Shin of beef, kidney and ale pie

It’s British pie week this week so it had to be a pie recipe. I’ve thought long and very hard about what my favourite pie might be and whether it could be priced under £1.50 per person.

For the record, my favourite pie is pork and egg and it was a struggle to price this for frugal recipes.

A very close favourite though is steak and kidney, but again this is a struggle to price for frugal recipes. So I’ve replaced the steak with shin of beef –it needs longer cooking but the results are just as good.

Tell us what your favourite pie is in the comments boxes below!


  • 450g shin of beef - sourced from butchers (£3.50)
  • 3 large red onions (58p)
  • 200g of lambs kidney (52p)
  • 1 bottle , 500ml of Whitechapel porter ale (£1)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (24p)

The cupboard staples...

Olive oil, salt, black pepper, flour, butter, beef stock cube, Worcester sauce, sugar and 1 egg.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to, this trolley was cheapest at ASDA where it came to £5.84 - that's £1.46 per head!


  • First, dice the beef and kidneys as you wish, season with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Now get a large pan on the heat, add a good glug of olive oil and get the pan nice and hot. Add the beef and kidneys to the pan and brown nicely all over. Once browned, remove from the pan, and add 3 roughly sliced red onions. Lower the heat and cook the onions without colouring too much for about 10 minutes.
  • After the onions have softened, add 5 cloves of finely chopped garlic, the beef and kidneys, and one tablespoon of flour - cook out for a further 3 minutes on a medium heat and then add 250ml of ale and 350ml of beef stock. Then add seasoning, a pinch of sugar, and good glug of Worcester sauce.
  • Turn the heat right down and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes – add more ale or stock if it looks like it’s reducing too quickly.
  • For 12oz of shortcrust pastry (which will be more than enough to cover the pie dish for this mixture), you will need 8oz of plain flour, 4oz of cubed butter, 5 tablespoons of cold water and a pinch of salt. Put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl, and run between your fingers to breadcrumb consistency. Then stir in (use a knife) a little water until the mixture becomes dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge before use.
  • Once the beef and kidney filling is ready, you want the beef to be nice and tender, take off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Get the pastry out of the fridge and roll out so it slightly overlaps the edges of the pie dish you wish to use. Add the mixture to the dish, cover with pastry (crimp the edges with a fork) and brush with one beaten egg. Finally make a hole in the middle of pie to let steam escape and place in the oven for 50 minutes.
  • Serve with vegetables of your choice and happy eating!


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