Recipes /

Recipe: Cowheel Pie

Follow our guide to this Lancashire favourite

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more


Looking for something a little different? Try this Lancashire speciality and follow our cowheel pie recipe, taken from PRIME: The Beef Cookbook by Richard H. Turner, which is out now. 

Lancashire is an English county of fine culinary traditions from Bury black pudding and black peas to Lancashire cheese and potted shrimp, its bounty is among the best in the country. Cowheel is a less well-known Lancashire delicacy but should most certainly not be forgotten; it’s eaten cold in jelly with salt and vinegar, or used to add body to stews or pies as below. Desperate Dan was a fan, apparently…

cowheel pie recipe

Cowheel Pie Recipe

Serves 4


1 cowheel, or cow hoof, split and cut into 4

1kg boneless shin of beef, cut into 5cm pieces

50g plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper

50g beef dripping

1 litre beef broth

2 large onions

2 large carrots

1 garlic clove

free-range egg and milk, for the egg wash

plain flour, for dusting

500g shop-bought shortcrust pastry

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Blanch the cowheel by covering it with cold water and bringing to the boil. Simmer for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh in cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, Gas Mark 2.
  3. Dust the diced beef shin with the seasoned flour and fry in batches in the beef dripping until well browned. Transfer to a casserole, the deglaze the pan with the beef broth and pour into the casserole. Add the cowheel, season, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours, until tender. Peel and chop the onions, carrots and garlic and add to the casserole, then return to the oven for a further hour.
  4. Pass the contents of the casserole through a sieve into a clean pan, discarding the cowheel bones, which should have by now rendered the braise sticky and unctuous. Return the meat and vegetables to the sauce, place in a pie dish large enough to hold everything and leave to cool to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven again to 180°C, Gas Mark 4.
  6. Roll the shortcrust pastry out on a lightly floured work surface and cover the pie, sealing the edges with a little water. Brush with egg wash and bake the pie for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

PRIME: The Beef Cookbook by Richard H. Turner, published by Mitchell Beazley, £25 (

READ MORE:  Pork Pie Recipe / Berner’s Pork Pie / Fish Pie