Slow Cooked Steak and Ale Pie

There are no two ways about it, this time of year is pie territory. Anything pastry based and involving slow cookers in fact, and this little beaut scratches both itches. I’ve been AWOL for a while so I made this one a few weeks ago and I think that was the turning point for me, the very day I embraced Autumn and all it’s crunchy leaved orangey-ness.

Go make my lazy pie* and be all Autumnal. Or just gorge yourself on baked goods and it won’t matter what time of year it is.

*sounds weird.


You’ll need:

500g diced braising steak
1 stick of celery
1 large carrot
1 onion
1 pint beef stock
1 bottle of ale


I don’t know if choosing ale because it features your dogs’ name and you got a bit over excited is frowned upon in blogging circles so it may please you to know that this one is also made in Cornwall and it told me on the bottle it’d be good with steak in a pie Apparently ale bottles, like wine, now talk of bouquets and ‘would go well with…’ on the labels  as I discovered in the supermarket and promptly wasted an hour in the alcohol section reading EVERYTHING. This particular ale also has a little (slightly horrifying) folklore attached. Betty’s not that nice…but her ale is top notch.

Make it:

1) Peel and dice all the veggies and gently fry in a large pan with a little oil and a bay leaf.

2) After 6-7 minutes add the beef to brown.


3) Chuck in the beef stock and ale and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes.

4) If it’s a school day and you want to come home to the best smelling house this would be the point at which you chuck it all in the slow cooker, season well and let it cook whilst you’re pounding the mean streets. Set to low for the day and you’ll produce the most delicious, rich, dark, moreish pie filling.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can cover the pan and just let it simmer away for a couple of hours.

5) When it’s ready, if your sauce needs thickening you can do this with a cornflour/water paste. Otherwise set aside as much as you can bear to spare of the sauce to use as a gravy and pour the remaining filling into an ovenproof dish. Allow to cool a little before going to town with the pastry.

6) Because I’m lazy and because this is the easiest recipe in the world, I used ready made puff pastry. Sue me. Lay the pastry over the top of the filling, pressing the edges into the side of the bowl to seal it. Make a fancy little steam release slot in the middle; I’m a particular fan of the double arrows. Brush the surface with beaten egg.

7) Pop it in the oven at 180C for around 35-40 minutes until the pie is golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with the rest of the gravy, some good wintery veggies and a large glass of red whilst chatting about all things Autumnal.

What’s your favourite cold weather grub? What’s your opinion on the legitimacy of this as a pie even though it has no pastry bottom?

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  • Yum, yum, yum! I loves a good steak and ale pie I do! Carl made me a chicken and leek pie the other day which was yummy and it only had pastry on the top! x

  • duck in a dress

    Yep, I reckon that’s still a pie even without the pastry bottom (in fact it’s the best sort of pie as there’s no chance of a soggy bottom). I would make this but I’d have to buy a different type of ale – there’s absolutely no way Andrew would let me waste Betty Stogs in a dinner, it’s one of his favourites!
    I can do a mean creamy haddock puff pastry pie, that’s one of my best cold weather dishes. When I get back on two feet, I’m hoping to cook it and blog about it so I’ll make sure to take some creamy cheesy pictures 🙂 xx

  • Oh I do so love a pieee!! <3 steak pies are the best too.

    My dad makes a fab one with guinness and blobs of cheese in the stew (think it's a Jamie O. recipe). It is DIVINE. xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • Miss fancy pants with your bay leaf.

    Pie is good. Steak is good. Stew is good. Dumplings is good. Wintertime food is good.

    I also prefer the pastry-less bottom, it always sticks and pisses me off.

  • Yum! I love pies, finally getting out a shepherds pie tonight – so needed for this weather 🙂 x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • Gwen J

    Ooh pie. I have lots of plans for slow cooker pies this winter! So lovely to come home to!

  • “Pie territory” haha – I LOVE IT!! Your blog is so pretty! I also love that you’re from Devon 🙂 I stay with my family at the Livermead house hotel in Torquay at least 3 times a year – we have done this for about 10 years now, I have so much love for Devon and all things Devonish so I’m not surprised by how much I love your blog 🙂 Nice to meet you!

  • Sounds delicious – had the most amazing cottage pie on weds for dinner, it’s definitely pie season!

  • Anna

    favourite cold weather grub has to be a stew cooked in the slow cooker, oh my…the smell of the house!!!! <3 heavenly! & mmmm, do pies always need to have a pastry base? is there a pie rule book? 😛 xxx

  • Yum yum yum! you’re totally right, you just can’t beat a good pie with pastry topping. Delicious.

  • Please can I come round for dinner? I LOVE steak and ale pie. x

  • Katie

    Anything involving gravy is my favourite cold weather food. And macaroni-broccoli cheese. And bean stew with dumplings (which I made us this evening). xxx

  • Oh I LOVE a chicken and leek pie too! Chuck a bit of smoked bacon in there, bit of mascarpone in the sauce – mwah!
    M x

  • Betty was not too shabby in the pie I must say – sorry Andrew!!

    And the creamy cheesy fishiness sounds pretty blooming good.
    M x

  • Guinness and cheese?? Your pops is taking it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
    M x

  • Haha, I did feel quite fancy pants with my bay leaf. That was squashed when I realised that I’d been out to buy some and I have a bay tree right outside my window that I didn’t recognise. That sentence right there, that’s the reason the first world problems hashtag was invented.
    M x

  • Shepherd’s pie is always a winner! And one of my husband’s specialties!
    M x

  • It’s the best, that smell! Mmmm!
    M x

  • Thanks so much Tash, that’s sweet of you! And nice to meet you too!
    Torquay isn’t too shabby at all, especially that spot right by the sea!
    M x

  • Cottage pie is bloody brilliant when it’s done right. Good winter grub.
    M x

  • I don’t think there is a pie rule book, if there is I’ve just chucked it out the window!
    And slow cooked stew, I’m excited about that but husband says no. It would be weird in the slow cooker! Rude!
    M x

  • It was pretty damn good, even if I do say so!
    M x

  • Just say when ma’am!
    M x

  • Macaroni-broccoli cheese…a most interesting proposition!
    M x

  • Heather

    Mmm this looks delicious and perfect for an Autumn night. Steak pie is my favourite pub grub but I much prefer a pastry bottom as I’m not a huge fan of the puff pastry top (I wouldn’t say no to it though!!)

    Heather x

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