Rich beef pie with cheesy Marmite cobbler crust

A great big hug of a recipe, with an unctuous slow-cooked beef filling and a cheesy Marmite cobbler crust


  • 1kg, cut into chunks and fat trimmed boneless beef shin
  • 3 tbsp, well seasoned plain flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob butter
  • 2 large, halved and sliced onions
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g, plus extra for dusting self-raising flour
  • 100g, chilled and cubed butter
  • 150g, grated mature cheddar
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp, plus extra to serve Marmite
  • beaten to glaze egg



    1. Dust the beef in the seasoned flour then shake off the excess. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Brown the beef all over in batches and scoop out into a large lidded casserole when done.
    2. Wipe out the pan then add another tbsp of olive oil and a knob of butter. Cook the onions with a good pinch of salt for 20-30 minutes or until they are really soft and golden. Add the wine, bring to a simmer for 2 minutes, then tip into the casserole. Add the stock, star anise and bay leaves, and stir.
    3. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Cover the casserole and cook for 3 hours or until the beef is meltingly tender. Take out and tip into a large, deep pie dish, then turn the oven up to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
    4. To make the cobbler, put the flour, butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in 100g of the cheese.
    5. Gently warm the milk and Marmite in a pan, whisking until combined. Cool until just-warm. Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture and bring together into a soft dough – don’t overknead. Pat out gently on a floured worksurface and cut into circles. Sit on top of the pie and brush with egg. Bake for 15 minutes then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through. Drizzle with extra Marmite to serve, if you like.