Budget Beater – Beef Pies & Gravy

13 March 2012 in Budget Beater, Easy to prepare

Recently a young man called David commented on my blog, he said he has been following me since I did a series of budget meals. He has tried some of my recipes and has asked for that I feature some more cost cutting dishes. David you have no idea what positive feedback means to a food blogger, thank you very much. This ones for you, I hope you try it.

 These pies happened due to a cooling in the weather and I had bought some shin at a reasonable price.

I cooked my meat in my slow cooker, but you can do exactly the same on top of your stove (simmering slowly until cooked) or in your oven at a lowish heat 150/160.

450g shin on the bone

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 stick of celery chopped finely

450ml instant beef gravy

Black Pepper

A good shake of Worcestershire Sauce

I didn’t brown my meat, merely cut it into smallish cubes and placed all the ingredients in the pot. Don’t discard the centre bone, cook them as well, they add such taste to the gravy. I remove the bones after cooking and mash up the marrow and put it back in the gravy.

When the meat is tender, cool and the using a sieve separate the meat from the gravy, put both aside and make the pastry:-

2 cups cake flour (plain flour)

125mls butter

½ tsp salt

1 egg yolk

Iced water

Egg-wash for brushing over pies (1 egg mixed with a dash of milk)

This is the same pastry I used for my pork pies (another budget beater making 12 pork pies from one packet of sausages) it takes a little longer if making by hand, but if you have a mixer or a food processor it can speed things up.

Sift in the flour & salt mixture, and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and then the ice cold water a little at a time until you form a dough.

Wrap the pastry in Clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 20 mins.

I prefer to work with half the pastry at a time, on a floured surface roll out the pastry. Now I have this nifty pie cruncher thingy, which is very handy but a saucer will also do the trick.

Cut out three circles and put aside, repeat with the remainder of the pastry.

Place a portion of your meat mix on one half of the pastry, brush the edge of the circle with a little water to help the sides adhere.

Fold the pastry over the meat and using a folk press the two sides together.

Place your six pies on a greased baking sheet.

Brush with egg-wash  and bake @180 until golden, approximately 20 – 30 minutes depending on your oven.

I estimate that this recipe cost approximately R32.00, costing in the meat, veggies, eggs & butter, the rest I consider staples that we all have in our cupboards. This recipe made 6 pies.






45 responses to Budget Beater – Beef Pies & Gravy

  1. These pies look great, i will try the pastry and use a vegetarian filling. Thanks for sharing. I understand your statement about comments for food bloggers, we wait for those wonderful comments

    • Yes, it’s always gratifying to know that someone is enjoying your recipes. This pastry is perfect for pies.

  2. Checkers Cascades….now that brings back memories,we used to catch the bus down to the center to do our shopping from Greys Res.
    Pies look great,mine love pies,will give it a bash

    • I can see the top flats of the res from my study window, they are busy giving checkers a make-over which it badly needed.

      • It was brand spanking new when we were there at res.I lived on the 4th floor of res….was the first to live in my room,we moved there from old Greys when it opened….even got to take the plastic off the matress!

        • A cousin of mine came across from UK on Doctor experience and she stayed there, apparently it is very run-down now.

  3. These pies look scrumptious :)

    I think I will give this recipe a try when it gets cooler here in Toti.
    (it doesn’t really get cold).

  4. This is great! Especially considering the price of pies in the shops lately. That little pie crimper is nifty. I thing my mom may have had one back in the 80’s. Thanks for the recipe *copy and paste*

    • I never buy pies, I like to know what’s in them! I’ve had my pie thingy for years, probably bought it in the 80’s.

  5. Ohhh Wow these look great, will make for the Man…. Where can I get one of those pie squishy things?

  6. Awesome pies and so nice to know that those pie cruncher thing-a-ma-bobs work – I often see them in store so I can now safely tootle off and get myself one.
    :-) Mandy

    • Hi Mandy, they just make the pies look neater and uniform, don’t put too much filling in though! :)

    • Hi Mandy which store have you seen the pie crucher things in. I would really like to get one

      • Gary, I know I’ve seen them somewhere recently, if I remember I will leave a comment here.

        • A friend tells me Boardmans Gary.

          • I bought one at Boardmans yesterday – R49-95. They are the only shop that stocks them, as far as I know, I have been searching for ages. I got mine at Boardmans The Grove, Pretoria. Gonna make some lamb & veg pies this afternoon! :)

  7. Sue, I have had shin on my shopping list for a few months now! These look really good :)

  8. Fantastic! I can’t wait to try it.

  9. Please help how can I print a copy of this recipe “Budget Beater – Beef Pies and Gravy “

  10. I’m a stay at home mom attempting this for the first time, so please forgive my ignorance, but your recipe says one egg yolk for the pastry recipe, but it’s not in the instructions? Is it for the egg wash?


    • Hello there Nickola, my apologies, I will alter that. *splaps own wrist* The egg yolk goes in with the iced water. Thanks for pointing it out, hope you like the pies.

  11. Looks great – gonna try this right away!

  12. Hi from Botswana, tried your “pork pie” recipe, damn is it good, although I did not use apples. Thinking of doing curry pork pies next. Need to get one of those pie machines. If anybody in SA knows of where I can get one, please let me know. zambezi.1@gmail.com


    • Hello Botswana! So pleased you liked the pork pies Sean, let me know how the curry ones go?! Apparently Boardmans have them.

  13. The pies are looking yummy!! Meat in Maritzburg is much chepaer than in Cape Town. The weather is also all of a sudden cooler today in Ctn – wish I saw this recipe earlier!!

    I hoep you are well?

    • Ello Dottie! It’s time you started blogging again, I miss you. My sister-in-law says the same thing about our meat prices and stocks up when she visits.

  14. I will definitely try this recipe. I have one of those electric pie makers. I think they work quite well and you save on electricity as well.

    • I haven’t seen an electric pie maker, I must look our for one, I’m all for saving on electricity. Thanks for popping in Lara.

  15. I really want to try this recipe. When you say “instant beef gravy” do you mean using powder as in Ina Paarman’s beef gravy powder ?

    • Exactly! I use the Bisto Instant Gravy, the shine will add more flavour to the gravy. Hope you enjoy them Louise.

  16. Sue, any homemade pie recipe is great, but one that is also easy to make and economical is a true gift! Thank you! :)

  17. These look really good. You make it look and sound as easy as pie. ;)

  18. This looks delicious. The kind of meat you can buy here a little cheaper than the rest too!!

  19. I came back to get the recipe – I read it some time back.. was it on your letterdash blog? I knew it was you :). thanks Sue xxx

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