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Beef, beer and chestnut pie

12 December 2011

A hearty meal to help warm up the long winter nights, using lean boneless beef shin and halved chestnuts.

Beef, beer and chestnut pie
Beef, beer and chestnut pie

Preparation time

15 mintutes

Cooking time

Approximately 2½ hours




  • 450g/1lb lean boneless beef shin, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
  • 30ml/2tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 45ml/3tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 100g/4oz vacuum packed whole peeled chestnuts, halved
  • 300ml/½pint stout
  • 150ml/¼pint good, hot beef stock
  • 5ml/1tsp brown sugar
  • 5ml/1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 bay leaf

For the pie topping:

  • 450g pack prepared puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten


1. Place the seasoned flour and seasoning into a large plastic food bag. Add the beef in batches and shake to coat.

2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the beef in stages for 4-5 minutes until brown on all sides. Spoon into a 1.2L/2pt ovenproof casserole dish suitable for the hob and oven.

3. In the same frying pan fry the onions and chestnuts for 2-3 minutes. Spoon into the casserole dish with the beef.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients, turn up the heat and boil then cover, turn down the heat and cook on the hob or in a preheated oven at Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F for 1½hours.

5. Remove the casserole from the hob or oven and turn up the oven to Gas mark 5, 190ºC, 350ºF.

6. Remove the bay leaf and spoon into a 1.2L/2pint ovenproof pie dish.

7. For the topping, roll out the pastry in a large square on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin. Cut the pastry lids large enough to cover the dish.

8. Spoon the filling into the casserole dish, dampen the edges with water and cover the top with a pastry lid. Cut a small slit on top of the pastry for the steam to escape. Put the pie on a baking tray then brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

9. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

10. Serve the pies with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables.

Our thanks to Red Tractor for providing this recipe.

Red Tractor beef and lamb has launched ‘Festive Fairies’, to give mums and dads a helping hand at Christmas. For more festive recipe ideas for all the family click here.

See our collection of beef recipes for more cooking inspiration.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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