Adrian’s Steak and Ale Pie Recipe

We may be a family run safety consultancy but most of our consultants have come from the hospitality and food service industry. Any non-work related banter, therefore, usually involves food (that’s ex-chefs for you) and beer (that’s Adrian).

It’s been tossed around that Adrian Lee, active CAMRA beer taster, ex-head chef, food lover, real ale advocate, safety consultant, (and did I mention beer enthusiast?)  should write a cookbook full of boozy recipes.

So here’s a trial run and the first of Adrian’s Beer Recipes – the humble Steak and Ale Pie. Let us know what you think!

Image credit: Becky Stout. 


  • 1 kg of Topside of beef or stewing beef / shin of beef
  • 2 Bottles Dubliner dark porter
  • Seasoned plain flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 400ml of beef stock
  • Oil / beef dripping
  • 1 egg – beaten

Here’s a handy downloadable version of Adrian’s Steak and Ale Pie Recipe.



Preparing the Beef

  1. Trim the beef if necessary and cut into cubes put into a dish and cover with the ale.  Leave for at least 4 hours or overnight covered in the fridge.
  2. Pour off the ale.
  3. Toss the beef cubes in the seasoned flour.
  4. Heat the oil or beef dripping in a frying pan and brown the beef cubes a few at a time to seal the meat.  Once the meat has been browned put into a casserole dish.
  5. In the same pan with a little more oil or dripping if necessary lightly brown the onions.  Once the onions are brown add to the meat in the casserole dish.
  6. Deglaze the frying pan with the beef stock and remaining ale and pour the liquid onto the meat and onions in the casserole dish.
  7. Add the bay leaves and the fresh thyme to the casserole dish as well.
  8. Cover the casserole dish with either a lid or foil and place in a moderate oven (gas mark 4 or the equivalent) for 1-1.5 hours or until the meat is tender.

Getting the Gravy Right

The gravy in the casserole dish needs to be thick enough so that when you add it to the pie it gently covers the meat and will only seep out when the pie is cut.

If the gravy isn’t thick enough you can always thicken with a little cornflour that has been mixed with a little cold water. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

This can all be done a day in advance as the flavours enhance.

Making it into a Steak and Ale Pie

  1. To make the pie, line a pie dish with shortcrust pastry (shop bought or homemade is up to you). Make sure you get the pastry into the corners of the dish and leave some pastry hanging over the edge of the dish.
  2. Fill the pastry case with the meat mixture.
  3. Cover the meat with more shortcrust pastry and seal at the edges by crimping pastry together with either your fingers or a fork.
  4. Trim the edges of the pie and make a small slit in the top of the pie.
  5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and put in the oven for about an hour or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked, and the meat inside is piping hot.