Happy Pie Day!


Or Pie Week as it actually is! In honour of this Week of Pie, for last nights dinner I made Minced Beef Pie.  This, back in the day, made a regular appearance on our dinner table and its been a long time since I have had one.  I didn’t used my Mum’s recipe for this (sorry Mum!) but Ruth Clemens recipe from the Great British Book of Baking

Ruth’s Beef Pie


For the Cheese Pastry:

225g Plain Flour
75g Salted Butter (chilled and diced)
75g Lancashire Cheese
1 Medium Free-range egg yolk
4-6 tbsp. ice cold water

For the Filling:

2 tbsp. Sunflower Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
250g Lean Minced Beef
2 Carrots, diced
1 Celery Stick, diced (I hate celery so left it out!!)
4 tbsp. of Ale or Good Beef Stock
3 tbsp. Tomato Ketchup
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper
beaten Egg to glaze.

20cm x 15cm enamel deep pie dish


  • To make the pastry, put the flour and diced butter into a food processor, blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Crumble the cheese into the bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs
  • Add the egg yolk and 4 tbsp. of cold water, run the machine until the mixture comes together to form a ball of dough (add more water if necessary)
  • Remove from the bowl and cut of a third of the dough for the lid.  Wrap both pieces in Clingfilm and chill while making the filling
  • For the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook until soft. Remove from the pan
  • Add the minced beef to the pan and cook until browned.
  • Turn the heat to low and add the carrots and celery and the onions back in.  cook until all the vegetables have softened
  • Add the ale or stock, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer until the meat is tender and the mixture is thick.  Leave to cool.
  • When ready to assemble, roll out the large portion of pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle big enough to line the base and sides of the pie dish
  • Carefully press the pastry on to the base and sides of the dish, pressing out any bubbles of air.  Brush the rim of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  • Spoon the cold filling into the dish. 
  • Roll out the second portion of pastry to a rectangle to make a lid.
  • Lift the pastry over the dish and gently press it on the dampened rim to seal firmly.  Trim off any excess pastry.  Crimp the rim with your fingers.
  • Leave to rest for 10mins.  Heat the oven to 190C / 375F / Gas 5.
  • Brush the pie with the beaten egg to glaze.  Make a small steam hole and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins, until the pastry is nice and golden
  • Serve piping hot with whatever you fancy – in my case… mash and peas!