Beef Pie

by Mary
(Portsmouth, UK)

Lots of the pie recipes on this site seem to be for sweet pies but as I'm married to someone who has diabetes we never eat sweet things.

I love to make pies and this one is very, very simple to do and will feed a lot of people. It takes about an hour to prepare and cook.


For the pastry

16 ounces of plain flour
4 ounces of margarine
4 ounces of lard
small pinch of salt
a little water

For the glaze

A little milk or an egg

For the filling

1lb minced (ground) beef
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 small courgettes (zucchini)
2 medium carrots
1 very small or half a larger swede (rutabaga)
8 or 9 button mushrooms
1 14oz tin of plum tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
a little olive oil


For the pastry

In a large bowl chop the lard and margarine up into small cubes and rub into the flour and salt until you have breadcrumbs. You can do this by hand or in a food processor.

Mix the breadcrumbs with a little water to form a dough. Don't add too much water or you won't be able to roll the pastry out easily.

Let the dough rest in the fridge for about half an hour while you prepare the pie filling.

For the filling

Peel the onions and chop into small pieces. Use a garlic press and crush the cloves of garlic.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. When its soft add the beef mince.

Peel and chop the carrots and swede into small cubes, chop the courgette and mushrooms, add to the mince along with the tin of tomatoes, stock cube, herbs, salt and pepper.

Let it cook on a medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and drain the liquid off. Reserve to make gravy with later.

To assemble the pie

Take the pastry dough out of the fridge and sprinkle some flour onto your work surface.

Divide the dough into two pieces one third and two thirds.

Use the two thirds piece to make the base of your pie. Roll out the pastry until it's large enough to fit into a 9 x 13" dish. I have a Pampered Chef rectangular baker that I use for my pies.

Fill the pie case with the drained meat filling.

Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and seal firmly round the edges. Make a couple of small holes in the lid to allow steam to escape.

Glaze by brushing a little milk or a beaten egg over the lid of the pie.

Cook in a hot oven Gas mark 7 or Electric 220ºC / 450ºF for about 30 minutes.

To make the gravy

Use the reserved liquid from the pie filling mix and add to a teaspoon of cornflour. Cook, stirring continuously, until thickened.

Serve with mashed potatoes, peas and steamed cabbage for a really delicious evening meal.

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