Beef and Ale Pie!

Another dish much inspired by my trip to New Zealand, meat pies! It's not quite a pot pie but if I had to describe it, that's what I'd say it closely relates to.

While I was over there, when you hear the word pie, as an American, I think sweet pies for desserts, but when you're in New Zealand and even Australia, pies have a whole different meaning. Their pies are savory and often times a meal. They even have places dedicated to these little guys. The one I went to in New Zealand was called Pie Face (which apparently originated from Australia) and there had to be at least 20 different types of filling from your veggies to venison. So many to choose from! 

They looked so cute too, I think that might also be a reason why I wanted to try making some for myself, they're the right size. 

Though this was not labor intensive, it took forever! Making everything from scratch didn't help with that either but mainly it was because the beef had a long cooking time. I suppose it wasn't a bad thing, I ended up spending that time very wisely... doing fun day Sunday!
 and before I get into sharing recipes, here are my travels continued: New Zealand! 

A tour through history @ Waitangi Treaty Grounds:
Learning about the Maori culture is very enlightening.

Dolphins sightings @ Bay of Islands:

The ultimate nerd experience visiting the Shire @ The Hobbiton, Matamata 

Beautiful Hot Geysers @ Rotorua
Beautiful, yes. Stinky, Oh yes!...oh well, everything has its pros and cons.

A day in the park @ Hagley Park, Christchurch

Starting the new year with a roaring waterfall @ Arthur's Pass, Devils Punchbowl Trail

and a recipe to help reflect my awesome adventures! 

Beef and Ale Pies
Adapted from DonnaHay
Makes five 4.5” pies


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Roughly 2 lbs of beef brisket, cut into 1 inch pieces ( I used beef chuck which works fine)
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups of pale ale (I used apricot), roughly 12oz bottle
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • tapatio hot sauce (optional) 
  • 1 ½ stick of butter
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 ½ cup of flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

    1. Heat oil in a frying pan, sprinkle beef with salt and pepper, dust with flour and cook, in batches, 3-4 minutes each side and set aside
    2. Heat oil  and sauté onions, celery, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until tender
    3. Return beef to pan with bay leaves, tomato paste, beer, vinegar, beef stock, and sugar and bring to a boil.
    4. Reduce heat, cover pan, and cook for 2-3 hours or until tender.
    5. Remove beef to shred and then return to pan.
For pastry and pie assembly:
  1. Place butter and water into a sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil
  2. Remove from heat, stir in flour and salt until smooth dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic.
  3. Roll out pastry dough (roughly ¼ inch thick) and line your pie pans, make sure you save enough dough for later to cover the pies. Divide beef among the dishes and then roll out remaining dough to cover pies. Make sure to adhere the pie crust together by pressing a fork along the side of the pie dish.
  4. Cut a small slit on the top of the pies
  5. Brush the top of the pies with egg
  6. Bake at 400F degrees for 30-35 minutes


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