The most delicious Greggs inspired steak bakes made in the comfort of your own home!
For my readers in the UK, this is just like the classic steak bake from Greggs. For those not familiar with steak bakes and/or Greggs, a steak bake is essentially chunks of beef in gravy baked in puff pastry. Greggs is also the best bakery in the world. Follow me…
Homemade Steak Bakes
One of the key ingredients is obviously beef. What we’re looking for is soft and tender pieces of beef inside the pastry. To get that, we need to consider the following:
- Cut of beef – you’ll want to use a cut of beef that is suitable for stewing/slow-cooking i.e. beef chuck.
- Size of chunks – the beef should be diced into very small cubes to avoid large, tougher chunks of meat.
- Cooking time – the beef is cooked slowly to give time for the meat to tenderize.
If you’re in any doubt about the cut of beef you need to use just ask the butcher for the best kind of beef to slow-cook, braise or stew. It’ll likely be a little marbled (which is good); just slice off any large bits of fat.
Process shots: lay meat on chopping board (photo 1), dice into very small cubes (photo 2), add to bowl (photo 3), season all over with salt & pepper (photo 4).
Beef and Gravy
Okay, here’s where the magic happens.
First thing you’ll want to do is fry the beef (just to develop some flavour). You can then remove the beef and fry off some onion & garlic, which will offer a nice base flavour for the gravy.
Just like my Red Wine Onion Gravy, you’ll want to add some red wine to give the gravy a gorgeous depth of flavour. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just so long as it’s not sweet.
The base of the gravy is made with beef stock, but to pack in some more flavour we’re going to throw in some Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and a beef Oxo cube (or bouillon). All of this gently simmered with the beef is going to result in the most delicious, rich gravy.
How long do I need to simmer the beef?
I find 80mins hits the sweet spot. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to this as you need to slowly break down the meat so it doesn’t end up chewy inside the pastry! You also want to give time for the gravy to develop and deepen its flavour. Alongside this, you need to simmer down the gravy until it’s very thick.
Process shots: fry beef then remove (photo 1), fry onion and garlic (photo 2), stir in flour (photo 3), stir in wine (photo 4), stir in beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and Oxo (photo 5), add beef and simmer until very thick (photo 6).
Puff Pastry Steak Bakes
Once the beef is done, it’s really important to let it cool, at least to room temp. If you try and load the pastry with a warm filling it’s going to steam the pastry and make it really difficult to work with.
I don’t know about you, but homemade puff pastry is just not on my horizon after simmering beef for over an hour. Store-bought pre-rolled puff pastry works a treat here. I recommend Jus-Roll, as I find it to be the easiest to handle (doesn’t get too sticky or brittle).
Process shots: slice pastry (photo 1), add beef and brush around with egg wash (photo 2), fold over and crimp with a fork (photo 3), trim with knife then brush with egg wash (photo 4), add to baking tray (photo 5), bake (photo 6).
Steak Bakes FAQ
Can I make the filling ahead of time?
Yes! Just allow it to cool then tightly store it in the fridge for a couple of days until needed.
Can I prepare these ahead of time?
You can prepare them up until the egg wash then tightly store them on the tray inside the fridge until needed, or, freeze them then thaw in the fridge and continue with egg wash & baking.
Can I fully make them ahead of time?
You can bake them then let them completely cool and tightly store them in the fridge. You can then either reheat in the oven, or blast in the microwave and bake for a shorter time (more on this in the recipe card below). You can also freeze, then thaw in the fridge and continue as above.
Serving Steak Bakes
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these steak bakes shall we?!
How to make Steak Bakes (Full Recipe & Video)
- Large Pot, Whisk & Wooden Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- 2 Large Greaseproof Baking Trays (or baking trays + parchment paper)
- Small Pot & Brush (for egg wash)
- Large Bowl (for cooling/seasoning beef)
Ingredients (check list):
- 2.5x sheets of pre-rolled Puff Pastry (see notes)
- 2lb / 1kg Steak/Beef, suitable for slow cooking/braising (see notes)
- 3.5 cups / 875ml Beef Stock
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Red Wine (see notes)
- 1 Beef Oxo Cube/Bouillon Cube, crumbled (sub 1 heaped tsp Bouillon powder if you don't have cubes)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 1 medium Onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 1 large Egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- Salt & Black Pepper, as needed
- Trim any large bits of fat from the beef and dice into very small chunks, approx 1/2" x 1/2" (1.3cm x 1.3cm). Season all over with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to a large pot over high heat and place in half of the beef. Sear until lightly browned, then remove and add in the second batch, pouring out any water/moisture that may develop. Brown the second batch and remove, then lower heat to medium and add 2 tbsp oil. Add in the onion & garlic and fry until soft and just starting to pick up colour.
- Stir in 3 tbsp flour, then pour in 1/2 cup wine. Whisk until it thickens into a paste, then gradually add in the beef stock, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Once all the stock is added, stir in Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and the Oxo cube. Add the beef back in and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and allow to gently bubble away for around 80mins with the lid OFF, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top of the beef and around the pot. The beef should be tender and the gravy should be very thick (see video below for reference). Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if desired. Remove beef to a side bowl and leave to cool to room temp (gravy will thicken slightly more as it cools).
- Roll out the pastry sheets and divide them into 4 even-sized rectangles (the half sheet in 2 rectangles, 10 rectangles in total). Add a few tbsp of the beef to one side of each rectangle, then brush around the edge with egg wash. Fold over the pastry to cover the filling then push around the edges to secure. Use a fork to press around the outside of each one, then clean up with a knife. Brush with egg wash then slice a few times in the top to create a few steam holes.
- Place on a greaseproof baking tray (or use parchment paper) and bake in the oven at 200C/390F for 15-20mins, or until deep golden and visibly crisp with the gravy starting to leak out.
- Leave to cool for a few mins so you don't lose the roof of your mouth, then tuck in and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
- Filling - you can make just the filling, allow it to cool then tightly store it in the fridge for a couple of days until needed.
- Unbaked - make the steak bakes up until putting the egg wash on them. Tightly store on the tray inside the fridge until needed, or, freeze then thaw in the fridge and continue with egg wash & baking.
- Baked - you can bake them then let them completely cool and tightly store them in the fridge. Reheat at 180C/350F for 18-20mins until the meat is piping hot and the pastry crisp again. Or, blast in the microwave to reheat the filling and bake at 180C/350F for 5 or so mins to crisp up the pastry. You can also freeze, then thaw in the fridge and continue as above.
Your Private Notes: