Beef Cheek, Ale and Bone Marrow Pie

Created by Robbie Bell

Chef Owner of City Larder


  • City Larder Beef Cheek 2, chopped into 8 pieces each

  • City Larder Pickled Onions 200g, drained well and halved, reserving 4 tbsp of the pickle juice

  • Marrow bone 8cm piece (available from a butcher)

  • Beef dripping 2 tbsp

  • Celery 2 sticks, roughly chopped

  • Button mushrooms 250g

  • Bay leaf 1

  • Thyme a few sprigs

  • Plain flour 3 tbsp

  • Ale 300ml (stout)

  • Beef stock 500ml

  • Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp

  • Egg 1, beaten


  • Plain flour 250g, plus extra for dusting

  • English mustard powder 2 tbsp

  • Unsalted butter 175g, chilled and cubed or you can buy pre-prepared pastry which works very well


  • Buttery mashed potatoes

  • Roasted carrots

  • Baby leaf greens


  1. Put the marrow bone into a large bowl of cold water with a pinch of salt for several hours to draw out any remaining blood.

  2. Heat ½ the beef dripping in a large casserole over a medium-high heat until hot.

  3. Put the celery, mushrooms, bay leaf and thyme in the same pan and cook for several minutes or until the celery is softening at the edges - add 1 tbsp of water if the bottom of the pan is getting a little dark. Tip in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Slowly add the ale, stock and Worcestershire sauce, while stirring, then add the beef to the pan. Bring to the boil, put on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the beef is meltingly tender. Fork the meat to break it down a little - if there is a little bit of extra sauce that will be fine once baked. Stir through the pickled onions.

  4. For the pastry, put the plain flour, mustard powder and butter into a food processor with a pinch of salt and pulse until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Pulse in cold water 1 tbsp at a time, until it comes together as a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for an hour.

  5. Transfer the pie filling to a 30cm shallow casserole or a pie dish, stirring to make sure the meat and onions are evenly distributed.

  6. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to the size of the casserole and cut an 'x' in the middle, where the bone can be pushed through. Drape the pastry over the pie dish and then gently push the bone through the x you have made. Crimp around the edges.

  7. Brush really well with beaten egg. Heat the oven to 200C. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

  8. Serve with mash roast carrots and baby leaf greens.

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