Recreate this braised beef and mushroom pie, then check out our mushroom wellington, chicken and chorizo pie, Venison pie and more easy pie recipes.

olive columnist Rosie Birkett writes: "Have you ever considered the idiom ‘humble pie’? It’s thought to derive from the term ‘numble pie’ (later the ‘n’ was dropped, becoming ‘umble’), which referred to the deer offal meat pie served to the lower classes in medieval times. But, for me, a pie is a truly beautiful thing. Breaking through that golden, flaky crust to reveal a rich, unctuous braise steaming underneath has got to be up there with the most exciting dinner table moments.

"The reason that I love pies goes beyond the fact that they are warming and comforting to eat. There’s so much pleasure to be taken in the crafting of a homemade pie, from the browning of the meat or veg for the filling, to the bringing together of the pastry – this is a slow, gentle act of self-care and anticipation which is worth setting aside a few hours for. Pies are also a brilliantly effortless, yet special way to feed a tableful of hungry people because they are the ultimate make-ahead. Do your braising, make your pastry and even assemble the pie the day before, and you’re ready to bring it out of the fridge, glaze it once more with beaten egg and then bake it off while you prepare any sides, leaving plenty of time to have fun with your family or guests.

"This recipe is my ultimate beef and mushroom, and it’s one to take the time to slow braise. You could use a slow cooker, if you have one, to make the beefy filling, as this would be more energy efficient. But, if not, you could make sure you also cook something in the oven while the filling braises – jacket potatoes, perhaps, or some hard roasted veg.

"This recipe calls for suet pastry, because I love how it mops up the rich, savoury beef gravy, but shortcrust or even puff works well too, and, of course, shop bought is fine if the braising of the filling is the most time investment you can give to this.

"I’m married to a Yorkshireman, so most beef pies now have to be accompanied by yorkshire puddings, and they are rather lovely with the pie filling ladled in, but roast or jacket potatoes make a nice accompaniment, too, along with some steamed or sautéed spring greens or sprout tops."

Rosie's top tips

  1. Make your braised filling ahead and freeze it for future use. Just get it out of the freezer, defrost it fully and then follow the rest of the steps to finish it.
  2. Suet pastry is more sticky and elastic than other pastry, so have some flour to hand to lightly dust the rolling pin and the worksurface as you roll it out to avoid it sticking.
  3. If the braise looks dry at any point, add a glass of water to it – you want lots of lovely flavourful juices to make that amazing gravy.

Follow Rosie on Instagram @homeandgardenbythesea and @rosiefoodie.


  • 500g grass-fed chuck, shin or braising steak, cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • couple of sprigs of thyme
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • glass of marsala (or other aromatic, sweet wine)
  • splash of worcestershire sauce
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard


  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 120g shredded beef suet
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Season the beef well. Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in a casserole and put over a medium-high heat. Once hot, brown the meat (you might need to do this in batches) for 5-7 mins or until caramelised and crusted. Remove from the pan and add 1 tbsp more oil, if needed, then fry the onion, carrots, celery, bay and thyme with some seasoning for 5-6 mins or until softened and aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes until slightly coloured, then add the meat back in and pour over the wine and worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then pour in the beef stock and bring back to a simmer. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven (or slow cooker) to braise for 1 hr 30 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, make and chill the pastry. In a bowl combine the flour, suet, rosemary and a pinch of salt. Season with black pepper, then use a butter knife to cut into the pastry, chopping until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency – you want to work out those lumps of suet. Now add just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough that’s not wet – you’ll need between 130ml 150ml. Flour your hands and briefly knead until you have a smooth dough that isn’t sticky and can be rolled out. Now ball it up, wrap in baking paper and chill for at least 30 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Once cooked, remove the beef from the oven and strain the beef and veg from the rich juices, pouring the juices back into the pan to thicken into the pie sauce. Whisk the flour together with 2-3 tbsp of water until it has a double cream consistency, then pour this into the juices, whisking over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until thick and glossy. Stir in the mustard and check the seasoning. Add the meat and veg back in (removing the bay leaf) and coat in the sauce. Allow to cool.

  • STEP 4

    On a lightly floured worksurface, gently roll out the pastry to a disc or sheet large enough to cover your pie dish (I used a 22cm one). Spoon the cooled pie filling into the dish – placing a pie bird in the middle if you have one – and brush the edges and outer sides of the dish with a little water. Use a rolling pin to transfer the pastry to the top of the pie, positioning the cross over the pie bird, if using, and press onto the edges of the dish, going over it with a fork to crimp and seal it, sticking any overhang to the side of the dish. Use any offcuts to decorate it with leaves or hearts, or even the letters to spell ‘pie’. Glaze with the beaten egg and refrigerate for 20-30 mins (or up to a couple of days if making ahead) until the pastry is firm. Bake at 190C/170C fan/gas 5 for 40-45 mins or until golden and crusty. Serve with buttered mash, greens and/or yorkshire puddings.

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A golden pie with a serving taken out revealing a meaty centre


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