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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:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 8

Source: Everyday Food, March 2009


  • 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


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

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

Reviews Add a comment

  • AbbyCakes
    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.
  • Vera_Lynn
    10 OCT, 2011
    These were incredible!! :-D I added onion & celery seed. They were perfect!
  • mahobay
    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!
  • Suezy
    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. :)
  • Suezy
    21 MAR, 2011
    Sorry, but this recipe didn't really work for me. I wasn't crazy about the filling
  • SMcGriffin
    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.
  • airstream_cooking
    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.
  • stephaniebrereton
    9 APR, 2010
    What do you think of using left over corned beef instead of the ground beef?
  • RandiKaye
    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.