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Irish Beef Hand Pies

This St. Patrick's Day, tuck the makings of traditional beef-and-potato stew into flaky pastries you can bake straight from the freezer.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 1 hour
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 2 piecrusts (9 inches each), homemade or store-bought

Cook's Note

Prepare through step 2. Arrange unbaked pies on a baking sheet (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Wrap each pie in foil. Place in a resealable plastic bag; freeze up to 2 months.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium; add cabbage and potatoes. Cook until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add beef; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and 1 cup water. Cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly mash mixture with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.

  2. Step 2

    On a lightly floured work surface, roll each crust into a 14-inch square; cut each into 4 equal squares. Place 1/2 cup filling on one half of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the filling. Brush borders with water; fold dough over filling to enclose. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. With a paring knife or scissors, cut 3 small vents in each.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer pies to 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

  4. Step 4

    To Bake from Frozen: Proceed with step 3, increasing baking time to 28 to 30 minutes.

Source
Everyday Food, March 2009

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Reviews (36)

  • 22 Mar, 2012

    I agree with some of the others that in looking at the ingredients can be for a bland pie and that this is traditional Irish. But, I like more flavor in my food. I added onion, corn, garlic, carrots, smoked paprika, celery seed and it was fantastic! I used a frozen pie crust, top and bottom and baked a delicious pie. I'll definately be making this again.

  • 10 Oct, 2011

    These were incredible!! :-D I added onion & celery seed. They were perfect!

  • 12 Apr, 2011

    I'm making the pies for the second time. They're GREAT. I've modified the filling and created Canadian meat (hand) pies by eliminating the tomato and adding beef broth, tiny chunks of carrots and allspice. My family LOVES them!

  • 21 Mar, 2011

    and the frozen pie crusts I used just turned out like moist dough, not flaky. Not sure what I did wrong, but I made a double batch so now I'm stuck with it! Disappointed. :)

  • 21 Mar, 2011

    Sorry, but this recipe didn't really work for me. I wasn't crazy about the filling

  • 8 Mar, 2011

    I used puff pastry for the crust (much easier) and fresh thyme, it was quite good! If you're going through the effort to make, I'd suggest, double up and put half in the freezer, great last minute dinner or lunch.

  • 31 May, 2010

    The dough seems to soak up most of the savory flavor in the filling. We tripled the amount of Worcestershire sauce. The filling was delicious before being put in the pies. After being put in the pies, it was just sort of bland.

  • 9 Apr, 2010

    What do you think of using left over corned beef instead of the ground beef?

  • 23 Mar, 2010

    My husband said this was just okay, nothing too great. But it was fairly easy, and my little guy ate it up!!

  • 18 Mar, 2010

    Runza's are of German origin. People of German decent all over the world make these! Runza's are made of beef (leftover roast that is diced or ground beef) cabbage and onion salt and pepper, wrapped in a potato yeast dough. Quite different than the Irish Hand Pie. Both items are very tasty.

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    mmm it looks very delicious, I will immediately try to cook it when I'll be at home )))) Thanks )))))

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    mmm it looks very delicious, I will immediately try to cook it when I'll be at home )))) Thanks )))))

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    Growing up, we would have called these pasties. Traditionally they're made with pastry dough, but my mom made them with puff pastry for convenience. Ours (the English version) had peas instead of cabbage, and lots of pepper.

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    I think this sounds good for left over stews and some casseroles, it would give it a different look for the family. Yummy!

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    Has anyone tried with puffed pastry?

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    Has anyone tried with puffed pastry?

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    Sound very much like Runza's, my Husker husband's favorite fast food which no one outside of the Lincoln Nebraska area has ever heard of. I'll add a bit of onion to make it more like the real thing.

  • 21 Mar, 2009

    What would you serve with this?

  • 18 Mar, 2009

    Dian-This is the traditional crust but you might want to look up Martha's recipe for an Empanada crust. You might like it better and it isn't as heavy as pizza dough which would be more like a calzone.

  • 18 Mar, 2009

    This was very good, I screwed up the pastry (I tried to make my own and I let my 7 year old knead it too long) but the filling was terrific. The only modification I made was to add half an onion to the first step and a minced garlic clove. Had I made a better pastry this would have been much better but even so the filling was very good. I will make this again.

  • 18 Mar, 2009

    I didn't care for this recipe because of the pastry. I think I would have liked it better if the bread had been more of a pizza crust. The pastry did not fit with the filling.

