This is the ultimate Pie Floater recipe! It takes a little longer to make everything from scratch, but the end result is worth it - trust us!


  • Suet pastry

  • 700g plain flour, sifted

  • 350g suet, frozen

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Up to 400ml cold water

  • Pie filling

  • 1 kg rump or gravy beef, I cm diced

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 medium carrot, fine diced

  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced

  • 3 cups beef stock

  • ¼ cup port

  • 3 tablespoons corn flour, mixed to a paste with a little water

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with

  • 4 tablespoons milk

  • Minted Peas

  • 100g butter

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 600g fresh or frozen peas

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup mint leaves, roughly torn

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Creamy buttery mash

  • 750g nicola potatoes (or another yellow, waxy variety)

  • 150ml cream (or more)

  • 150g butter (or more)

  • Salt

  • Pepper


  • 1.

    To make the suet pastry, grate the suet onto your work surface and sprinkle on about 100g of the flour.

  • 2.

    Use a long, sharp knife to chop the suet with the flour; this prevents it from becoming sticky.

  • 3.

    Transfer the suet to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining flour and salt.

  • 4.

    Use your finger tips to rub the suet into the flour, but leave it a little rough and lumpy; it helps to rise.

  • 5.

    Add the water, a little at a time, until the mixture just comes together. Knead for 2-3 minutes, until elastic and springy.

  • 6.

    Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

  • 7.

    To make the pie filling, season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat half the oil in a heavy based saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. When the oil is sizzling, brown the beef in batches, so that the heat stays high. Transfer the browned beef to a plate.

  • 8.

    Add the rest of the oil to the pan and sweat the onion, garlic, carrot and celery for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften and colour.

  • 9.

    Return the beef to the casserole and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  • 10.

    Add the beef stock and port and stir well.

  • 11.

    Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.

  • 12.

    Stir in the corn flour paste and parsley and simmer for another 3 minutes.

  • 13.

    Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • 14.

    When ready to bake the pies, preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease 6 x 12 cm pie tins.

  • 15.

    Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface to around 5 mm thick. Cut circles to line the pie tins, leaving about a 2 cm overhang.

  • 16.

    Spoon in the filling, so the pies are three-quarters full.

  • 17.

    From the remaining pastry cut 6 x 12 cm circles to form the pie lids. Lightly brush the rim of the pies with egg wash and place the lids on top. Press the edges firmly to seal, then trim off any surplus pastry.

  • 18.

    Make a small cut in the pastry lid so that the steam can escape as the pies bake.

  • 19.

    Brush with a little more egg wash and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked on the underside and the top is a lovely golden brown.

  • 20.

    To make the creamy buttery mash, peel the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan of cold, salted water.

  • 21.

    Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender. This will take up to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. When the potatoes are cooked, tip them into a colander to drain. 

  • 22.

    Add the cream and butter to the hot saucepan. Push the hot potatoes a mouli or potato ricer, straight onto the cream and butter.

  • 23.

    Beat with a spoon, then season to taste.

  • 24.

    For the minted peas, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat gently for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the peas to the pan and pour on the water.

  • 25.

    Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the peas are cooked the way you like them. Stir in the mint and season with salt and pepper. Crush the minted peas with a fork or blitz to make a coarse puree.

  • 26.

    Serve each pie on a generous spoonful of mushy peas with mash and gravy on the side.

  • 27.

    Douse in tomato sauce and enjoy.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 1453kj
  • Fat Total 80g
  • Saturated Fat 43g
  • Protein 60g
  • Carbohydrate 119g
  • Sugar 9g
  • Sodium 1869mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

Powered by

Like this recipe? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more recipes like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

4 4 4 4 4
Average Rating
5 comments • 4 ratings
Please login to comment
Posted by Nicole1713Report
I love this recipe.
I changed it as I'm not a great pastry maker. I put my meat in ramekins and puff pastry the lid on..oor make it into Shepard pie. I do not like parsley so I use Australian and a sprinkle of curry powder...corriander. Such a hit with everyone!! I did find that I had to slow cook my meat for two hours as it was quite tough but I didn't need corn flour just more stock. Great slow cooker recipe.
Posted by Shirley236Report
Got to try some of the recipes!
Posted by Mel86Report
involved much? im thinking og giving it a bash, my huuby will love it, thinking of just buying the pastry - im no pastry chef! anyone cooked it yet?? im also thinking of slow cooking the beef (gravy) ?????
Posted by Report they never heard of it before anyway.
Posted by Philippa WightmanReport
it's SUET Food Channel... just watched the show repeat on Food Channel & nearly CHOKED when I saw the second ingredient.... makes you question the veracity of the recipes if you ask me. Can't believe such an immense typo blunder hit the air waves. Great recipe though Adrian!