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Dutch Oven Cooking: Savory Beef Steak Pie

Here we have a dutch oven recipe for a delicious beef steak pie that is sure to make you many friends come the dinner bell.

John Townsend does something special today with his dutch oven. He reproduces Amelia Simmons' 1796 recipe for a savory beef steak pie. The recipe for the pie comes directly from Simmons cookbook "American Cookery'.

John is using a 12-inch dutch oven and a 9-inch redware pie plate for this recipe. He sets the oven over some coals and sets a few additional burning coals on top of the lid to preheat the oven. If you're uncertain about how to preheat a dutch oven, watch the other video for how to determine the internal temperature of the unit.


  • 2 pound shoulder roast, sliced to about 1/4" thickness
  • 1/4 pound of butter
  • Puff pastry
  • Large onion or two, slice thickly
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour
  • Liquid (water, apple cider, mushroom ketchup, beer, whatever)
  1. John starts by lining the sides of the pie plate with puff pastry. Then he smears 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of the pie plate.
  2. Place a single layer of the steak down in the pie plate, salt and pepper it and cover with a modest layer of flour.
  3. Layer slices of onion over the floured steak and top off with a bit of butter.
  4. Repeat the process two, possibly three, more times, or until the pie plate is full.
  5. Pour some of the liquid of your choosing around the edge of the pie plate.
  6. Attach a puff pastry top to the dish, making sure to seal the sides firmly. Wet the pastry to create a firm seal.
  7. Cut a small hole in the top of the crust, pour an additional tablespoon or two of liquid into the hole and replace the cut out circle of pastry.
  8. Place the pie plate into the dutch oven and cook at around 300 degrees, low and slow.

Make sure to rotate the oven 90 degrees around every 15-20 minutes. Rotate the lid separately.

John discusses some of the tools he uses to make dutch oven cooking easier. Besides the oven itself, he favors a triangular trivet to keep pie plates, pots and other vessels slightly off the surface of the oven.

A set of ember tongs is also useful for doing more precise work.

A dutch oven lid lifter is perfect for cleanly lifting and balancing the lid. This tool is practically essential, although you could just use a hook if you're skilled enough to avoid dumping coals into your food when you remove the lid.

You'll also need a shovel to dispense the coals onto and around the oven. And finally, a pair of heavy leather gloves will help you avoid burns.

Upon tasting it, John declares the pie to have a "tremendous mix of flavors". But when he adds mushroom ketchup, he deems the beef steak pie "to die for!"

"Everyone will love you!" he says. "So you should definitely try this one out!"

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.


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NEXT: Dutch Oven Baking: The Best Bread Pudding and Sauce

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Dutch Oven Cooking: Savory Beef Steak Pie