If you love curry, but you're looking for a unique way to serve it, why not consider this curried beef pie? This is a hearty beef curry, packed with flavour and covered with a layer of crispy golden puff pastry for extra appeal.
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This beef curry pie recipe came about simply because my husband wanted curry for supper and I wanted a pie! We compromised, and this is the result. It is one of the tastiest dishes I have ever made.
The curry is made with tender chunks of topside that I cut myself from a topside joint, and the spice mix is similar to the one that I use for my South African bunny chow. I added potatoes, onions, carrots, red pepper and tomatoes and let the whole lot simmer for one and a half hours before putting it in the oven.
You do have to let the beef curry filling cool down before covering it with pastry, so do factor this into your timing if you intend to make this pie. If you don't let the filling cool the heat will melt the pastry and it won't be nearly as crispy.
For the pastry, I used an entire roll of shop-bought puff pastry and scrunched the edges to fit my 10-inch by 7-inch dish. The result is lots of deliciously crispy puff pastry that goes amazingly well with the spicy curry. Who says you should only serve rice and naan bread with curry? After tasting this dish it's certainly not me!
Just look at that gorgeous crunchy pastry. The curry-flavoured gravy from the pie has soaked into the underside of the pastry, making it both soft and crispy at the same time. I hate admit it, but I couldn't stop myself from picking the edges off and eating them, even though I'd already eaten my way through an enormous helping!
I'm so glad there are only 2 of us at home! This pie actually feeds 4 people, so being only 2 of us means we had enough left over to have it again the following night.
If you want to try this beef curry pie, here are the easy instructions.
What you will need
For making the curry you will need a large saute pan or a large saucepan. And for baking the pie you will need a 10-inch by 7-inch casserole dish (that's 25 cm by 18 cm for those of you who prefer metric measurements). The dish doesn't need a lid.
**You can find the complete list of ingredients on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
- beef - I like to use topside for this beef curry, but you can use any good quality stewing beef such as sirloin, flank or chuck. The meat should be cut into bite-sized pieces (approximately one-inch in size). I would steer clear of the tougher cuts of beef (such as shin) as they require a longer cooking time to tenderise properly. Also, don't use prime fillet or similar as stewing this cut will make the meat tough.
- vegetables - for the vegetables I've used onions, potatoes, carrots, red pepper and a fresh tomato (which I, unfortunately, left out of the picture). They should be peeled and cut to size. I tend to cut the potatoes into one-inch pieces, the red pepper and onion into half-inch dice, the carrots into rings and the tomato into a small dice.
- tomato puree - you may know this as tomato paste. It is highly concentrated tomatoes.
- Worcestershire sauce - this adds a salty element to the dish. You can substitute this with oyster sauce as first choice, failing that, dark soy sauce or even balsamic vinegar.
- chutney - coming from a South African background, to me, fruit chutney is a must in any curry. It adds a barely discernable sweet yet tangy taste.
- ginger and garlic - you can use either fresh or from a jar. If you use fresh they should be finely minced.
- Spices - I've listed the spices I used below, and I thoroughly recommend you use the same ones. However, if you don't have all of these spices you could use your favourite blend of curry powder instead.
- garam masala
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- yellow mustard seeds
- cumin seeds
- ground turmeric
- dried chilli flakes - I used half a teaspoon because I prefer a milder curry. You can up the chilli to suit your own heat tolerance!
You will also need:
- Flour and seasoning (salt and pepper) for coating the beef.
- Sunflower oil for frying
- A roll of store-bought puff pastry for covering the pie.
What to do
Coat the cubed beef in 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a pan until hot and add the beef cubes.
Fry on a high heat until the beef is nicely browned on all sides. Stir often. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Tip - when frying the beef keep the heat high so that the beef does not draw moisture. You want the beef to brown rather than boil. Do not overcrowd the pan for the same reason. If you have too much beef to fit easily into your pan rather brown it in batches.
Fry the chopped onions with the chopped red pepper, garlic and ginger. Do this on a moderate heat and stir often to prevent burning. It will take about 5 minutes for the vegetables to soften.
Once the onions have softened, stir in the spices and fry for one minute longer (still on moderate heat).
Add the chopped tomato and stir for another minute until the tomato starts to soften.
Pour in the stock and mix in the Worcestershire sauce, chutney and tomato puree. Return the meat to the pan. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes and carrots to the pan. Replace the lid and continue to cook for an hour. Stir occasionally. Keep your eye on it and do not let it dry out. Top up with extra stock if necessary.
