Satisfy Your Cravings with These Delicious Hand Pies

Have you ever heard of the famous Irish beef hand pies recipe? They’re mini pies filled with savory beef and cabbage, perfect for a hearty snack or a quick meal on the go. In this recipe article, I will guide you through making these delicious traditional Irish meat pies that have been enjoyed by generations.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I can attest that this recipe is one of the best. The texture of the pie crust combined with the savory filling makes it a delight to eat. In fact, after just one bite, you will understand why Sweeney Todd called beef pies “the best pies.”

This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for comfort food or want to add a new dish to their St. Patrick’s Day arsenal. With fresh ingredients and simple preparation, everyone can enjoy the delicious Irish taste from the comfort of their own homes. So put on your apron and let’s get started with this mouth-watering Irish beef hand pie recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Beef Hand Pies
Irish Beef Hand Pies

Folks, let me tell you why you’re going to fall head over heels in love with this Irish Beef Hand Pies recipe. Imagine taking a bite into a flaky pie crust that gives way to the juiciest, savory beef filling made with ground sirloin and fresh ingredients like cabbage and red potatoes. Doesn’t that sound divine?

But wait, there’s more! This recipe is not just any ordinary meat pies. It embodies the heart and soul of Irish cuisine passed down from generations. The inclusion of Irish stout adds a depth of flavor that is simply irresistible.

With each bite, your taste buds will be transported to the rolling green hills of Ireland where staunch soulful beef dishes are savored with relish. Trust me when I say that making these hand pies is worth every minute spent in the kitchen.

And if you’re a fan of Sweeney Todd or British food in general, these meat pies are the perfect way to experience authentic flavors and aromas of British cuisine without having to pack your luggage and get on a plane.

So why will you love this recipe? Every aspect was carefully considered to create the ultimate eating experience. From the mouthwatering ingredients that blend together perfectly, to the comforting memory it invokes, this recipe is everything you could want in a meal.

Ingredient List

 The ultimate comfort food, perfect for cold winter nights!
The ultimate comfort food, perfect for cold winter nights!

Let’s get right into it – the ingredient list for making these delicious Irish Beef Hand Pies. You will need:

For the Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup of ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound of ground beef (sirloin or best beef)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red potato, scrubbed and diced into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

– Irish stout (such as Guinness) for a richer flavor

These ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store or market. Make sure to get everything on this list beforehand so that you can start preparing these savory treats right away!

The Recipe How-To

 The delicious smell of freshly baked hand pies is irresistible.
The delicious smell of freshly baked hand pies is irresistible.

Here’s where the real cooking begins – preparing our Irish Beef Hand Pies. First, preheat the oven to 375°F. Next, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add 1 pound of ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink.

Add the Vegetables

Reduce the heat to medium, and then add 1 diced yellow onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic, sautéing for another minute or so. To this mixture, add 1 cup of diced red potatoes, and cook for an additional 6 minutes whilst stirring occasionally. Then, incorporate ½ head of shredded green cabbage, stir together with the beef mixture and let that cook for another minute before adding in some seasoning.

Add Seasoning and Sauce

Season everything with 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp of dried thyme, 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of both fresh ground black pepper and coarse salt. Then, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir everything together thoroughly.

Add the Irish Stout

It’s now time for those delicious Irish ingredients to come in, so add in 1/2 cup of Irish stout (like Guinness) into the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and let it come up to a simmer before letting it cook for another couple of minutes or until most of the liquid has been reduced.

Make Pie Crusts

Whilst that is cooking down, make sure you get your pastry ready. Use either pie crust, puff pastry or your favorite pie dough recipe; whichever works best for you. You are going to need two cups worth.

Fill Pastry Dough

Separate your two cups’ worth of pastry dough into equal sections so you can make about eight hand pies. Roll each section out onto a floured surface, and then load with a good dollop of the beef mixture.

Bake the Pies

Fold each pastry dough over so that it meets itself, and then use a fork to seal the edges shut by pressing firmly. Cut some slits on top to let steam escape during cooking. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly oil it, depending on personal preference. Place those beautiful little meat pies on top and sit patiently near the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until you notice the beautiful golden glaze color come to life.

Enjoy your scrumptious Irish Beef Hand Pies!

