australia!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious, but what is FLOWER used for? ;-)

workhard said...

Hi.. That looks kinda DIVINE...

Meridian Homes

Sam said...

Wow!! Yummy! What a GREAT looking! This dish looks so beautiful with the colours. It's a Very tempting and delicious recipe. Can't wait to see your posting, my mouth is watering. Will try it out soon. Thanks so much for sharing.

Unknown said...

Wow. I just made this and it turned out absolutely divine! I finished it off in a pressure cooker to get the meat extra tender, and also made some quick flakey pastry instead of using shortcrust, both of which worked fantastically.
I've searched far and wide for a decent steak and ale pie recipe, and this really hit the spot!
Excellent, I encourage people very much to try this one!
Thanks xxx

Anonymous said...

I live in Puerto Rico and just got home from a trip to London. We wanted to have a day of english food here so we made fish and chips and the pie and it was absolutely delicious. It is a fabulous recipe. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous mate, added bacon was what made it a winner for me. great work

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deborah said...

We just returned from a quick visit to finicky son loved the steak and ale pie there, so I decided to make it for dinnner tonight. Really easy and really delicious. Great receipe! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would seriously recommend this recipe - I tried it tonight for the first time and it was amazing!!!!!!! Totally delicious :o)

Anonymous said...

I would seriously recommend this recipe - I tried it tonight for the first time and it was amazing!!!!!!! Totally delicious :o)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Thanks for a wonderfully illustrated recipe! :D
Never made S&A pie before, altered a few ingredients (dropped bacon, exchanged the mushrooms for a handful of chantarelles and added finely chopped carrot) and served it to my girlfriend for birthday dinner.
Total success!! :D
Today we made it again, with equal success!
Thanks from a Norwegian who recently discovered this wonderful dish :)

TheBookFairy said...

that is one good-looking pie! have sent the link to my fiance. he won't be able to resist making one for me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow how good can life,get that is thee best pie ever thanks so much for the recipe will use again & again.

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with this when I was in England, I kept trying to make it when I got home, this is by far the best recipe I found!

Thank you so much Graham!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Brit living in Texas. I have asked my American wife many times if she could bake me up a good ol' British steak and ale pie. Bless her heart she has tried but never quite achieved the desired outcome. However, I've got a feeling I shall be trying your recipe this weekend and will be sure to let you know how I get on :) Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Graham. I'm the Brit who left the comment above. This weekend wifey and I had a shot at making your pie. It came out great, fan-bloody-tastic in fact. Alas, I ate too much and have heart burn this morning but otherwise wonderful :) Thanks.

Unknown said...

I am so glad you are all enjoying the recipe. Receiving your feedback really makes me smile! I am glad others are getting the chance to experience the food I enjoy so much! Keep cooking and keep eating!!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many servings this recipe makes? I'm hoping to modify it into individal single serving pies. Thank you!

Unknown said...

This is a good size meal for 4 people. In this recipe I have made it into one big pie, but you could equally split it between for small pie dishes and make individual ones. Happy cooking and even happier eating!!

Alex said...

I can't wait to try this! I traveled to London in 2010 and I have to say that steak and ale pie was definitely my favourite. Your recipe looks great.

Anonymous said...

I must say that this really is the VERY BEST EVER steak and ale pie. We had great fun making it and your step by step directions and photographs were so very helpful. I had the whole family over for an "English theme" dinner party and they all tucked in and loved every mouthful. They all agreed at the end of the meal that the steak and ale pie was the best bit. I think I will be asked to make this again and again and again, and this is the first recipe that I have used where I would not change a single thing and will continue to follow it to the letter!!!! Thank you so much!! 11 out of 10!

Emily from NYC! :o)

Anonymous said...

Deeeeeeeeelicious!!!!!!!!!!! Followed your recipe to the letter and it turned out just perfect. My mom, dad and boyfriend all loved it and have already asked me to make it again. I might try your hotpot recipe next time although it is hard to get lamb here.

B x

Unknown said...

@ Alex, I hope it turned out great when you made it :)

@ Emily, Thank you so much. I am really glad everybody liked the pie.

@ B, Phew I am glad it passed the family test and I hope the hotpot is as equally enjoyable for them.

Carol said...

Great recipe and so easy to follow. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Made this pie three times already absolutely fantastic xx

sue said...

While I rarely make steak and ale pie this is THE one I go to. Your recipe is perfect and your step by step pictures make it easy to prepare. As cool weather approaches here in Mass. U.S. I am planning to make this soon. Thanks Graham

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your Steak and ale pie recipe with us. Complete with great mouth watering pictures. Its a good thing I work at Arments Pie And Mash Shop surrounded by yummy pies. If you don't have the time and energy to make this great pie. Run down to Arments Pie And Mash Shop in Walworth.

plasterers bristol said...

wow, that look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make to. Thanks


Unknown said...

Big snowstorm for us tomorrow and I have everything I need to make this. That's my plan. This pie is worshipped by all who have eaten it. Thanks Graham

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