Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Irish Beef Handpies

Months ago, I came across this recipe and thought it looked good.  I really do enjoy making new recipes, and seeing if they are a fit in our family.  Many times, I'll plan our menu for the next two weeks, only to have each day filled with new recipes to try.  Many of them don't make the cut, but we always enjoy the challenge.  The kids really like "new recipe night" and like to contribute their feelings on the meal.  If  we get a thumbs up from the kids, we know it's a keeper.

This next recipe originally came from Martha Stewart.  I came across it while looking at another of her recipes.  Linked on the bottom was a suggested "if you like this, you might like..." type of thing.  So I looked at it and it seemed like it would taste good. 

In fact, it was very well seasoned and I didn't even mind that it had hamburger in it (I normally use ground turkey).  The kids liked that it was a little handpie that they could hold and eat, and The Husband liked the fact that I could make up a batch, freeze them, and he could take one to work whenever he wanted to.  All good things.  Let's make some together!

Irish Beef Handpies

3-4 Tbsp oil
1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 pound of red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 onion, diced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup shredded carrots
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 cup water
3 9-inch pie crusts (store bought or hand made)
1 egg (for an egg wash)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium sauce pan, add oil.  Once heated, add your diced cabbage and diced red potatoes.  On medium-high heat, spread out potatoes and cabbage in a thin layer.  Cover your pan with a lid and let them cook until they get nice and browned.  (You will need to stir/flip them every few minutes, and you will notice them getting more browned with every flip.  Keeping the lid on between stirrings will help steam-cook the potatoes as they are getting browned.)

Once your potatoes and cabbage are nicely browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.  In the same pan, add in your diced onions, shredded carrots, and ground meat.  Cook together until meat is no longer pink and veggies are soft and translucent.

Add in your tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, garlic, and water.  Add in your potato/cabbage mixture.  Stir to combine.  Cover with lid and simmer for about 15 minutes.  At this time, your potatoes will be nice and soft and everything will smell great.  Take a potato masher (or a fork) and lightly mash your mixture.  This will make sure there are no big lumps of potato mixed in, and as you can see in the picture with the big chunk of potato, I skipped this step.  Oh well.)  Take pan off heat and let cool about 20 minutes.

Roll out your pie crusts.  I used store-bought crusts, and after rolling them out, I took a knife and cut it like I would draw a tic-tac-toe board.  Since the crust was in the shape of a circle, the four corners were like triangles, and the middle squares were...squares.   It didn't bother me to have some pockets be squares,and others become triangles.  If this bothers you, feel free to cut squares and re-roll the pie crust to get additional squares.  You could also use a circle cutter (or a glass cup) to cut out circles.  Regardless, once you have your shapes cut out, you can begin filling your handpies.

Depending on the size of your pie crust shapes, scoop some filling onto the center of half of your shapes.  You should have enough to give yourself a good bite of filling, but not too much that you can't close the crust around the edges, and leave about 1/2 inch space around the borders.  I used about 1/3 of a cup of filling for my pockets.  Make an egg wash (one beaten egg with 1 Tbsp water, beat together) and using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the crust.

Take another pie crust shape (one that matches the shape you have) and place it over the filling.  Match each edge and press softly (the egg wash will help it adhere).  With a fork, press alongside each edge to give it a nice decoration.  Brush the entire top with more egg wash, and place on a greased baking sheet.    Using a knife, cut a few slice marks along the top of the handpie to help with ventilation during cooking.  Repeat all steps with remaining filling and pie crusts.

Once finished, place cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.  Since the filling is already cooked, you are really just cooking the crust.    Once they are out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes before eating.

I like to slice them in half before serving.  The kids like them this way, and it helps the insides to cool a bit before eating.

If you want to freeze these, prepare pockets up until the point you would bake them.  Line them on a well-greased cookie sheet and place in freezer for a few hours.  Once they are frozen, remove them from the pan and wrap them individually in aluminum foil, then store in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

To bake, simply remove them from the foil and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until they are cooked through and the crust is nicely browned.

While making this, I thought it would work just as well in 'chicken-pot-pie' format, meaning you could place a bottom layer of pie crust in a pie pan, add all your filling, and then top it with another pie crust.  Crimp the edges of the crust, make some slits for ventilation, and then brush it with egg wash before baking. (375 for about 25-30 minutes).  Slice and serve.   Or you could eliminate the bottom crust, and just top it with one crust.  That way, you won't have to worry about extra filling not getting used because you run out of pie crust, or if you are just looking to simplify your life, this would be an easier version.

Whichever way you choose, I encourage you to try this recipe.  I think you'll like it.  FYI: We doubled the recipe for our family, and after using up all the pie crust for the little hand pies, we still had filling left over, which we just ate as it was, for leftover lunches.  Yum.

1 comment:

kadie dahl said...

This looks SOOOO good! I love reading your recipes. I can't wait until we're in CO so I can try out your recipes! It's really hard cooking for two people...