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    I loved the recipe, and yes, I made a few changes: I replaced the water with Kelly's Irish Hard Cider (plus some stock); I also used fresh thyme because I didn't have dried. I added it after the filling was off the burner, and I think it could have used more. Also, I used (gasp!) canned diced potatoes to save time; I think fresh would be much better, but the canned seemed to work just fine. This is very much like an Irish sloppy joe, but in pie form. (and with cabbage and potatoes.)

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    I'll try that again: Interesting to see this labeled bland by someone who added "onion, garlic, carrots, and extra spices." (perhaps the wrong extra spices were added? in which case, that's not the fault of the recipe but the cook.)
    Please note: these are IRISH meat pies, not Jamaican or Indian, so you'll be disappointed if you're expecting spicy or strong flavors. (If you were, you probably have never had Irish food before.) This is a classic meat and potatoes recipe - very authentic.

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    Interesting to see people labeling this bland; especially those who added "onion, garlic, carrots,

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    This was so good. Took a bit more time than anticipated. After reading some comments below I added two choped garlic cloves, a yellow onion, peas, more worcestershire and cut back on the thyme. I also served it with a little brown gravy. AWESOME!!! Crusts were hard to roll into 14 in squares, but other than that I would totally make it again!

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    A ton of work and bland, even with onion, garlic, carrots, and extra spices. It took a lot of time, and the results just were not worth it.

  • 17 Mar, 2009

    This is a very easy and quite good recipe. Being who I am, I had to embellish a bit. I added a couple of cloves of garlic diced, and used olive oil rather than vegetable oil. Thanks Martha, another outstanding recipe. Thanks ladies for some of your ideas for the next time.
    Jim Hawes
    Oakland, Iowa

  • 16 Mar, 2009

    So Yummy! I only made one alteration. When the water had cooked down Ithought it needed a little extra flavor. I added 1 cup of beer and let it simmer down. Very good!

  • 14 Mar, 2009

    I thought these were quite tasty, even with store bought pie crust. I think the thyme flavor was overpowering, but probably authentic. It made me realize how many variations on this I can create. Next time I will definitely add chopped onions and carrots and garlic to the mixture, and perhaps some shredded cheese. I couldn't help thinking this would taste good with a side of brown gravy to dip or pour on top of. Very easy and inspiring recipe! Thanks!

  • 14 Mar, 2009

    I determined by the ingredients that this would be rather bland, perhaps authentic, but we would need more flavor. I did not have time to go to the store so I customized this recipe with what I had at home. Spinach instead of Cabbage. Russets instead of red potatoes. Oregano instead of thyme. I added sauteed garlic, onion, kosher salt/pepper. Red bell pepper. It was great!

  • 12 Mar, 2009

    I made these upyesterday with a few adjustments-thenks to all your comments on how *bland* they were..I used shredded corned beef instead of the serloin and increased the spices a bit and wrapped them up in rolled out pizza dough from my local pizzaeria..the test comes this Saturday night at our St. Pattys Day party..woo hoo.. thanks everyone! Top of the mornin' to ya...

  • 12 Mar, 2009

    I made these upyesterday with a few adjustments-thenks to all your comments on how *bland* they were..I used shredded corned beef instead of the serloin and increased the spices a bit and wrapped them up in rolled out pizza dough from my local pizzaeria..the test comes this Saturday night at our St. Pattys Day party..woo hoo.. thanks everyone! Top of the mornin' to ya...

  • 11 Mar, 2009

    I agree that the recipe as is was not very flavorful. Next time I will add more salt, more Worcestershire sauce and perhaps some sauteed onions to the filling.

  • 10 Mar, 2009

    I made a little adjustment and they came out pretty good actually. I used 1.5 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and added some fresh parsley. Also i would roll out 7"x14" per pie crust instead of 14" square each time, so they do not tear on me. Just gather the scraps and re-roll them. It probably takes 15 minutes to bake the fresh ones. Next time try brushing the top with egg wash so they brown prettier. A keeper with a few changes.

  • 3 Mar, 2009

    They were pretty bland. I found that the frozen ones browned up much better than the fresh.

  • 2 Mar, 2009

    Disaster! I was SOOO disappointed.. I used ready made refrigerated pie crusts and the first one was so thin when I rolled it out to the specified size that I wound up having to add the other. Then, they took much longer than specified to brown and the filling was SUPER bland. This needed MUCH more seasoning that just S