“I met an award-winning artisan pie maker named Neil Broomfield, who was inspired by my Vietnamese pho recipe and decided to make a pie version of the traditional beef noodle soup. The result was stunning. The recipe makes more broth than you will need for these pies, but it freezes well and will never go to waste.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (51 votes)


  • 2 tbsp panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • mash and gravy, to serve


Pho broth

  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1.5 cm piece ginger
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved  
  • 375 g beef bones
  • 2 large pieces bone marrow  



  • 625 g plain flour
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250 g cold unsalted butter
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp milk


Caramelised onion puree

  • 50 g butter
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise


Beef filling 

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 550 g beef mince
  • ½ tsp finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tsp finely chopped garlic
  • ¾ tsp smoked sea salt
  • ¾ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground star anise
  • ½ tsp apple jam
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ bird’s eye chilli
  • 75 ml stout
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • 150 g shredded smoked ham hock
  • 2 tsp lard (optional, see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 1¼ hours

To make the pho stock, place all the ingredients and 4 litres of water in a large stockpot, then bring to the boil over high heat. Skim any impurities from the surface, then reduce the heat low and simmer for 3 hours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, discard the solids and set aside. Reserve remaining stock for another use.

Meanwhile, to make the pastry, place the flour, eggs, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the milk, then gradually add about 90 ml cold water and process just until the pastry comes together. You may not need all the water. Divide the pastry in half, cover each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until firm. 

Lightly grease and flour ten 3 cm deep and 10 cm round pie tins. Working with one portion of pastry at a time, roll out onto a lightly floured surface until 2 mm thick. Using a 17.5 cm round plate or lid ( I use the food processor lid as it is the perfect size for my tins), stamp out 10 rounds and carefully drape into the pie tins to cover the base and sides, patching with any excess pastry if necessary. Using a 12.5 cm lid or cutter, cut out 10 rounds from the remaining pastry for the lids. Refrigerate the lined tins and the pastry tops for at least 1 hour or until ready to fill.

To make the caramelised onion puree, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the onions, spices and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring regularly, for 1-1½ hours or until soft and caramelised. Remove and discard the star anise, then using a stick blender, puree until smooth.

To make the beef filling, heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking up any lumps with a whisk. Add the caramelised onion puree, ginger, garlic, spices, apple jam, fish sauce, lime juice, zest, chilli and 1¼ cups pho broth and cook for 15 minutes. Add the stout and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then stir in the spring onion and coriander and set aside. Place the shredded ham hock into a food processor with the lard and process until a paste forms. Stir into the beef filling, then refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC.

Fill the lined pie moulds with the beef filling up to about 1 cm from the top. Lightly brush the exposed pastry with egg wash, then place the pastry lids on top, squishing your thumb in inside mould rim and pinching thumb and fingers together with pastry in the middle. Using a rolling pin, roll over the top of the tins to make a clean cut, then remove the excess pastry. Brush the tops with egg wash, then sprinkle each pie with a pinch of panko breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and dried mint. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve hot with mash and gravy.



• If lard is not available, substitute with butter or omit.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgi Larby.


CBA white salt mill, from Maxwell and Williams.


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