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South African pepper steak pie

By June 15, 2023August 25th, 2023FinGlobal

South African pepper steak pie

June 15, 2023


The infamous South African pepper steak pie wields tremendous savoury power. It can either leave you wracked with nostalgia if you’re based across the pond or drooling for a succulent mouthful if you’re wondering what to make for dinner! Either way, once you’ve tasted the joys of a decadent South African pepper steak pie recipe, courtesy of Ouma’s kombuis, it very likely thoughts of its rich, buttery casing filled with tender chunks of beef and thick, peppery gravy will have you salivating like a hungry wolfhound!

A not-so-South African pastei

Contrary to popular belief, the South African pepper steak pie recipe didn’t originate in South Africa at all. This might leave you scratching your head in confusion, especially if your childhood memories include sepia-toned snap-shots of Ouma in the kitchen, elbows deep in her mixing bowl, whipping up a batch of golden pastry for a traditional South African meat pie. We’ll let you in on a secret, pies are more of a British fashion fad from the 14th century (that never died) than traditional South African cuisine.

So how did the humble pie traverse the ocean and get to South Africa? Simple. Somewhere between the Dutch and English colonisations during the 1700s and 1800s, their cuisine infiltrated our unique heritage and became adopted, adapted, and, dare we say, perfected! But back to the matter at hand, within the jumble of delicacies they brought from across the sea was lurking the South African steak pie recipe we know and love today.

However, if we are going to dig into the grassroots of the pie’s origin, certain dusty history books suggest that the ancient Egyptians first invented pies. From there, the Greeks and Romans put their twist on things, and thus the first pastry pie was born. To be honest, its history is a bit of a crumb war, as there’s always someone jostling for a slice of the proverbial pie.

What we do know is that while pies have been around for a long time, unfortunately, we South Africans can’t lay claim to their origin. But that’s not to say we haven’t created the best pies in the world; you only have to sink your teeth into a tender South African meat pie to agree!

Where to get a South African steak pie

If you live in South Africa, grabbing a tasty South African meat pie is as easy as pulling into your local petrol station or grocery store! These scrumptious beauties are kept hot for added convenience and go perfectly with an ice-cold Coke.

Unfortunately, those living in foreign climes might find this a little hard to do, but that’s not to say a gorgeous traditional steak pie is off the menu. Check out this finger-licking South African steak pie recipe we’ve found for you. Get your pinny (apron) on; it’s time to start cooking!

South African pepper steak pie recipe

What you need:

Gather the below ingredients.

  • 1kg cubed beef (chuck or short rib)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 large brown onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brandy (Klippies, of course!)
  • 1 ½ cups beer
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tsp beef stock powder or 1x beef stock cube
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 2 sheets puff pastry (thawed)

What to do for the filling:

Now for the fun part, it’s cooking time!

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C.
  • In a medium-sized pan, heat the olive oil and gently saute the onion until golden brown.
  • Next, season the beef cubes with salt and coat well with flour.
  • Add the beef to the hot oil in the pan and gently braise with the onions.
  • Remove the meat and the onions from the pan when brown, leaving the gravy behind.
  • It’s time to deglaze your pan (add flavour to your dish!) Add the Klippies to the gravy and allow the liquid to bubble rapidly. Use a spatula to scrape off any meat bits stuck to the pan and allow them to combine into the sauce.
  • Now add the beer, water, stock powder (if using), pepper, and thyme – remember to stir the meaty mixture well.
  • Place the mixture into a large crock pot or oven-safe dish, cover, and bake for at least 45 minutes or until the beef is succulent and tender.
  • Once the meat filling is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it on the side to cool slightly.

What to do for the pastry:

  • Increase the oven temperature to 200 C.
  • Lay the pastry sheets out and cut twelve evenly sliced rectangles per sheet. This will give you twenty-four rectangles which, when paired together, will create twelve scrumptious pies!
  • Use a large baking sheet to cover your baking tray and place twelve rectangles onto it. These are your pie bases.
  • Now add a good dollop of pie filling onto each rectangle and cover using the remaining pastry squares.
  • Crimp the pie edges using a fork to ensure the filling stays ensconced in the pastry casing.
  • Use a toothpick to poke a tiny hole into the lid of each pie to allow excess steam to escape; this will also ensure your pie filling doesn’t explode out the pie edges!
  • You’re nearly done!
  • Beat the egg into a frothy mixture, and using a food brush, baste each pie well.
  • Finally, bake the pies for 25 minutes and serve hot with fresh side salads; yum!

The final crumb

Most Saffas agree a lekker pepper steak pie recipe is the ideal winter warmer. Whether you’re munching on one as you scurry to work, wolfing one down in your lunch break, or devouring one in front of your favourite soap, fluffy winter socks pulled up to your knees – a South African meat pie or vleis pastei definitely warms the cockles of your heart. Or, in this case, your chilblained fingers and frostbitten toes!

Pie emigration advice from the FinGlobal experts

Obtaining expert emigration advice can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the concept of traversing the globe! Thankfully the FinGlobal team eliminates any confusion by offering advice tailored to suit your unique situation.

Whether you are based in sunny South Africa or further afield, the FinGlobal team is here to assist, offering fuss-free, professional financial emigration advice backed by more than a decade of experience and accreditation. Contact the team today for advice on tax, retirement annuities, pensions, and more; it’s time you got a quality slice of the emigration pie!

To discuss your unique needs with our team, simply get in touch with us. Give us a call on +27 28 313 5600 or send us an email at, and we will assist you promptly.

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