Monday, March 14, 2011


Just around the corner:  the Ides of March and St. Patrick's day. Party on my dudes and dudettes!!! Éirinn go Brách!

These Irish hand pies have a definite St. Patrick's Day flavour: potatoes, cabbage and beef! A little bit of stew tucked inside a pastry crust. Can't go wrong with that.  

I'm not ashamed to admit that I made them with store-bought pie crust. Easy! 

  1. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 onion chopped
  3. 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  4. 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
  5. 1 pound good quality ground beef
  6. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  9. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  10. 2 cups low sodium beef broth, divided
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
  12. All purpose flour for rolling
  13. 2 pie crusts (9 inches each), homemade or store-bought
  14. 1 egg beaten, to be used as egg wash.

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Bring 1 cup of beef broth to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until they are soft and then mash them, incorporating the left over broth in which they boiled. Set them aside to cool.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions. Cook them for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat until it's no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the cabbage, and cook, stirring, until the cabbage begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, parsley and the beef broth.
  • Cover, and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Lightly mash the mixture with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, mix with the potatoes and set aside until completely cooled.
  • When the beef mixture has cooled, prepare the crust: On a lightly floured work surface, roll each crust into a 14-inch square. Cut each into 4 equal squares.
  • Place 1/2 cup of filling on one half of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the filling. Brush the borders of the crust with water and fold the dough over the filling to enclose. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. With a paring knife cut 3 small vents in each pie.
  • Brush the top of the pies with the egg wash.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. Transfer the pies onto the baking sheets and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • The nice thing about these pies is that they can be frozen.
    To freeze, arrange the unbaked pies on a baking sheet and freeze them until firm, about 1 hour. Then wrap each pie in foil, and place it in a resealable plastic bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, the baking time should be increased by about another 15 minutes.


  1. Your pies turned out nice! I just posted mine too. I thought the directions were a tad off telling you to preheat the oven when you start the potatoes and meat...then you have to wait for it to timing was everything when to rool the dough. and why was the oven on the whole time? :D

  2. I didn't get to make this. I had two pie crusts in the freezer and I made yummy cookies with them. The next day, I saw that this was the recipe. I decided against buying or making crusts so I missed the challenge. I would like to make it some day after seeing how yours turned out. They look authentic.

  3. It doesn't make you a bad person at all! If there was a decent brand of shop-bought pastry over here then I would probably do the same.

    I'm pleased that you liked them and that you used broth - I be it made them even more tasty.

  4. Very nice. This would make a great lunch to take to work!!! I'm always looking for ideas for lunch. I really like the filling recipe. I think it could also be used as a filling for pierogis, and my husband loves them! Again, thanks for sharing, Ana.

  5. Greek Girl from Queens (now living in Ireland)March 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    These pies look (and I'm sure taste) absolutely delicious, Ana. I make something similar to this, but usually with pork (bacon), and only sometimes with beef (either steak cubes or minced beef). I also make the Greek version (though not on Paddy's Day) with spinach and cheese, and sometimes the Sephardic version, with beef and rice. And then of course, there's the sweet hand pies - I usually stuff those full of fruits of the forest (berries, apples and nuts) or sometimes rhubarb and apple and cinammon as a filling.

    Tomorrow being Paddy's Day, I think I'll be making these with corned beef and mash mixed in, and have the cabbage boiled on the side. And of course, a big loaf of soda bread with sultanas (and quite possibly, hazelnuts - just to make it a bit more interesting).

    Have a lovely Paddy's Day, everyone. And as always Ana, thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Erin go bragh to you, a chara ('my friend,' in Irish)

  6. I love corned beef! We are having shepherd's pie to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, and I even bought some Guinness to toast wiith. I would really love to have your recipe for soda bread with hazelnuts. Erin go bragh a chara.

  7. Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Lovely.