Treat Dad to a Beef Brisket & Beer Pie this Father's Day!

Beef Brisket Pie

Make your Father's Day complete with this incredible beef brisket and beer pie! This home-made pie has chunks of tender beef brisket and mushrooms with a deliciously rich, thick beer gravy. On top is a gorgeous, old fashioned lattice top. This recipe can easily be done on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker/instant pot! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

I'm not quite ready to let the pies and rich meat fillings go yet. It is getting warmer but it's still quite chilly to me and the best part of winter is the food. This pie has everything that I want it to. There's chunks of tender meat, cooked to perfection and a rich gravy. To make life easier this pie has a crust on the top only because Father's Day should not be a stressful time.

Beef Brisket Pie

What is Beef Brisket?

Beef brisket is a rather magical cut that comes from the chest of the cow. It is just made for low and slow cooking which is why it happens to be popular in Texan barbecue because otherwise beef brisket can be a tough customer. Brisket has a lot marbling – those thin streaks of fat that weave through the meat. During slow cooking, these fat layers slowly break down to become tender so you need time to do this. The pressure cooker is a great friend for this as it cuts down cooking time to one quarter of the time but you can cook it also on the stovetop where it takes around 4 hours.

How Much Beef Brisket To Use?

Beef Brisket Pie

Brisket is a cut of beef with thick layers of fat so you can either get your butcher to trim and cube it for you or you can do it. If you ask your butcher for trimmed cubes of brisket you will want 1.3kgs/2.9lbs of the trimmed meat. If you are working with a whole brisket you can count on trimming away 1/3 of the weight in fat (roughly). So aim for 2kgs/4.4lbs of whole brisket and you'll end up with around 1.3kgs/2.9lbs of brisket beef.

Which other beef cuts work in this pie apart from brisket?

Chuck beef works really beautifully in this too. I find trimming chuck beef a bit easier than trimming brisket too.

Beef Brisket Pie

Which Beer Should I Use?

Please use your or your father's favourite beer :)

What Can I Use Instead of Vegemite?

Vegemite is great in meat pies but if you can't get it where you are try replacing it with Marmite, Promite, miso paste or 3 brown anchovies! The anchovies won't taste fishy, they just add a strong umami quality.

Beef Brisket Pie

What Can I Serve This Brisket Pie With?

Potatoes are the natural pairing for this beef pie. Try these Brabant potatoes, Crispy Roasted Potatoes or for something special try this Laligot mashed potato. Or perhaps these Honey Sesame Roasted Dutch Carrots. I also love always having a green salad on hand.

I know that meat is a popular dish suggested for Father's day but actually in my immediate family circle all of the fathers aren't hugely into eating meat. Mr NQN eats it but prefers vegetables and my father subscribes to a Mediterranean diet so fish and vegetables cooked in olive oil are his preference.

Father's Day used to be a bigger thing but Mr NQN's father moved overseas and so have my parents. Before they left my father who is very eccentric gave me a tip of how to avoid COVID. "Breathe deeply," he said. I'm not sure if he was giving me advice on how to avoid stress or COVID...

Beef Brisket Pie

Last month he painted us a painting for our bedroom. Our friends Mr and Mrs Martin go to Singapore a lot as she is Singaporean so she offered to take some gifts from Mr NQN and I and bring the painting back which was super nice and helpful. I left it up to them to figure out meeting arrangements and on the second last day my father told me that the delivery person delivered the gifts and picked up the painting.

I was slightly mortified as I read the text. My father is very introverted and I worried that he had treated my friends dismissively. Which is not to say that he would be rude, but he wouldn't really be chatty or friendly to people that were doing us a favour and he certainly wouldn't have invited a delivery person in for a cup of tea. Also since the stroke he uses different names for people as he searches for words that are lost although you'd expect friend comes easier to mind than delivery person.

Beef Brisket Pie

When Mr and Mrs Martin got back from Singapore we met up for dinner. "How were my parents?" I asked gingerly. They explained, to my immense relief that they didn't actually meet my parents. My sister Blythe had actually sent a courier to collect the gifts and deliver the painting to Mr and Mrs Martin. I breathed a huge sigh of relief that nobody was offended and that the swap had gone well!

So tell me Dear Reader, would your dad or father in your life enjoy this pie? Do you cook with beef brisket much? And what is your father like?

Beef Brisket Pie

Beef Brisket & Beer Pie

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

  • Oil for cooking
  • 1.3kgs/2.9lbs beef brisket, trimmed cubes (from about 2kgs/4.4lbs total weight, see note above)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500g/1.1lbs onion (2 extra large or 3 medium onions)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 375ml/13flozs beer
  • 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs beef stock
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Vegemite (optional but adds a lot of flavour)
  • 400g/14ozs mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and black pepper

For Lattice Top

  • 320g/11ozs plain all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 130g/4.6ozs cold butter, cubed
  • 120ml/4flozs ice water
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash

Beef Brisket Pie
Browning the brisket

Step 1 - Toss cubes of brisket in the flour and salt coating the beef well. Set instant pot, pressure cooker or cast iron pot on sauté and add a bit of oil and brown the beef in 3 batches (do not overcrowd the pot). Remove and keep aside. Then sauté the onions well until softened. Take your time on these adding more oil if needed - don't rush the onions or they won't turn sweet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the beef back in. Add the beer, beef stock, stock cubes, tomato paste, sugar and Vegemite. Set for 60 minutes on medium heat. If you're cooking this in a cast iron pot on the stovetop cook the beef for 3.5-4 hours until tender. Release pressure, open and stir in the mushrooms. Place the pressure cooker back on for 5 minutes medium heat. Season with salt (if needed) and plenty of black pepper. At this stage you can cool and refrigerate the filling for up to 3 days (or freeze it too). Place the chilled filling in a 23cm/9inch pie dish (I reserve some of the extra gravy to serve with the pie).

Beef Brisket Pie
Sauteeing the onions. You probably didn't need a pic of this.

Step 2 -To make the pastry top place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (little lumps of butter are great and make the pastry beautifully flakey). Add the water and pulse until it starts to ball together. Then empty the mixture out on a large clean surface and knead to form a dough. If you need a drop or two of water you can add it here (don't add too much or it will be sticky).

Beef Brisket Pie

Step 3 -Take two large sheets of parchment, flour lightly and roll out the dough to 3mm/0.12inches in thickness into a large round. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cut into 12 inch thick ribbons. Lay 6 ribbons vertically out on a baking tray. Then pull three of them up and then place a horizontal strip of pastry across the vertical strips. Place the strips back down and then lift the alternate strips of pastry and place another strip horizontally and then repeat so that you get an alternating lattice pattern. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Beef Brisket Pie
Alternating the strips

Beef Brisket Pie
Making a lattice pattern

Beef Brisket Pie
Brushing with egg wash

Step 4 -Once the pastry is firm enough to lift, remove it from the tray and lift it on top of the pie. Using scissors cut away the edges. Brush with egg wash and bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Beef Brisket Pie

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