Cooking with beer: Steak and gluten-free ale pie [Recipe]


Closeup of steak and ale pie with shortcrust

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We’re huge fans of cooking with beer around here. It makes for an excellent marinade in a chicken dish, and adds an extra level of flavor to everything from pork shops and carrots to mussels and lamb shanks. So we were extra excited when HellaWella contributor Sarah Leche shared her recipe for steak and ale pie because she prepares this traditional English dish with gluten-free ale.


For the crust

Leche uses Cup4Cup's flour and follows its recipe. “It's the best one I've found so far,” Leche says. “Follow the directions, and then blind bake the bottom crust for a few minutes.”

Cup4Cup gluten-free flour

The recipe is for a 9-inch pie but can be divided into smaller single-serving pies if you have the necessary ramkins. “Shortcrust or puff pastry is the traditional, but hey, I work with what I've got,” Leche adds for our anglophile fact-checkers.

Steak and ale pie


For the filling

  • 1 pound stew meat, cut into small pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 medium onion, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Half a teaspoon of thyme

  • One carrot, minced

  • One stick of celery, chopped fine

  • A bottle of Green's Discovery ale

  • Pinch of brown or dark brown sugar (helps cut down on the bitterness from the beer, is totally optional and you don't need much)

  • Your favorite gluten-free gravy (I like the Orrington Farms because I'm lazy)

  • Half of a cup of button mushrooms (optional)



  1. Season your meat with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a bit of corn starch (or your favorite gluten-free flour), and brown your meat in a lightly oiled skillet.

  2. Put the meat in a Crock-Pot or Dutch oven, and then add the onions into the pan to caramelize.

  3. Add the carrots and celery and garlic (and mushrooms) to get a bit of color on them, and then add them to the meat.

  4. Add the seasonings and the beer.

  5. Cook in the Crock-Pot on low for six hours or in the oven at 325 for about an hour and a half.

  6. Let the mixture cool.

  7. Add to the pie crust, keeping the liquid to a minimum, or you'll end up with a soggy crust.

  8. Add the top crust, crimp the edges, cut a few vents on the top and brush with egg wash.

  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 350, until the top is golden brown and middle is hot.

  10. Make gravy with the leftovers from the Crock-Pot or Dutch oven.

  11. Serve hot, preferably with a cellar temperature pint of ale on the side.



Sarah Leche is a chemistry student, novice baker and sass-slinger extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking, even though she doesn’t have much time for it. When her fiancé developed gluten intolerance, she suddenly found herself in need of adapting her recipes, including her Crock-Pot beef stew.