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British steak and ale pie is pure comfort food with a flaky butter crust and a rich, savory vegetable beef stew inside. Soul-warming dishes like this are classic English pub fare, and for good reason. Hearty meals help take the chill off winter!

stack of steak and ale pies with one pie cut open to show beef stew filling

Golden, flaky, buttery pie crust with tender pieces of beef and vegetables in a thick, savory gravy. It really doesn’t get much better than this!

Don’t be intimidated, this recipe is not as hard as you might think. I recommend making the shortcrust pastry and beef stew filling the day before, so assembling and baking these mini beef pot pies is a breeze.

These flavorful little pockets are a full meal on their own. And what’s even better, they’re a portable full meal! However, you can serve them up with hearty side dishes like mashed potatoes and buttered peas for a Sunday supper spread to warm up any winter evening.

plate with british steak and ale pie meal with mashed potatoes and peas

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Make ahead. You can make the beef stew (the filling) and the pie dough the day ahead so these are easy to assemble and bake.
  • Individually-sized pies. We use a muffin tray to make individual steak and ale pies! These mini pies are great for portion control and easy serving.
  • Depth of flavor. This stew is not only hearty and filling, but it has amazing depth of flavor thanks to ingredients that provide the umami factor.

Hearty Steak and Ale Pie Recipe with Mushrooms

shortcrust pastry ingredients

Ingredients in Beef and Ale Pie

  • All-purpose flour – no fancy flour needed, all-purpose flour works perfectly for shortcrust pastry dough
  • Salt – to season the pie crust; don’t skip this or your crust will be bland
  • Unsalted butter – we make an all-butter crust for this meat pie, and the flavor is unbeatable
  • Ice water – the water should be super cold so the butter doesn’t melt; we still want tiny bits of butter in our dough to get a flaky crust
  • English beef and ale stew – it’s not only the flavor we’re looking for here, but it’s the fact that this type of stew is very thick; we don’t want a liquidy or watery filling that will leak out of our meat pies or create a soggy bottom
  • Egg + water – this is to make the eggwash that gets brushed on top of the pies to help them brown

How to Make British Steak and Ale Pie

Step 1: Make the Savory Beef Stew Filling:

how to make easy beef stew with ale
  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside for now.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high. To the same pot, add the beef stew meat in a single layer. Let it sear on both sides, about 3 minutes total (don’t stir it until it starts to caramelize on the first side; this takes about 90 seconds).
  3. Stir in the onion and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the sautéed mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, carrot, ale, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf. Give it a good stir.
  5. Bring up to a boil, and then cover the pot. Turn the heat down slightly so it’s at a gentle boil, and cook until the meat is tender and the liquid is evaporated, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds.
pot of hearty beef stew cooked in dutch oven

The resulting stew is quite thick and hearty! It’s the perfect filling for meat pies.

Step 2: Make the Shortcrust Dough:

how to make shortcrust pastry for sweet and savory pies
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the chilled, diced butter.
  2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips. It should look crumbly, with some pieces of butter the size of small peas.
  3. Drizzle the water in a little at a time, mixing as you go.
  4. You can mix the dough with a fork, but it works best mixing with your fingertips.
  5. Add just enough water so it comes together to form a ball of dough (you may need more or less water).
  6. Divide the dough ball into 2 equal parts. Roll each into a ball, flatten each ball slightly into a disk, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Roll Out the Dough, Assemble the Mini Pies, and Bake:

how to make individual steak and ale pies
  1. Place 1 disk of dough onto a floured work surface. I like to roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper, but you will still need to flour the paper and the dough.
  2. Working from the center out, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 11 to 12 by 16 to 18 inches.
  3. To make the pies in a regular muffin pan, you will need 8 (5-inch) circles to get pressed into the muffin wells.
  4. Additionally, you will need 8 (3-inch) circles for topping. Stamp out as many as you can, and then repeat this process with the second ball of dough. Gather the dough scraps, re-roll the dough, and stamp out more if needed.
  5. Gently press each 5-inch circle of dough into a muffin well in a muffin pan. If you’re using a standard-sized muffin pan, the dough should come up over the top a little, which is perfect. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the bottom crust of each tart. Fill each muffin well to the top with beef and ale stew (about 3 tablespoons per pie), making sure the filling is compact and there are no air bubbles. Lightly brush the top ring of dough with eggwash.
  6. Place 1 (3-inch) dough circle on top of each pie. Gently crimp the outside with a fork. Lightly brush each dough circle with eggwash, discarding any extra eggwash. Bake in an oven preheated to 375F until the tarts are golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftover savory meat pies covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat these individual beef pies on a baking sheet in a 350F oven until fully warm, about 20 minutes. I don’t recommend reheating them in the microwave because the gorgeous crust will lose its crisp flakiness.

spread of meal with mini beef pot pies

How to Freeze Mini Beef and Ale Pies

These individual beef pot pies freeze well! To do so, once they’re cooled to room temperature, arrange them in a single layer stacked between pieces of parchment paper in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

After freezing, thaw these overnight in the fridge before reheating.

