Pulled Beef and Beer Pie

February 8, 2012

Let me be frank here. There’s a reason why I’ve blown up a dress size, lost my waist and developed a more, well, rotund belly in these past years.

I. Love. Meat pies.

Just thinking of a mound of piping hot tender meaty goodness coated thickly in an alcohol-fueled gravy and encased in some buttery crumbly pastry gives me all sorts of unholy adult feelings.

My dangerous affection isn’t helped by the fact that I’m living in a country that regards a humble meat pie with more reverence than our politicians. So the good news is I get to indulge in it as much as I want; from amazing pie shops to the more plebian frozen Four ‘n Twentys. The bad news is the dreaded pie gut. RIP cinched in waist, you will be missed.

Naturally I like to cook it a lot at home. If only for the sheer pleasure of making a gargantuan family-sized monster in a gargantuan pie dish. This time I went for a good old ‘pulled’ beef and lots of beer. Because I adore cooking with beer. Or is it drinking beer while cooking? Eh, details…

This pastry is one of my favourites; Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry (I did a version of it for this pie). Delightfully melt-in-your-mouth and buttery yet flaky and light. It takes no time to whip up, chilling time is minimal and it’s just wonderful to work with. I keep a few tightly wrapped slabs of it in the freezer for all my sweet and savoury needs.

It seems a bit odd to be enjoying a hot meat pie during an Aussie summer but since it has been unusually cold and rainy, it’s been oddly, the perfect ‘summer’ fodder for a weekend. Well worth the extra pie-gut-busting stomach crunches I tell ya!

Pulled Beef and Beer Pie
  1. Makes enough for 2 x 22-24cm shallow pie dishes. You could also use half and freeze the other half
  2. 1.5kg chuck steak, cut into steak-sized slabs
  3. 2 Tbl olive oil
  4. 100ml port
  5. 3 brown onions, finely chopped
  6. 750ml beer (I used half ale, half dark stout)
  7. 750ml beef stock
  8. 3 Tbl of tomato paste
  9. 3 Tbl worcestershire sauce
  10. 2.5 Tbl plain flour
  11. 2 Tbl vegemite
  12. small bunch of thyme tied in a bunch
  13. 3 fresh bay leaves (tied with the thyme)
  14. 600g thereabouts of button mushrooms, chopped into chunks
  1. Makes more than enough for one large pie crust
  2. 300g plain flour
  3. 250g salted butter, chopped
  4. 100-120ml sour cream
  5. 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbl of water (for egg wash)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat then brown the slabs of steak in batches until golden all over. Be careful not to crowd the pan other it’ll lose the heat and the meat will ‘stew’ not ‘brown’. Set meat aside then deglaze the pan with port scraping the bottom of the delicious bits. Cook until reduced by half, remove from heat then set aside.
  2. In a large casserole dish, heat another two tablespoons of olive oil then sauté onions until softened and lightly coloured. Add the beers, stock, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the flour until there are no lumps then add the vegemite and herbs.
  3. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and add the browned beef and deglazed port. Cover then simmer over the gentlest heat for 3-4 hours or until the meat is ultra tender and pulls apart easily. Stir in the mushrooms from the last hour of cooking.
  4. Remove beef from stock then with two forks, pull apart the meat into thick strands.
  5. Meanwhile increase the heat, bring the stock back to a boil and cook until reduced by a third or until thickened. Season to taste.
  6. Add the pulled beef back to the stock then stir to combine. Remove herbs and discard. Ladle into your pie dishes and cool completely. Overnight in the fridge is best as it’d fully develop the flavours (you could also freeze half).
  7. To make the pastry, add flour and butter in your food processor and whizz until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 100ml sour cream and process until it comes together in a dough. Add more bit by bit if too dry.
  8. Pat dough into disc, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 220°C. Roll out the pastry into a circle wider than your pie dish and at 3-4mm thickness. Brush the edges of the pie dish with the egg wash then roll your pastry over the top. Trim off the excess with a knife, crimp the edges then brush all over with egg.
  10. Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 180°C and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and golden.
  11. Serve hot with a cold ale and roasted butter and honey carrots.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

EatBeast April 29, 2012 at 14:58

Hi Citrusandcandy,
I made your pie but the sauce tasted a bit bitter, even with just regular beer. Did I do something wrong? Does heat or cooking beer make it more bitter?
The sauce tasted good & rich otherwise…it was just underlying bitter tones…or is that normal?? :)


Citrus and Candy April 29, 2012 at 17:33

Hi EatBeast,

It could be because not all of the alcohol from the beer has been cooked off. Perhaps the temperature was too low or the stew wasn’t boiled enough after the beer was added (both common problems if you’ve used a slow cooker too). You could try and bring the stew to a rolling boil for a minute or two to make sure all of the alcohol is gone and taste again. Sometimes the flavour will also mellow the next day so stews are a great thing to make a day in advance.

You could also offset the bitterness by adding a little brown sugar. Also make sure to caramelise veges like carrot or onions well before adding other ingredients in. The natural sweetness of these veges in stews will also help with cooking with beer and bitterness.

If not, the only other thing I can think off is whether you may have slightly burnt the stew which would give it a bitter taste. I always make sure to simmer the stew in a good heavy-based casserole dish over the lowest heat so there is no chance for the bottom to burn while it is simmering for long periods.

I hope this helps you out a little!


Jono April 23, 2012 at 14:47

Sensational! Made this last weekend, and the flavours were amazing. The pastry wowed our guests, and it was so simple to prepare!


Renz March 3, 2012 at 00:04

No doubt about it, I have try it not just once but for several times… Beef and beer pie is definitely “delicious”.


Ann February 29, 2012 at 22:30

Beef and beer pie, a perfect recipe for everyone taste…


Dee@foodinhand February 25, 2012 at 22:15

Ohhh I’ve been looking for some interesting pie recipes to try out. I’m esp keen about this sour cream pastry :9


Heike February 16, 2012 at 19:47

I <3 this big time. You're making me hungry.


emiglia February 16, 2012 at 05:23

Oh YUM. I could give up my cinched waists for that as well. Is the pastry easy enough for someone who always screws up pastry? (aka me)


Paul @ Tomte Life February 15, 2012 at 21:39

I really love your photography!


Allison February 15, 2012 at 19:56

I really love eating “Beef Steak” especially at night, A crispy one is more delightful to me..


Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) February 12, 2012 at 20:19

That pastry! Oh, and you did say something about beer, right?


Louis February 12, 2012 at 14:44

I made this pie for dinner last night, it was amazing! I couldn’t find enough chuck last minute so I used gravy and it worked fine. I also got a bit impatient with the meat cooking and took it out after two hours… It was ok, but I know it would have been better for longer! Also in the recipe there was no instruction for adding the mushrooms, I added them towards the end so they didn’t cook into a mush. I also love maggie beers pastry on anything :) I made the quantity you specified and managed to roll it out over both pies. I’ll definitely be making this again! Yum


LeapFrog February 10, 2012 at 23:31

This looks scrumptious and I’m not even a pie lover, I must bake this soon!


Martyna@WholesomeCook February 10, 2012 at 17:48

Oh my GOSH! This looks amazingly good, and like you I have a penchant for meat pies but try to make my own when the cravings hit. Would you look at that sauce, jealous!


Steph February 9, 2012 at 16:42

Oh my, look at that perfect golden crust. I need this in my mouth asap.


Jacq February 9, 2012 at 15:53

keeping maggie beer’s sour cream pastry in the freezer is a brilliant idea! I could totes do with some of that pie right now


Nic@diningwithastud February 9, 2012 at 11:42

Oh wow! The pulled beef is perfect! Lovign the styling too :)


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul February 9, 2012 at 08:34

I hear you when it comes to pies…I’ve been fascinated with them from the first moment I scoffed one in prep class! Meat pies rule and so does your recipe! The sour cream pastry sounds divine too!


teawithhazel February 9, 2012 at 08:31

your pie looks the bomb..i am a pastryaholic and unfortunately i look like one too..


chocolatesuze February 9, 2012 at 03:53

/drools omg that look’s incredible!


Phuoc'n Delicious February 8, 2012 at 16:33


Oh man… I just have a sudden urge for a good ol’ meat pie thanks to you. That looks freaking awesome!


Lisa February 8, 2012 at 15:16

Yummmm. I’ve always wanted to make a beef and beer pie but never have! Looks seriously amazing.


Natashia@foodonpaper February 8, 2012 at 15:07

A meat pie is my favourite too! It’s just a footy game without a pie. I’ve never made a traditional meat pie before, think I’ll book mark this one for when it gets a bit cooler over in Perth :)


Daphne February 8, 2012 at 14:55

Looks so yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I hope Malaysian beef makes the cut in making this dish a success.


Sara (Belly Rumbles) February 8, 2012 at 13:15

What a beautiful rich decadent looking pie!


Miss Piggy February 8, 2012 at 12:50

That looks really tasty – perfect for our faux summer.


Hotly Spiced February 8, 2012 at 11:52

That’s a delicious looking pie. And your pastry looks incredible. I feel like one of those right now!


Tina @ bitemeshowme February 8, 2012 at 08:06

Wow that pie looks amazing. I never knew that a pie could be that easy to make, and the crust too! I just saw that you added vegemite to your meat mixture? Now that’s something different! Stunning photos, Karen!


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