I’ve given a pastry spin to the traditional Irish meal of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes with these Wholemeal Guinness Corned Beef & Cabbage Hand Pies. The subtle flavour of Guinness complements the saltiness of the corned beef and the bitterness of the cabbage. These pies are a cute, portable, and Irish way to celebrate Pi Day!
I’m killing multiple birds with one stone with these puppies. Not only am I giving you dish to make for your lunches (or if you’re my boyfriend, your breakfast) on St. Patrick’s Day, but they’re also a great way to celebrate Pi Day!
I originally intended to make this into a dinner-sized pie, which is why this recipe makes 24 hand pies (so much pastry dough!) But after rummaging through the freezer at lunch for something to eat, I realised our stocks were getting dangerously low. Thus, these hand pies were born through a desire to stock my freezer with more single-serving, portable lunches. Not a bad way to churn up an idea, eh?
So let’s talk about these pies. I wanted to make a dish more traditionally Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day next week, and what is more Irish than the corned beef, steamed cabbage, and potato dinner? The inspiration to make a pie from these ingredients occured when I realised I had nothing to offer for Pi Day today. As a food blogger who also has a soft spot for pie, this was a horrible disaster! No matter – hand pies to the rescue!
For those of you who don’t fancy Guinness, there’s no need to worry about the pies tasting overwhelmingly of stout. The beer is a subtle flavour enhancer; we only use 150ml in the entire recipe! I found it simply brings out more of the corned beef flavour and tones down the saltiness of the meat. As I’m using tinned corned beef in this recipe, it tends to be very salty.
The filling is delicious. There is no other word to describe it. Corned beef, potatoes, carrots, onion and cabbage all come together in glorious harmony with thyme, bay, all spice, and Worcestershire. It’s like a spice-veggie-meat match made in heaven. My boyfriend actually said he’d be happy to eat the filling by itself! Which is saying something, since we’re both mad carboholics.
The mustard is mandatory. I don’t know about you, but I cannot eat corned beef without smothering it in a layer of English mustard first. The two were just made to be together, you know? Both Dijon and English mustard are used in this filling recipe. I also may have swiped the top of my pies with English mustard before I ate them. I suggest you do the same.
Although these hand pies are quite a bit of work – making pastry, chilling pastry, making filling, rolling, cutting, filling, egg-washing, baking, repeat – I find the reward is so worth it. You could possibly bake this recipe into one massive pie if you wanted to save time (I didn’t try this method, so this is only a theory), but I found the single-serving hand pies to be quite darling and very easy to freeze for future lunches.
I hope you like my spin on this classic Irish dinner. It’s kind of like a fusion between Irish, British, and Australian cuisine with a nod to mathematics. Odd, but it certainly works!
Wholemeal Guinness Corned Beef & Cabbage Hand Pies
For the pastry:
- 3 2/3 cup wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup (340g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup very cold water
For the filling:
- 1 (325g) tin corned beef
- 150ml Guinness extra stout beer
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium dutch cream potato, finely diced (or any other hard, floury potato)
- 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
- 1/2 mini drumhead cabbage, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground all spice
- scant 1/8 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water)
MAKE THE PASTRY: In a food processor, combine the flours, salt, and cubed butter. Whiz the ingredients for 10–15 seconds or until the mixture forms a coarse meal. (Alternatively, this can be done by combining the ingredients in a bowl and pinching the butter and flour together with your fingers.) Remove the blade from the processor and add the egg yolks to the flour mixture. Mix in the yolks with your hands and add the cold water a little at a time until a shaggy dough forms. You may not need all of the water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 20–30 seconds until the dough comes together into a ball. Press the pastry into a thick disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you make the pie filling.
MAKE THE FILLING: In a medium bowl, combine the corned beef and Guinness. Mix with a fork, breaking up any large chunks of meat. Set aside to marinate.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes, carrot, onion, and cabbage and sauté until the vegetables begin to sweat, about 10 minutes. Fold the marinated corned beef into the sautéed vegetables. Add the thyme, all spice, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, both mustards, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the flour, stir, and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for another 5–8 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are almost tender. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while you finish the pastry.
ASSEMBLE THE HAND PIES: Preheat the oven to 205 C (400 F) and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
On a floured surface, roll out your chilled pastry dough into a 2mm thick circle. Cut the dough into 48 9cm (3-1/2 in) circles. You will need to re-roll and cut your dough a couple times. Place 8 circles on a lined baking tray and brush them with a bit of egg wash. Use a spoon to dollop 1 tablespoon of filling onto the centre of each circle, leaving a border around the edge. Place 8 more circles on top of each filled circle and use a fork to crimp the tops and bottoms together and seal the pies. Brush the pie tops with more egg wash and cut two small vents in the top of each pie.
Bake the hand pies for 20–24 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool on the tray 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough.
After baking, these pies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
So what kind of pie are you eating for Pi Day today? Do you prefer sweet or savory pies?