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Prep Time 15 minutes - Total Time 4 hours - Serves 4

Pies! So comforting, so satisfying, so bloody good especially on a cold day.

A beautiful piping hot filling with a crumbly pastry lid does it get any better? YES! Stick a mountain of chips or mash next to it, and if you like some veg.

British comfort food at its best!!

(You will also find this recipe on page 116 of my book Richard’s Family Favourites click here)


  • 800 g diced beef.

  • 200 g smoked bacon lardons.

  • 3 medium white onions, roughly diced.

  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped.

  • Fresh thyme leaves.

  • 440 ml Guinness.

  • 1 beef stockpot.

  • 2 tbsps of mushroom ketchup.

  • 2 tbsps of plain flour.

  • 1 block of ready-made shortcrust pastry.

  • 2 egg yolks.


  1. First, start by preheating the oven to 160℃ then in a large ovenproof dish add a splash of olive oil and fry the lardons over medium heat. You want to cook out all the moisture from the lardons and then they will go really crispy and golden, should take around 10 minutes.

  2. Once the lardons are done remove and place to one side, make sure all the juices stay in the pan. Now crank up the heat, season the beef with salt and brown it off. You will have to do this in batches depending on the size of your dish. When the beef has a good crust on it, place it on one side with the lardons.

  3. Next to go into the dish is the onions, carrots, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and if it needs it another splash of oil. Turn the heat right down and give it a good mix and cook for 5 minutes.

  4. Return the beef and lardons along with the flour. Give it a good mix so it covers everything then turn up the heat to high, add the Guinness, beef stock pot, mushroom ketchup and top it up with enough water to cover everything. Cook over high heat for a couple of minutes and you will see it will start to thicken up nicely.

  5. Now it’s time to let the oven do its thing, cover with a lid but leave a little gap and pop into the oven for around 3 hours. Basically, you want to cook it till the beef is super tender. When you can get a piece of meat and push it against the side of the dish with a fork and it just flakes away it’s ready. Just keep checking on it every 45 minutes or so and add a little water if it looks like it’s getting too thick and reducing down too much.

  6. Once done, allow to cool, then when you are ready to make the pie pour into an oven dish and egg wash the lip of the dish. Roll out and cut the pastry to fit your dish, place over the filling, cutting off the excess. Crimp the pastry edges with your fingers, egg wash the lid and then using the back of a knife gently score the pastry. To finish the pie add some fresh thyme leaves and make an incision in the middle of the pie then bake in a preheated oven at 200℃ for 30 - 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

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