Richard Holden's BBQ Brisket Pie Recipe

Richard Holden's BBQ Brisket Pie Recipe

We have an incredibly delicious recipe for you by BBQ Master Richard Holden. Proving once again that BBQ cooking is not only for those long summer evenings but also those cosy dark ones…

Using your BBQ for a slow cooked dish is a great way to keep the fires burning as the mercury drops. With a low ‘n’ slow dish there’s a small amount of time spent outside during the setup and at the start of the cook, but by using an indirect / roasting heat setup once the lid is closed there’s really very little you need to do except maintain a fire now and then if using charcoal. If you’re using a dedicated smoker then your involvement can be even less.


The meat does need to reach a core temperature of 95°C in order to shred when cooled and the instant read Thermapen is the perfect piece of equipment to help do this.

Makes 3kg of pie filling. Enough for 3 - 1kg pies to feed 4 people.
  • 1.5kg brisket, cut into 2” strips
  • 8 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, washed and diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 200ml red wine
  • 800ml beef stock
  • 750ml passata
  • 500ml water
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 pkts ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 20 mins
Top tips

For a smoked brisket pie with red wine not only makes a great pie filling, it also makes a fantastic alternative to chilli if you want to serve it on a lovely fluffy baked potato for bonfire night. Smoking the brisket first for a short time then transferring it to the Dutch oven also speeds up the cooking process, compared to cooking a regular brisket as the simmering liquid transfers the heat into the beef much quicker so this cook should all be done in under 5 hours.

The recipe is a 2-part cook as the filling does need to be fridge cold before you can assemble the pies. Any warmth when you’re adding the pastry layer will soften the butter and you won’t get that lovely rise. Make the filling the day before, then assemble on the day of cooking and chill the assembled pie in the fridge one more time for at least 30 minutes. Put onto a preheated BBQ at 210°c roasting / indirect heat to reheat the filling and bake the pastry to perfection!

  • Preheat your grill for 120-130°C indirect heat and place your Dutch oven towards the grilling /direct heat source. Close the lid and open the vents as appropriate.
  • Place the brisket strips and bacon rashers on the area of roasting/ indirect heat and scatter the drained wood chips on the coals. If using a gas barbecue have the smoker box pre-heating for 15-20 mins ahead of putting the meat on the barbecue.
  • Close the lid and smoke for 15-20 mins.
  • Drizzle the rapeseed oil in the Dutch oven and add the celery, carrot, onion and thyme. Stir and sweat gently for 5-10 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  • Remove the bacon from the barbecue and cut into thin strips before adding to the Dutch oven and mixing with the vegetables to sweat down.
  • Once the vegetables have softened, add the red wine, and close the lid. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the volume of the wine has reduced by half.
  • Add the stock, passata, water, brisket pieces and the bay leaves to the pan and replace the lid on the Dutch oven. Reposition the Dutch oven to the area of indirect heat.
  • Close the barbecue lid and cook for 3-4 hours at 110-120°c or until the meat has reached 95°C core temperature when tested using a Thermapen thermometer.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the grill and cool. Once cool place in the fridge to chill overnight.
  • Remove the chilled pie filling from the fridge and use forks to remove the pieces of beef from the Dutch oven to a tray.
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs at this time.
  • Use the forks to shred the beef into smaller pieces and once shredded mix with the rest of the pie filling.
  • Unroll the puff pastry and cut two 1cm strips from the narrow end and press these around the edge of your pie dishes.
  • Fill the pie dishes with the cold filling making sure the juices don’t make the pastry trim wet.
  • Wet the pastry edges with a little beaten egg and place the larger sheet of pastry over the top of the pie and press lightly around the edges to seal the pastry layers together.
  • Using a paring knife trim off the excess pastry and use the back of that knife tap along the edge of the pie sealing the pastry layers even tighter, and to make small flutes around the edge.
  • Decorate with leaves made from the pastry trimming and brush the top of the pies with a little beaten egg.
  • Put the pies in the fridge to chill the pastry for 30-40 minutes.
  • Preheat the BBQ for 210°C roasting / indirect heat with the lid down and vents open as applicable.
  • Remove the pies from the fridge and poke a small steam hole in the middle of each pie.
  • Insert a paper cone into each hole so steam can escape but bubbling juices won’t stain the pastry lid.
  • Place on the BBQ in the area of roasting heat and close the lid quickly.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is a lovely golden brown and even baked across the pies.
  • Remove from the BBQ and serve.
Products to help you achieve perfection
"I'm all about cooking from scratch using the best quality ingredients. When you know exactly what's gone into your food you want to make sure it's cooked perfectly. With the speed and accuracy of a Thermapen you know this is spot on every time."
Richard Holden
Trained Chef & BBQ Specialist
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