At this point, most of the liquid will have evaporated and the gravy should be quite thick. Stir in the frozen peas and set it aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Tip - the thickness of the curry sauce is important. You don't want it to boil dry, but at the same time, you don't want it to be too runny. You should end up with a curry sauce which is the consistency of thick gravy.
Tip the cooled beef curry into a casserole dish.
Unroll a sheet of puff pastry and lay it over the top of the dish. It will overhang on the sides - this is perfectly fine - we are going to fold the edges in the next step.
Scrunch the edges of the pastry so it fits on top of the pie. Make a few holes on top of the pastry with a fork, and brush the pastry with beaten eg.
Bake in a preheated oven (200C / 400F) for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Hint: Don't cut any of the pastry away. A 320-gram (11-ounce) roll of pastry will cover the pie with an inch or so of overhang. Simply scrunch the edges of the pastry around the side of the pie to fill the pie dish.
If you would like to freeze this dish I would recommend that you freeze only the filling. The filling can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you are ready to make the pie, allow the filling to defrost in the refrigerator and then cover it with the puff pastry and bake according to the recipe instructions.
Leftover pie can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low oven (150C/300F) for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through.
Yes, you can certainly use a good-quality store-bought curry blend to make this dish. Bear in mind that the taste of the pie may be different based on the spices in the store-bought curry powder.
Yes, you can make the filling the day before and store it in the refrigerator. This will have 2 benefits - firstly the filling will be cold when it goes into the pie (resulting in a more crispy pastry), and secondly, making the filling the day before will give the flavours time to develop and deepen.
For best results, reheat the pie in the oven at a low temperature (150C / 300F) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until completely heated through. This will ensure the pastry remains crispy. You can also reheat the pie in the microwave, but the pastry will be soft.
Yes, you don't have to use puff pastry, although I do recommend it. Why not make this into a proper pie with shortcrust pastry both on the top and bottom? r for a different alternative, what about covering the pie with suet pastry instead? You can get the recipe for suet pastry from my meat and potato pie recipe.
Yes, you can certainly do this. Do bear in mind, however, that smaller pies may take less time to bake, so keep your eye on them.
If you are short of time you can get away without browning the meat. However, browning the meat adds extra flavour, and in addition, the flour that was used to coat the meat helps to thicken the dish.
Save for later
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Looking for other curry recipes? Try these:
Curried beef pie
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 pound / 450 grams topside beef cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion peeled and diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into rings
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 medium red pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 large tomato diced
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- 2 cups beef stock use 2 stock cubes dissolved in boiling water if you don't have stock.
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree / tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons fruit chutney
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
- 1 roll store-bought puff pastry
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes more or less to your own taste
- Coat the cubed beef in 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a pan until hot and add the beef cubes.1 pound / 450 grams topside beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons plain flour, 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Fry on a high heat until the beef is nicely browned on all sides. Stir often. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Fry the chopped onions with the chopped red pepper, garlic and ginger. Do this on a moderate heat and stir often to prevent burning. It will take about 5 minutes for the vegetables to soften.1 large onion, 1 medium red pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, ½ teaspoon crushed ginger
- Once the onions have softened, stir in the spices and fry for one minute longer (still on moderate heat).1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Add the chopped tomato and stir for another minute until the tomato starts to soften.1 large tomato
- Pour in the stock and mix in the Worcestershire sauce, chutney and tomato puree. Return the meat to the pan. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.2 cups beef stock, 2 tablespoons tomato puree / tomato paste, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons fruit chutney
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the pan. Replace the lid and continue to cook for an hour. Stir occasionally. Keep your eye on it and do not let it dry out. Top up with extra stock if necessary.2 medium carrots, 2 medium potatoes
- At this point, most of the liquid will have evaporated and the gravy should be quite thick. Stir in the frozen peas and set the curry aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.¾ cup frozen peas
- Tip the cooled beef curry into a casserole dish.
- Unroll a sheet of puff pastry and lay it over the top of the dish. It will overhang on the sides - this is perfectly fine - we are going to fold the edges in the next step.1 roll store-bought puff pastry
- Scrunch the edges of the pastry so it fits on top of the pie. Make a few holes on top of the pastry with a fork, and brush the pastry with beaten eg.
- Bake in a preheated oven (200C / 400F) for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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