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfectly golden brown with a flaky crust and savory filling.
Perfectly golden brown with a flaky crust and savory filling.

When it comes to making these delicious Irish beef hand pies, there are several substitutions and variations that you can try to suit your taste or dietary restrictions. Here are some ideas that you can consider:

– Meat: While this recipe calls for ground sirloin, you can also use other types of ground beef, such as chuck or round. For a leaner option, try using ground turkey or chicken instead. You can also use leftover cooked beef or corned beef instead of ground beef to make a steak pie.

– Vegetables: The recipe includes green cabbage and red potatoes, but you can also use other vegetables that you have on hand or prefer. Try using carrots, peas, mushrooms, onions or leeks for extra flavor and nutrition. You can also omit the cabbage if you’re not a fan.

– Sauce and seasoning: Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste are used in the filling to add tanginess and richness. However, you can use different sauces or condiments to change the flavor profile of the hand pies. For example, you can use soy sauce, hoisin sauce or bbq sauce for an Asian twist. You can also add herbs such as rosemary, oregano or basil to enhance the aroma.

– Dough: The recipe calls for a simple homemade pie crust made with flour, salt and butter. However, you can also use puff pastry or store-bought pie dough to save time and effort. You can also make a gluten-free version of the hand pies by using gluten-free flour or almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.

– Pie filling: If you want to experiment with different flavors and textures, you can try making other types of meat pies such as chicken pot pie, lamb pie or pork pie. You can also add cheese, bacon or eggs to make a breakfast hand pie. If you want to make the pies more festive for St. Patrick’s Day, add some Irish stout to the filling for a rich and boozy taste.

Remember that these are just some suggestions, so feel free to get creative and come up with your own variations of the recipe. The possibilities are endless, and you might discover your new favorite hand pie recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Who says meat pies are only for the English? Try this twist on the classic!
Who says meat pies are only for the English? Try this twist on the classic!

Serving and pairing options for Irish Beef Hand Pies are endless. These hand pies are perfect for a hearty lunch or dinner. I recommend serving them hot and fresh from the oven with a side salad or your favorite vegetable dish.

Since these meat pies are filled with savory beef and potato filling, they pair well with wine or beer. You can pair them with a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, especially if you’re looking to warm yourself up on a cold evening. On the other hand, if you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or just want to have an Irish experience, pair them with a pint of Guinness, an Irish Stout. Guinness has a deep taste that complements the richness of the pies perfectly.

If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, soda or tea would work as great options to go along with these delicious Irish beef hand pies.

The serving options for the hand pies are versatile; you can serve them at intimate dinners or large gatherings depending on the size of the pies being baked. They make great addition to any dinner party, potluck or picnic!

In conclusion, no matter how you choose to enjoy your delicious Irish Beef Hand Pies, be sure it is with good company while delighting your taste buds in true hearty British flavor!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty and filling meal that is sure to satisfy any appetite.
A hearty and filling meal that is sure to satisfy any appetite.

When it comes to make-ahead meals, these Irish beef hand pies are a great option. You can prepare the filling and the dough ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days until you’re ready to assemble and bake them. This recipe is perfect for meal planning and batch cooking.

Once you’ve baked the hand pies, they’ll stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you want to enjoy them longer, you can freeze them for up to 2 months. Make sure to wrap each hand pie tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in freezer-safe bags.

To reheat the frozen hand pies, simply preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake them for about 20 minutes until heated through. If you’re reheating refrigerated hand pies, you can either microwave them for about a minute or warm them up in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes.

One of my favorite reheating tips is to add a small dish of water to the oven when reheating so that the hand pies won’t dry out. Plus, this will create steam which makes the crust even flakier and more delicious!

Whether you’re craving comfort food on a busy weeknight or looking for a hearty lunch, these Irish beef hand pies will hit the spot every time. Just remember to store them properly, and they’ll be just as tasty as when they were fresh out of the oven!

Tips for Perfect Results

 These hand pies are the perfect on-the-go meal or snack.
These hand pies are the perfect on-the-go meal or snack.

As someone who specializes in British cuisine and has had plenty of experience making meat pies, I have some tips that can help you achieve perfect results when making Irish beef hand pies.

