Brisket & Ale Skillet Pie

Brisket and Ale Pie


  • 1kg Beef Brisket
  • Black Ops Brisket Rub by Oakridge BBQ
  • 2 Red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 medium sized Carrots, sliced
  • 2 sticks of Celery, chopped
  • 100g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1x 500ml bottle of Ale (choose your favourite)
  • 500ml Beef Stock
  • Fresh Thyme sprigs
  • 1 block ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

About the Cook

Cooking Method: Indirect

BBQ Used: Weber 57cm Kettle

Charcoal Setup: 50/50

BBQ Temperature: Approx 130-140C

Smoking Wood Used: 1 Chunk of Silver Birch

Total Cook Time: Approx 5-6 hours


1. Prepare the Brisket

This recipe can be made with left over smoked brisket but for this method, we are starting from scratch. I used around a kg of Brisket flat. If you are using left over slices, you would skip this step and move straight on to the pie filling.

Trim any fat or silver skin off the surface of your brisket then cut it into 3 inch by 3 inch squares and season them with the Oakridge BBQ Black Ops rub.

2. Get your BBQ Ready

For this cook I used my Weber 57cm Kettle setup for 2 zone cooking. If you need some help with setting your BBQ up for indirect cooking, you can check out this video. I used one of the Weber charcoal baskets filled with Weber Briquettes to give a temperature of 130-140C

3. Smoke the Brisket

Place the brisket on the indirect side of the cooking grate and add a chunk of Silver Birch to the coals. Allow the brisket to take on smoke for 20 minutes. While the brisket is smoking, place a large cast iron pot over the direct heat to pre-heat.

4. Cooking the Pie Filling

When your brisket has had 20 minutes in the smoke and your pot is up to temperature, add a dash of olive oil then go straight in with the onions and garlic. Allow them to saute for a few minutes before adding the carrots. Next add the celery and mushrooms then put the lid onto the BBQ and allow everything to soften. Next, place the smoked brisket chunks into the pot. The final part of the pie filling is the liquids. Pour the 500mls of Ale into the pot. If the level of the liquid doesn’t completely cover the brisket, you can add the beef stock until everything is covered. Depending on the size of your pot, you may not need all of the beef stock. Finally, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Move the pot to the indirect side and put the lid onto your BBQ. 

Maintain the temperature of your BBQ at 130-140C. The brisket will braise for 3-4 hours and become tender. Use and instant read thermometer like the Thermapen to check the internal temperature of the brisket. You are aiming for a temperature of 95C. If you have hit that temperature and the brisket still isn’t shredding apart then let it continue cooking until it feels ready.

The liquids in the filling should have reduced quite a bit, but you will need to thicken them a little more before adding them to the pie. In a small, mix the flour with a little water until it forms a smooth paste. Move your pot of pie filling over the direct heat and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the flour and water paste and allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes. The gravy will gradually start to thicken. When you are happy with the consistency, get in there with your tongs and start to shred the brisket apart.

Tip the finished pie filling into a bowl or roasting tin and allow it to cool completely

5. Preparing your pastry and baking the pie

We are going to bake this pie in a Lodge cast iron skillet. Take your block of puff pastry and cut 1/3 of it off. leave this to the side to make the lid for the pie later. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is big enough to cover the base and sides of the skillet. Grease the skillet with a little butter before placing the pastry in. Don’t worry about trimming the edges – the come in handy for sealing the pie later

Next, spoon the cooled pie filling into the pastry line skilled before rolling out the lid for your pie and placing it on top. Seal the edges of the pie by folding your untrimmed edges over the lid and scrunching them around the edge of the skillet to form a gnarly looking crust.

Lastly, brush the entire top of the pie with the beaten egg then place it onto the BBQ in the indirect zone. You want to bake the pie at around 180-190C until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot in the centre.

Time to eat!

What can I say.. just spoon a huge piece onto a plate and tuck in. This isn’t elegant food, or fine dining. This is good, honest, warm your bones comfort food. The veggies soak up all that ale and become soft, the brisket is so tender it falls apart and the crisp, puff pastry crust just finishes off the perfect autumn / winter dish.

Watch this cook on my Channel

You can watch the step by step video for this recipe over on my YouTube channel where you can find all my tutorials, vlogs and recipes just like this one.

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