Since my house is always full of teenagers on the weekends and no one sits down at the same time to eat, leaving a plate of hand pies on the counter makes it convenient for everyone to eat whenever they feel like it or take it on the go. Hand pies are so convenient and versatile. The fillings can be sweet or savory. The best part is that they are very portable and travel well. They can be eaten at room temperature or slightly warm. They are perfect for lunch or dinner on the fly.
This recipe uses a basic Irish stew that has been braised in Guinness Stout. I always love to tell my son and his friends that beer is used in the recipes. They just love it and think it is so cool. Guinness Stout has a slight bitter taste to it so many recipes that include this stout will also use brown sugar or raisins or sometimes both to balance out that bitterness. I did not use either but I did temper the stout with a one to one ratio of stout to beef broth. If cooked long enough the bitterness is very slight and hardly noticeable. Stew beef chunks can be used instead of the ground beef I chose but keep in mind since these are hand pies; everything has to be cut into very small pieces and stew beef chunks take a lot longer to cook. Make some hand pies for your St. Patrick’s Day feast!
Irish Beef and Guinness Hand Pies
1 lb. of ground beef – used 80:20 lean
2 Tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup of chopped onions
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
2 cups of Guinness Stout
2 cups of beef broth – low sodium
2/3 cup of diced carrots – diced small
1 cup of diced potatoes - diced small
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 Tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 boxes of pie crusts (4 sleeves)
1 Tablespoon of water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring the pie crusts to room temperature. In a large sauté pan heat the canola oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Pour the beef mixture into a strainer and drain the fat. Wipe out the skillet and add back the drained beef mixture. Add the tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the Guinness Stout, beef broth, carrots, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, the thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer gently over medium-low heat for about 30- 35 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the flour and cook for about 5 more minutes or until thickened. Let it cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile unroll the piecrusts. Place one pie crust on top of another. Using a pizza cutter, cut in half horizontally and then cut in half vertically so there are 4 stacks of two pieces. Repeat with the other 2 pie crusts. On a large cookie sheet, place 8 pieces of the cut pie crusts. Divide the meat mixture evenly on top of each piece leaving a ½” border. Place the remaining pieces of pie crust on top. Turn up the edges and roll over once, pinching to seal the pies. Beat the egg with the water and paint the tops and edges with the egg wash. Use a sharp knife and cut two steam vents in each pie. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 pies