Ruth's beef pie

(22 ratings)
 Ruth's beef pie recipe from Great British Bake Off
 Ruth's beef pie recipe from Great British Bake Off
  • Serves: 4

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    (May need an extra 5 mins)
  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Master chef

  • Costs: Mid-price

We've got Great British Bake Off finalist Ruth's beef pie recipe. It has a really traditional filling and the cheese in the pastry crust gives it a lovely twist


For the cheese pastry:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g salted butter, chilled and diced
  • 75g Lancashire cheese
  • 1 medium free-range egg yolk
  • 46tbsp ice-cold water

For the beef filling:

  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250g lean minced beef
  • 2 peeled carrots, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 4tbsp ale or good beef stock
  • 3tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beaten egg, to glaze
You'll also need:

  • 20 x 15cm enamel deep pie dish

Season generously to give the pie extra flavour - keep tasting the mixture until you're happy with it.


  1. To make the pastry: Put the flour and diced butter into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Run the machine until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Crumble the cheese into the bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 4tbsp of ice-cold water and run the machine until the mixture comes together to form a ball of dough, adding more water, a teaspoon at a time, as necessary, through the feed tube. Remove from the bowl and cut off a third of the dough (for the lid). Wrap both pieces of dough in clingfilm and chill while making the filling.
  3. To make the filling: Heat the oil in a large frying pan, preferably non-stick.
  4. Add the chopped onions and cook gently until soft but not coloured. Push the onions to one side, then add the minced beef and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until browned. Turn the heat down to low, then add the diced carrots and celery and stir the mixture well to incorporate the onions. Cook gently, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened - about 10 mins. Add the ale or stock, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste, stir well, then simmer gently until the meat is tender and the mixture is thick and just slightly moist rather than runny - about 10 mins. If necessary turn up the heat and stir constantly if the filling seems a bit wet. Taste and adjust the seasoning - the mixture should be nicely savoury, so add more pepper or Worcestershire sauce as necessary. Leave to cool completely.
  5. When ready to assemble, roll out the large portion of pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle big enough to the line the base and sides of your pie dish. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and gently drape it over the dish. Carefully press the pastry on to the base and sides of the dish, pressing out any bubbles of air. If necessary patch up any holes with scraps of pastry.
  6. Brush the pastry on the rim of the dish with beaten egg. Spoon the cold filling into the dish.
  7. Roll out the second portion of pastry to a rectangle about 20 x 15cm to make the lid. Using the rolling pin as a support, lift the pastry over the dish and gently press it on to the dampened rim to seal firmly. Trim off any excess pastry using a sharp knife.
  8. Crimp or decorate the rim with your fingers or a pastry crimper. Leave to rest for 10 mins. Meanwhile heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.
  9. Brush the pie with beaten egg to glaze, make a small steam hole in the centre using the tip of a sharp knife, and bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 mins, until the pastry is a good golden brown. Serve hot, as soon as possible.

This recipe is taken from The Great British Book of Baking, which accompanies The Great British Bake Off, a 6-part series on BBC2, on at 8pm each Tuesday, from 17th August 2010.

The Great British Book of Baking is published by Michael Joseph, is priced 20 and is available from Amazon.

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  • 4
(22 ratings)

Your comments


Ahh Ruthie, you look so gorgeous huni :) xxx

Leone Evrenos

Have just made the pie and I stand corrected when I said it would not feed 4 people. If you serve it with mash and green veg it would more than likely stretch to 4 as the filling is deep. The cheese pastry was absolutely divine! (no soggy bottom) however I would use tomato pur&#195&#169e instead of the ketchup in the filling as you could taste the sugar in it!!

Leone Evrenos

I've just purchased the stated size pie dish for this recipe and no way would it serve 4 people with healthy appetites!! I would say it would serve 2. However I will try this recipe as it sounds delicious and will comment later.


I have really enjoyed watching the programme The Great British Bake Off, learning all the tips for great cakes, biscuits, bread and pastry. I have always used plain flour for making pastry since learning how to cook at school, but when I started work in a catering company an old employee told me she always make shortcrust pastry with half of plain flour and half of self raising flour, I have always used this method since and I have always a delicious pastry and no soggy bottom.

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