How to Make a 9-Inch Pie Instead

You can also make 1 (9-inch) double-crust savory steak and ale pie with this recipe instead of making individual beef and ale pies. Bake the 9-inch double crust pie in a 400F oven until golden, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Tips for Success

  • Make the stew the day before (or up to 3 days before). Not only will this let it blend so the stew is more flavorful, but the filling shouldn’t be hot when you make the pies. If you make the stew ahead of time, it’s ready and waiting for you, not the other way around.
  • Likewise, make the pie dough the day ahead of time (up to 3 days is fine). You need to chill it anyway, so you might as well get it done so you’re not having to wait during the chill time.
stack of mini meat pies on wooden board

Steak and Ale Pie FAQs

Can I Skip the Mushrooms?

Yes! If you’re not a fan of a beef and mushroom pie, go ahead and skip the ‘shrooms. But personally, I love the umami flavor they lend to a delicious pub pie.

What is the Best Ale for Steak and Ale Pie?

You might have heard of beef and stout pie, beef and Guinness pie, or steak stout pie. That’s because stout beer works well for this dish!

Any type of stout beer works well for classic steak and ale pies. When in doubt, go with Guinness!

What is the Best Pastry for Meat Pie Recipes?

I love a flaky, buttery pastry crust for both sweet and savory pie recipes, including this British beef and ale pie.

The pastry crust (aka pie dough) recipe I use for meat pie recipes is the same one I use for many pie and tarts recipes, including my Mincemeat Tarts. It’s known as a shortcrust pastry or pâte brisée in French.

When making a shortcrust pastry, you cut the butter into the flour so you’re left with tiny bits of butter in the dough. These small pieces of butter release steam during baking, which creates a deliciously flaky crust.

Can You Use Puff Pastry to Make Steak and Ale Pie?

Yes! And steak and ale pie with puff pastry is absolutely delicious.

plate of beef pie with mashed potatoes and peas

More Classic British Recipes to Make

individual steak and ale pie cut in half on stack of pies

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Individual Steak and Ale Pie Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Other Time30 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
British steak and ale pie is pure comfort food with a flaky butter crust and a rich, savory vegetable beef stew inside. Soul-warming dishes like this are classic English pub fare, and for good reason. Hearty meals help take the chill off winter!

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Ingredients
 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter chilled and diced
  • 3/4 cup ice water plus more as needed
  • 4 cups English beef and ale stew cooled to room temperature (about 1 batch)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for eggwash)

Instructions
 

  • Lightly brush the wells of a muffin pan with butter.
  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork, a pastry cutter, 2 butter knives, or your fingertips. It should look crumbly, with some pieces of butter the size of small peas.
  • Drizzle the water in a little at a time, mixing as you go (you can use a fork to mix, but it works best mixing with your fingertips). Add just enough water so it comes together to form a ball of dough (you may need more or less water).
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each into a ball, flatten each ball slightly into a disk, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  • Place 1 disk of dough onto a floured work surface. Working from the center out, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 11 to 12 by 16 to 18 inches.
  • To make the pies in a regular muffin pan, you will need 8 (5-inch) circles to get pressed into the muffin wells, and 8 (3-inch) circles for topping. Stamp out as many as you can, and then repeat this process with the second ball of dough. Gather the dough scraps, re-roll the dough, and stamp out more if needed.
  • Gently press each 5-inch circle of dough into a muffin well in a muffin pan. If you’re using a standard-sized muffin pan, the dough should come up over the top a little, which is perfect. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the bottom crust of each tart.
  • Fill each muffin well to the top with beef and ale stew (about 3 tablespoons per pie), making sure the filling is compact and there are no air bubbles.
  • Lightly brush the top ring of dough with eggwash. Place 1 (3-inch) dough circle on top of each pie. Gently crimp the outside with a fork. Lightly brush each dough circle with eggwash, discarding any extra eggwash.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 375F until the tarts are golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Let them cool for 15 minutes in the tray before removing (if you run a paring knife along the outside of each tart, they should pop right out).

Notes

  • The Shortcut Version: Use store-bought pie dough and/or store-bought puff pastry instead of making your own pie dough.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store leftover savory meat pies covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat these individual beef pies on a baking sheet in a 350F oven until fully warm, about 20 minutes. I don’t recommend reheating them in the microwave because the gorgeous crust will lose its crisp flakiness.
  • Freezer-Friendly: These individual beef pot pies freeze well! To do so, once they’re cooled to room temperature, arrange them in a single layer stacked between pieces of parchment paper in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. After freezing, thaw these overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • To Make a 9-Inch Pie Instead: You can also make 1 (9-inch) double-crust savory steak and ale pie with this recipe. Bake it in a 400F oven until golden, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pie | Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 506mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3345IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Beef and Ale Pie, Beef Pie Recipe, Beef Pot Pies, British Meat Pie, English Meat Pie, Individual Steak and Ale Pie, Mini Steak and Ale Pie, Savory Meat Pie, Steak and Ale Pie Recipe, Steak and Ale Pies, Steak and Ale Pies Recipe, Steak and Mushroom Pie

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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One Comment

  1. Kristen Hansen says:

    I made the 9 inch version, and it’s by far the best recipe for a meat pie we’ve ever had! That British steak and ale stew would be great in a bowl as well! Saving this recipe for a permanent addition to our meals!

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