Shin of beef, kidney and ale pie

Paul Warburton
by Lovemoney Staff Paul Warburton on 05 March 2010  |  Comments 2 comments

Check out this amazing recipe for shin of beef, kidney and ale pie - for £1.46 per person!

Welcome to our new Frugal Recipe blog! If you're registered on, you can follow this blog and find new posts as soon as they are published, via your personal homepage. Never miss a frugal recipe again - register now.

Shin of beef, kidney and ale pie (Serves 4)

It’s British pie week this week so it had to be a pie recipe. I’ve thought long and very hard about what my favourite pie might be and whether it could be priced under £1.50 per person.

For the record, my favourite pie is pork and egg and it was a struggle to price this for frugal recipes.

A very close favourite though is steak and kidney, but again this is a struggle to price for frugal recipes. So I’ve replaced the steak with shin of beef –it needs longer cooking but the results are just as good.

Tell us what your favourite pie is in the comments boxes below!


  • 450g shin of beef -  sourced from butchers (£3.50)
  • 3 large red onions (58p)
  • 200g of lambs kidney (52p)
  • 1 bottle , 500ml of Whitechapel porter ale (£1)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (24p)

The cupboard staples...

Olive oil, salt, black pepper, flour, butter, beef stock cube, Worcester sauce, sugar and 1 egg.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to, this trolley was cheapest at ASDA where it came to £5.84 - that's £1.46 per head!


  • First, dice the beef and kidneys as you wish, season with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Now get a large pan on the heat, add a good glug of olive oil and get the pan nice and hot. Add the beef and kidneys to the pan and brown nicely all over. Once browned, remove from the pan, and add 3 roughly sliced red onions. Lower the heat and cook the onions without colouring too much for about 10 minutes.
  • After the onions have softened, add 5 cloves of finely chopped garlic, the beef and kidneys, and one tablespoon of flour - cook out for a further 3 minutes on a medium heat and then add 250ml of ale and 350ml of beef stock.  Then add seasoning, a pinch of sugar, and good glug of Worcester sauce.
  • Turn the heat right down and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes – add more ale or stock if it looks like it’s reducing too quickly.
  • For 12oz of shortcrust pastry (which will be more than enough to cover the pie dish for this mixture), you will need 8oz of plain flour, 4oz of cubed butter, 5 tablespoons of cold water and a pinch of salt. Put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl, and run between your fingers to breadcrumb consistency. Then stir in (use a knife) a little water until the mixture becomes dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge before use.
  • Once the beef and kidney filling is ready, you want the beef to be nice and tender, take off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Get the pastry out of the fridge and roll out so it slightly overlaps the edges of the pie dish you wish to use. Add the mixture to the dish, cover with pastry (crimp the edges with a fork) and brush with one beaten egg. Finally make a hole in the middle of pie to let steam escape and place in the oven for 50 minutes. 
  • Serve with vegetables of your choice and happy eating!

A bit about the Frugal Recipes chef, Paul Warburton

Paul Warburton, a staff member, had a hectic career in the world of hot kitchens and screaming chefs before joining the products development team.

During these years, under the tutorage of some great chefs, he honed his skills in cooking for numbers within a tight cost and portion-controlled environment.

Now he's planning to regularly offer his help to all budding chefs in the community, so you can enjoy his original, low-cost recipes with your family and friends every Friday for free!

What readers have said about Paul's other recipes

“Paul's recipes are excellent. The pork stroganoff has been his best so far, it competes well against beef, but is far more economical. I cannot wait to try the latest - braised oxtail and autumn mash.” John Edmunds

"We enjoyed this recipe very much: easy to make and even easier to eat!" varneyrob

"I made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! Seriously good! Five of us feasted on it, and feasted well..." Ibeshy

"I made this recipe on Saturday night, and my 13 year-old son promptly requested it again for the following night!" Malcolm Wheatley

"This is a cracking risotto recipe. Just had it for lunch & it's a winner. More recipes please. Thanks." SavvyLass

"Another delicious offering from Paul. Thank you - keep 'em coming!" Palefire

Please add your own comments using the comments box below!

If you like this recipe, why not also try Paul's other Frugal Recipes: Tandoori chicken with coconut rice & mint raita | Homemade gnocchi with a tomato & thyme sauce, spinach and ricotta  | Frugal Pancakes | Griddled black pudding, chimichurri mash and caramelised apples  | Mixed bean and coriander green curry with fragrant rice  | Lamb koftas with a feta, mint and chickpea salad & chilli grilled pittas  | Pork, rosemary and white bean ravioli with a chilli tomato sauce  | Sausage & leek casserole with parsley dumpings | Pork, chorizo & cannellini bean stew | Rabbit, bacon & thyme pie | Potato rosti with creamed spinach and poached egg | Pumpkin and sage risotto | Slow braised oxtail with autumn mash | Spiced whole mackerel with chickpea salad | Twice cooked belly pork (with gravy) parsnips and sweet apple red cabbage | Roasted pheasant | Portobello mushroom, port and stilton wellington | Lemon tart with fresh vanilla mascarpone | Massaman currySmoked mackerel pate on crostini and red onion confit  |Rolled breast of lamb with garlic mash and Savoy cabbage | Lemon & rosemary chicken thighs |  Thai Pollock curry with egg noodles | Chunky pea and ham soup| Spaghetti alla carbonara | Pork stroganoff | Green chilli meat balls, sunflower seed couscous salad and mint yoghurt |  Tagliatelle with air dried cured ham and minted peas | Beef, thyme and mushroom loaf with potato dauphinoise | Mixed bean and coriander green curry with fragrant rice | Egg Florentine with smoked cheddar and rocket salad | Beef, mushroom and thyme pie | Spicy tuna, bean and coriander lasagne |  Beef koftas with a feta, spinach and fresh mint salad | Chorizo and pea risotto | Sausage and rosemary hotpot | Beef & thyme (Lacashire) hotpot

Remember, if you're registered on, you can follow this blog and find new posts as soon as they are published, via your personal homepage. Never miss a frugal recipe again - register now.

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Comments (2)

  • Ruffie
    Love rating 0
    Ruffie said

    Good recipe. Here is a tip: It is worth buying a small pressure cooker to make tough, cheap cuts tender for casseroles and pie fillings. You just thicken the gravy after cooking.It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook stewing beef, for example. 

    Report on 06 March 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • rapitkin
    Love rating 0
    rapitkin said

    It is quite hard to get hold of shin in the supermarkets, I buy beef online from

    Report on 30 October 2011  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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