Firstly, it is crucial to use high-quality ingredients. Since there are only a handful of ingredients used in this recipe, each component should be top-notch. Ensure that the red potatoes and cabbage are fresh and free from any blemishes. Opt for ground beef with a higher fat content, preferably ground sirloin, as it will yield moist and tender filling.

Secondly, it’s essential not to overwork the pie dough when rolling it out. Overworking the dough can cause it to toughen up, resulting in a less-than-ideal crust. Make sure to chill the dough before rolling it out and handle it gently.

Thirdly, be generous with seasoning the filling. A pinch of salt and pepper may not be enough to bring out the flavors of the beef, potatoes, and cabbage. Add dried thyme for earthiness, Worcestershire sauce for depth of flavor, and tomato paste for tang.

Lastly, let your beef hand pies rest after baking for at least ten minutes before serving. This allows the filling to settle and redistributes any juices evenly throughout the pie.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious Irish beef hand pies that would make Sweeney Todd’s meat pies look like child’s play!


Before concluding this recipe, let me answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Irish Beef Hand Pies recipe. These questions will help you make any necessary adjustments to the recipe, and ensure that you are ready to take on any challenges that may come your way while preparing these savory treats. So, let’s dive into some of the most important FAQs.

What is the traditional pie of Ireland?

This recipe features a classic Irish meat pie that incorporates the rich and distinctive flavor of Guinness stout beer. It’s a popular dish often found in pubs across Ireland.

Are hand pies and pasties the same thing?

Empanadas, pasties, patties, hand pies or pastel may have different names around the world, but they are all essentially the same thing. These delicacies are made of a pastry or dough crust, shaped into pockets and filled with either sweet or savory ingredients. The filling may vary depending on the region and culture, but the process of baking or frying them remains the same.

What cuts of beef are best for pies?

For a savory steak pie that melts in your mouth, it’s important to choose the right cut of beef. Chuck or silverside cuts, as well as any braising beef found at the grocery store, are ideal for slow-cooking and will provide the perfect texture and flavor for your pie.

What are the pies in Sweeney Todd made of?

Yosses humorously states that there is an abundance of fresh produce available from the neighboring establishment, Sweeney Todd. As I enter the kitchen, I notice the chef expertly baking the pie shells before filling them with chicken and vegetables that have been simmered in a rich white truffle butter sauce. To finish off this delectable dish, a sprinkle of truffle zest adds the perfect touch of flavor.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these Irish beef hand pies are the perfect meal for any occasion. With their delicious crust and savory filling, they are sure to become a new family favorite. Not only are they easy to make, but they can also be customized to fit your taste preferences by using different meats or vegetables.

With traditional Irish ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and cabbage, these hand pies truly capture the essence of Irish cuisine. They are a hearty and comforting dish that will warm you up on a cold winter’s day or bring a touch of Ireland to any St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

So why not give this recipe a try? Whether you’re a fan of meat pies, Sweeney Todd-style or just looking for something new and delicious to add to your recipe collection, these Irish beef hand pies won’t disappoint. Gather your ingredients and let’s get cooking!

Irish Beef Hand Pies

Irish Beef Hand Pies Recipe

On St Patrick's Day or on any other day, tuck the makings of traditional beef-and-potato stew into flaky pastries you can bake straight from the freezer. These are like empanadas and can be stuffed with all vegetables, or maybe berries of some kind, or sausages and/or other meats. Everyday Food or Martha Stewart web site.;)
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, European, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Potato, St. Patrick's Day, Steak, Vegetable
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Calories 374.7kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • all-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 2 pie crusts (9 inches each, homemade or store-bought)


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • 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, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), Worcestershire, thyme, and 1 cup water.
  • Cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Lightly mash mixture with a fork.
  • Season; salt, & pepper, to taste.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, if using (optional)
  • Let cool completely.
  • 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.
  • Transfer pies to 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  • *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.
  • To Bake from Frozen: Proceed increasing baking time to 28 to 30 minutes.


Serving: 188g | Calories: 374.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.9g | Protein: 15.3g | Fat: 22.4g | Saturated Fat: 6.3g | Cholesterol: 36.9mg | Sodium: 332.5mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 2.1g

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