Michael Elfwing – Executive Chef at Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Australians take their pies very seriously. The Brits also love a good pie. In fact, when we’re talking about crispy, golden brown pastry with a rich, beautifully stewed meat filling, who doesn’t love a pie?

While steak and beer pair well together, adding a robust beer into your pie filling will make for a darker, rich gravy.

The best cuts for pie filling are slow braised cuts like chuck, beef shin, or oyster blade, but any braising beef you get from your local supermarket or butcher will be just fine. Ideally you want to be able to cut through the pie and get big chunks, rather than mince.

This recipe for Steak and Ale Pie comes from Executive Chef Michael Elfwing. The best part about it is that it can be cooked on its own and enjoyed as a stew. But let’s face it, you can’t have a pie without pastry.

Serves 4 


  • 600g of braised beef cut into cubes
  • 4 onions, chopped into rough pieces
  • Plain flour
  • 8-10 potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 50g of butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 345ml bottle of beer
  • 150ml of beef stock
  • 1 sheet of ready-rolled frozen puff pastry, partially thawed


Step 1

Toss the beef cubes with a little flour to coat lightly.

Step 2

Add the onion to a cast iron oven proof pot (such as a Dutch Oven) with some oil and butter.  Add the beef cubes and season with salt and white pepper.

Step 3

Add beer into the pan, followed by beef stock, bay leaf and thyme.

Step 4

Transfer the pot to a 160ºC oven and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The beef will be ready when it breaks down easily when pushed with a fork.

Step 5

The stew is now ready to eat on its own.

To assemble the pie

Spoon the mixture into a pie dish and top it with puff pastry, trimming away any excess. Bake it for 30 minutes or until golden brown.