St. Patrick’s Day: Steak and Guinness Pot Pie

March 16, 2009

Mr S. and I are quite a mish-mash of nationalities. I’m an English-born Australian girl with a Malaysian-Chinese family, while Mr S, very much a typical Aussie bloke, is a melting pot of Italian, German, English and Irish heritage. Needless to say, it makes for some interesting and diverse culinary adventures and all the more enjoyable when it comes to national holidays and cultural feasts.

Today it’s the time of the Irish with St. Patrick’s Day. Mr S. isn’t actually much of an ale drinker despite his Irish roots but he loves the food and a pie of Steak and Guinness is an absolute Irish staple (and a winner, as it also appeals to our very Aussie love of meat pies).

You can churn out a Steak and Guinness in any form you wish. You could make a piecrust using shortcrust pastry for the base and flaky puff pastry for the top. Sometimes I like to just serve it as a straight up Irish stew with potatoes and crusty bread but tonight I’m making Steak and Guinness Pot Pies. It’s not the most gourmet or sophisticated of dishes but it’s so hearty and comforting and in the end, you just can’t beat cultural traditions.

Guinness is quite strong and bitter in recipes and some hard-nosed Irishmen would probably appreciate that but we actually like it a little subtler, preferring to let the beef take centre stage. In any case I’ll leave you to tweak the seasonings to your preference.

Enjoy this meal with a pint of Irish brew and some crisp salad greens and remember to drink responsibly. Happy St. Paddy’s and slàinte chugat(good health to you).

Steak and Guinness Pot Pies


(serves 6-8)

2kg chuck steak – diced
3 medium brown onions – halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 Tbl oil
2/3 cup plain flour
2C (500ml) beef stock
400ml Guinness (I used Extra Stout but Draught is fine too)
approx 2-3 Tbl tomato paste
approx 1/3 C tomato sauce
sugar to taste (optional)
salt and black pepper
2-3 bay leaves
pre-made frozen puff pastry
1 egg beaten


Preheat the oven to 180°C

In a large cast iron casserole dish or other ovenproof pot, brown the beef in small batches, remove (along with the juices) and set aside.

Heat 2 Tbl oil in the same casserole dish and fry the onions and garlic until golden.

Sprinkle the flour over and cook for a further minute. It will probably get weird, dry and gluggy but don’t fret, it’s normal.

Return the beef and juices to the pan, add the tomato paste and tomato sauce and stir well.

Add the beef stock and beer and bring to the boil.

Season very well with salt, black pepper and sugar (this will counter the acidity of the tomato paste) to taste and stir well. Place the bay leaves on top.

Turn the heat off, stick the lid on and place on the top shelf of your oven and slow cook for about 2 hours (stirring occasionally) or until beef is tender and sauce has thickened.

Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 200°C. If the sauce is still a little runny, stick it back on the stovetop and stir in some cornflour (mixed with a little cold water) and simmer until thickened.

Spoon the beef in individual ramekins (or one large dish) to the top and place a sheet of puff pastry over it. Trim off the excess leaving about 1-2cm overhang.

Fold the edges down and gently press it against the ramekin (you can dab a little water under to help it seal). Brush over with the beaten egg.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and golden.

You can freeze any unused pies if you wrap it well to prevent the pastry from drying. Thaw the pies then bake it in the oven at 200°C.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

plasterer bristol September 21, 2015 at 15:36

This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.



Billy May 28, 2013 at 12:42

I love the detail work on the pastry. Very cool. It might work nicely to use a Porter instead of the Guinness but then you lose a little of the romance of having the Irish Stout. If you do want to stick with the theme of an Irish Beer something like an Irish Red would be perfect. Thanks for the recipe!


june December 26, 2011 at 13:44

Is that tomato sauce as in ketchup, or tomato sauce as in the American version which is more like pureed tomato?


Citrus and Candy December 26, 2011 at 13:49

Hi June, yep I mean ketchup. For tomato purée, we usually call it tomato paste. Hope this helps!


Ciarae April 11, 2010 at 17:20

I'm making these pies for a dinner party next week and I'm having my practice run now.
They're in the oven right now looking lovely. I added shortcrust pastry to the bottom of the individual pie pots (they're quite large).
It's nice to see a steak and guiness pie recipie which isn't ridiculously complicated. Some of them I considered before coming across this one had so many different ingrediants. I'm a complete novice when it comes to cooking but your recipie was easy to follow
Thanks, and it's a lovely website ;)


Jen ( April 9, 2009 at 06:15

i’ve been having way too many salads for lunch. this pie is exactly what i need… so hearty and omnomnomnom…


vincent March 25, 2009 at 18:01

Hello,We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.We would like to add it to the We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,enjoy your recipes. Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already membersand benefit from their exposure on To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on “Add your site” Best regards,


Jo March 19, 2009 at 13:59

Ooh what a delicious looking pot pie. The pastry looks extremely flaky and the steak so moist. Must have tasted great.


Karen @ Citrus and Candy March 19, 2009 at 11:20

You’re right – beef stew isn’t the most glamorous of food but you’ve made them so look so professionally done. That little pie is so adorable!


Helen (Grab Your Fork) March 18, 2009 at 05:09

I like the two pie sizes – one presumably Karen-sized, the other for Mr S! Looks great. Love a good puff pastry lid :)


billy@ATFT March 18, 2009 at 00:40

that looks so professional like from a bakery! Looks like I might need a trip to Balmain for some gusiness pie fix, as well as zumbo! :P


FFichiban March 17, 2009 at 10:50

OOh yummm I love Guinness but I haven’t had in such a long timmme!Hee hee so who ended up getting the larger pie :P?Looks so yummm ^^! Pie pie pie!


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella March 17, 2009 at 05:28

Fabulous! I love potted pies, they always look so bursting with goodness inside :)


Pei Lin March 17, 2009 at 03:39

First time here and I’m already liking your blog!


shez March 16, 2009 at 22:27

ahhah! big pie, baby pie. i love making pot pies. they’re so easy (and you don’t need to fiddle around with the base crust).now i’m craving pie…


Edu Passarelli March 16, 2009 at 22:03

What a nice recipe. Congratulacions.I have a blog also, named Edu Passarelli Recomenda that talks about good beers and also about beer and food pairing. The internet address is I have to apologize, but the content of my blog is only in Portuguese.All best wishes!


helen March 16, 2009 at 22:00

Adorable! I love a good steak and guinness pie. If I weren’t Chinese, I most definitely want to be Irish.


MyLastBite March 16, 2009 at 19:46

I love these small pot pies! I make the LARGE steak and guinness pie but haven’t made the individual ramekins yet. Will definitely make these tomorrow. THANKS


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: