Next Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re like so many people, you’ll be wearing green, attempting an Irish brogue and enjoying a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. I usually find I have leftovers, but not quite enough to make a full meal for the family. What’s a lass to do? Take a cue from classic Irish pub grub and make hand pies, or pasties, with the leftovers to make them go further.
First, a little fun foodie history. These hand pies are very similar to Cornish pasties (PASS-tees). The Cornish pasty originated with the tin miners in Cornwall, England, during the 1800s. The underground miners couldn’t come to the surface for lunch, so a portable lunch was required. Also, the miner’s hands were very dirty (and tin contained arsenic) so the large crimp of the crust served as a handle. The pie could be eaten, and that part of the crust discarded.
The people making the pies also would sometimes put a sweet jam filling in one corner of the pie for dessert. The person making the pie would pinch the miner’s initials into the pie crust at the end with the sweet filling, so the miner would know to start at the opposite end. This way, if the miner wanted to leave some pasty to enjoy later, his initials could identify which pie belonged to whom. Such a clever idea.
For convenience, I purchased ready-to-use pie crust, but you could certainly make dough from scratch if you desire. Make enough for a two-crust pie.
This recipe uses leftovers, and since your leftovers are probably different from mine, use this recipe as a guideline because it’s totally adjustable. For example, you might have more cabbage, less potato and no carrots. No problem! As long as the total volume is 4½ cups, you can fill each of the six hand pies with ¾ cups of filling.
Of course, this hand pie could contain any filling you wish. Imagine them with shredded chicken, ground beef or simply cooked vegetables. These pasties are perfect for picnic fare or lunches on the go.
Here’s hoping your St. Paddy’s shenanigans produce leftovers but not hangovers.
Erin go bragh.
ST. PADDY’S PASTIES
Yield: 6 pasties
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 35-40 minutes
What you’ll need:
1½ cups corned beef, cubed
1 cup carrot, cubed
1½ cups potato, cubed
½ cup cabbage, well drained
1 tablespoon mustard, optional
Fresh ground pepper
2 9-inch/15-ounce pie crust rounds
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Using the leftovers from your corned beef and cabbage dinner, or freshly cooked equivalent, cube and measure the corned beef, potato, carrot and cabbage. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients above, adding mustard and a few grinds of pepper, if desired.
Place the egg in a small bowl and beat with 1 tablespoon water to make egg wash. Set aside.
Working with one pie crust at a time, place crust on parchment and cut into thirds, like a clock face at 12, 4 and 8 o’clock. Working one piece at a time, roll each piece into a rough rectangle. They won’t be perfect; don’t worry. It’s part of their charm.
Place ¾ cup filling slightly off center. Brush egg wash over the edges of the dough. Gently pull the pastry over the filling and crimp to seal the edges. Brush the egg wash over the top and crimp of each pie. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pies.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pies are golden and gorgeous.
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org.