Irish Beef Pie Recipe

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Irish Beef Pie

World Cuisines


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Irish Beef Pie, often celebrated for its hearty and comforting qualities, is a culinary delight that embodies the rustic and robust flavors of Ireland. This traditional dish combines tender, slow-cooked beef with a rich, savory gravy and a variety of vegetables, all encased in a flaky, golden pastry. It’s a perfect meal for chilly evenings, family gatherings, or any occasion that calls for a satisfying and nourishing dish. In this article, we’ll explore how to make an authentic Irish Beef Pie, including some tips and variations to suit your taste.


To make an Irish Beef Pie, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Filling:

2 lbs (about 900g) of beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of beef broth
1 cup of Guinness beer (or any dark beer)
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Pastry:

1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cold and diced
¼ cup of ice water
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)


Preparing the Filling:

Prep the Beef: Season the beef pieces with salt, pepper, and flour, ensuring they’re well-coated.

Brown the Beef: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches, browning on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Sauté Vegetables: In the same pot, add a bit more oil if needed, then sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until they start to soften.

Combine and Cook: Return the beef to the pot along with the tomato paste, beef broth, beer, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 1.5 hours, or until the beef is tender. Add the peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Thicken: If the gravy is too thin, you can thicken it with a mixture of flour and water (2 tablespoons of each, whisked together) added to the pot. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the desired thickness is achieved.

Preparing the Pastry:

Make the Dough: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water, stirring until the dough comes together.

Chill: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Assembling and Baking the Pie:

Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Roll Out the Dough: On a floured surface, roll out the dough to fit your pie dish, with enough overhang for crimping the edges.

Assemble: Spoon the filling into the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust, place it over the filling, and crimp the edges to seal. Make a few slits in the top for steam to escape and brush with the beaten egg.

Bake: Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbly.

Serve: Let the pie cool for a few minutes before serving. This dish pairs wonderfully with a simple green salad or steamed vegetables.


Vegetarian Option: Substitute the beef with a mix of mushrooms and lentils for a hearty vegetarian version.

Cheese Lover’s Twist: Add a layer of sharp cheddar cheese between the filling and the top crust for a cheesy delight.

Individual Pies: Make individual pies using smaller pie dishes or ramekins for a personalized touch.

Irish Beef Pie is a versatile dish that allows for various adaptations. Whether sticking to the traditional recipe or adding your own twist, it’s sure to bring warmth and enjoyment to any meal.

Enjoying the process of making an Irish Beef Pie is just as important as the meal itself. The act of preparing the beef, kneading the pastry, and assembling the pie is a labor of love that results in a deeply satisfying culinary experience. To elevate your Irish Beef Pie even further, consider these additional tips and insights:

Tips for the Perfect Pie:

Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality, well-marbled beef for the most flavorful filling.

Similarly, using a good-quality butter for the pastry will enhance the crust’s flavor and texture.

Slow Cook: The key to tender beef is a slow, gentle cook. Allowing the beef to simmer slowly in the beer and broth not only tenderizes the meat but also develops a rich, complex flavor in the gravy.

Chill the Pastry: Keeping the pastry dough cold before rolling and baking is crucial for achieving a flaky texture. If the butter in the dough melts before baking, the pastry won’t be as light and airy.

Let It Rest: After baking, give your pie a few minutes to rest. This waiting period allows the filling to set slightly, making it easier to slice and ensuring that the flavors meld together perfectly.

Serving Suggestions:

An Irish Beef Pie is a feast in itself, but pairing it with the right side dishes can turn a meal into a memorable occasion. Here are a few suggestions:

Mashed Potatoes: Serve your pie with a side of creamy mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort food experience.

Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips, complements the earthy flavors of the pie.

Irish Soda Bread: Offer slices of buttery Irish soda bread to soak up the rich gravy.

Green Salad: For a lighter touch, a crisp green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette balances the richness of the pie.

Storing and Reheating:

Irish Beef Pie is just as delicious the next day, making it a great make-ahead meal.

To Store: Cool the pie completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To Reheat: Warm in a 350°F (175°C) oven until heated through. Cover the edges with foil if they begin to brown too much.

Creating an Irish Beef Pie from scratch is a rewarding endeavor that pays off with every flavorful bite. It’s a dish that carries the essence of Irish cuisine—simple ingredients transformed into something extraordinary through time-honored cooking techniques. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking the comfort of a hearty meal, this pie is sure to satisfy. Embrace the process, experiment with variations, and enjoy sharing this delicious piece of culinary heritage with your loved ones.


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