Recipe: Irish Beef Hand Pies

These Irish Beef Hand Pies are nifty little beefy pastries that are a terrific for a lunch or light super… I had one a long time ago in a pub… and had long forgotten about them until just before St. Patrick’s Day I came across numerous recipes, all the same, and credited to Martha Stewart.

I simply didn’t have the time to get a post about them in before the ‘big day”… but I made a note to do a post on them anyway… after all.. Beef Hand Pies are good any time of year.

So I printed out her recipe and followed the directions.. yes… I actually followed the directions … well… let me qualify that… up to a point I followed the directions. I made the filling and tasted it and was not impressed. It lacked flavor and was extremely dry. So …yes… I did end up changing her recipe.

Her recipe lists ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce… that is not nearly enough… I upped it to 1 tablespoon.. which worked out nicely.

I used 2 tablespoons olive oil instead of 1 that was in the original recipe. I started out with 1 tablespoon and felt it just wasn’t enough to coat all the potatoes and cabbage.

The filling was dry… not at all as I had remembered it … the only “wet” ingredients in her recipe is 3 tablespoons tomato paste and the Worcestershire sauce… I was all set to add ketchup … then I decided to add a ½ cup of beef broth instead and continue to cook it a bit more… the result was much better… much much better.

They are a little on the bland side… next time I think I will add chopped onion when browning the beef… but this recipe here looks to be the real deal.


I used commercial pie crusts… I’m not so sure I will do that next time.. it was tough to roll out a 9 inch round of pie crust into an even 14 inch square … probably would have been just as easy to make my own pie crust.

Be careful when you press your fork around the edge to seal it… I ended up piercing the dough a bit… but the filling luckily never ran…

I used Yukon Gold potatoes, the original recipe called for red potatoes. We like the Yukon Golds and that’s what I had on hand… it worked well.. use whatever potatoes you prefer.

One of the nicest features of this dish is that you can make these completely ahead and freeze them. You don’t even have to thaw them, bake them at the same temperature but bake them for 28 to 30 minutes.

The directions say to bake them for 10-12 minutes… I ended up baking mine for 15 minutes … set your timer for 10 minutes and watch them, you want them a light golden brown color.

Now let’s get to the recipe… I hope you try it… the family will definitely like them… I served mine with oven fried steak fries.

Recipe: Irish Beef Hand Pies

All you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ head of green cabbage, shredded
½ pound potatoes, small diced
1 pound lean ground beef
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup beef broth
½ teaspoon thyme
2 (9 inch) pie crusts (commercial or homemade)

All you have to do:

Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the potatoes and cabbage. Stirring frequently, cook until they start to brown (about 8-10 minutes).

Add the ground beef and cook until no longer red. Break the beef up into small pieces with a cooking spoon or spatula.

Add the tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

Use a potato masher or fork to mash the mixture… leaving some small potato lumps.

Allow to cool.

Roll out the pie crusts into 14 inch squares. Cut each pie crust into 4 equal squares.(mine ended up far less than equal… they had that homemade look)

Place about ½ cup of filling on half of the square leaving a ½ inch border around the side. Brush the border with water. Fold the empty half over the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Pierce the top with 3 tiny slits.

Place on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

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