Fast Food #2: Beef and Onion Pies

Image of pie cut open

These are a doddle to make and delicious served with oven-baked potato wedges in place of the floppy, anaemic chips you usually get from the fish and chip shop.

Not only that, the pies actually have meat in them, instead of gristle and gravy.

Image of filled pies

This is the second in my occasional series offering home-made and edible versions of the fast food available on the High Street.

They don’t take much longer than standing in a queue in the chippy on a busy night and you’re less likely to be the victim of a drive-by shooting.

These little pies are a great way to use leftover rare beef from Sunday lunch but you could just as easily make them with good-quality steak mince.

Beef and Onion Pies

  • Servings: 8 individual pies
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Image of cooked pies in the tin


450g rare beef left over from the Sunday joint, chopped into small dice, or steak mince

2 large onions, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

2 sticks of celery, diced

Any leftover beef gravy

1 glass of red wine

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp of tomato puree

Salt and pepper

A tspn  or so of dried thyme

1 tbsp of plain flour

2 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry


Egg wash or milk to glaze

Image of chopped rare beef

Dice the beef if you’re using Sunday’s leftovers


Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6 and put a baking sheet in to heat up.

Heat a good glug of oil in a deep frying pan. Add the onions and celery and fry until browning nicely. Add the garlic and fry a minute or two longer.

Image of onions and celery frying

Add the beef and stir well. Add the flour and stir then cook for a minute.

Pour in a glass of red wine and stir well, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.

Add the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce, the equivalent of a wineglassful of leftover gravy if you have it, or a little stock or water. Add the thyme and season well.

Image of beef pie filling

Cook until the flavours have amalgamated and it doesn’t taste floury. It should be very stiff, not runny.

Allow to cool while you prepare the potato wedges – scrub 1 medium potato per person and cut out any grotty bits.

Cut into chunky wedges, put them in a roasting tin and toss them with a good glug of olive or rapeseed oil and a good grinding of salt and pepper, spreading the potato wedges out into one layer.

Image of potato wedges ready for the oven

Oil a deep muffin tray and cut out puff pastry circles big enough to fit the holes.

Put a tablespoon or so of the beef filling into each tin. Cut lids to fit and place them on top, slashing a cross so the steam can escape.

Image of filled pies in baking tin

Glaze with beaten egg or milk and place in the oven on the hot baking sheet. Put the potato wedges alongside and cook both for 25-30 minutes.

You may need the swap the pies and potatoes between shelves to get them to cook properly, but start the pies off at the top to get the pastry to rise.

Serve with the veg of your choice. Mushy peas, anyone?

Image of cooked potato wedges

Image of cooked pies in the tin

24 thoughts on “Fast Food #2: Beef and Onion Pies

  1. Such a good idea to use a muffin tray – I wouldn’t have thought of that. And I like the fact you made proper pies – with a pastry top AND bottom.

  2. Thanks Will – I think to qualify as fast food you have to be able to eat it in your hand so wraparound pastry is a must. The muffin tins work a treat – a perfect one-portion serving (although it’s perfectly acceptable to eat two!)

  3. Lovely looking pies. Just the right size to slip into my pocket and bring along to a rugby match. Mmmm delicious half time feast to have with a little nip from a hip flask. (Am I getting old?).

  4. The industrial ones have meat in them too, otherwise they’d be sued. There are standardly two lumps, hidden away somewhere, usually behind some gristle, and visible with judicious use of an electron microscope. The ones you are advocating here let the side down quite badly: juicy meat (loads of it), flaky, yummy pastry, bags of flavour and seasoning. Have you no shame???
    (Don’t tell anyone, but we’ll give this a go over the weekend, it looks so yummy)

    • Has anyone ever told you you are a Very Nice Man?

      Thank you for the kind words and if you really do have a go at the beef pie, pls let me know how you get on.

      Linda x

      • The filling is made (not leftovers, I’m afraid – stewing steak from scratch) and is chilling in the fridge till tomorrow when I shall make the pie itself. I shall report further after the tasting. It was kinda fun this morning (Rosemary was away, helping at one of the shops at Alder Carr): cooking everything off, Bryn Terfel (almost called him Yul Brynner!) belting out White Christmas, it kinda put me in the mood …

        Your recipe says brush with egg or milk: which do you think gives the better golden brown?

      • Wow, well done you! You’ll have to call them Bryn Terfel Pies – I was going to make a joke about flogging them for a tenor apiece then remembered he isn’t…

        I think egg wash gives a better glaze but if you don’t want to sacrifice a whole egg (such extravagance) then a brush over with milk is fine.

      • Terfel Pies they are, then. And they’ll have to sell for lower than a tenor apiece, won’t they?

      • Yes but I’m sure you’ll soon build up a big enough fan bass to make it all worthwhile.
        (And if you can get baritone into a pun I’ll bake you a cake.)

      • If a baritone isn’t a beer barrel of a given size … then I admit defeat. Anyway, the pie is in the oven right now, coming up a beautiful golden brown – but I’ve given it 45 mins as it’s a bigger pie rather than Terfel Pies. We’re getting jolly hungry … Report on the flavour shortly.

      • The consensus here is something like 9 out of 10. Rosemary gave it 10 because she hadn’t cooked it, I give it 8 because I ‘over-browned’ the steak in the frying pan and it was less tender than it should have been. But everything else went, I thought, very well. Flavour was yum, but the real star of the show was the pastry. Regret I had no hand in that, because I got pre-rolled from Tesco’s own, and it was so easy to use and came up so well; even the bottom sheet wasn’t soggy! So the only problem was me, but everything else went like a dream and it was seriously good. Thank you so much for suggesting it and giving us the low-down.

        What a blog this is!! (I’ve never played on a blog before … please be gentle with me …)

      • I’m so pleased it worked out for you! Thanks for having a crack at it.

        Top marks to you for trying it and for posting your comments – you get 10/10, a gold star and you can be milk monitor all next week ….

      • Oh, Miss ….. not milk monitor again! Can’t I be rugby boots monitor this time? Pleeeease?

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