Sean Connolly’s Corned Beef Pie with Mushy Peas

Chef

I’ve been quoted before saying that Mum’s corned beef pie would be my death row meal. Mum was fantastic with pastry and I’ve always used her half-butter half-lard pastry recipe when I cook. For many years I’ve wanted to recreate the whole pie, but I’ve never dared, so I’m using this opportunity to pay homage to it.

– Sean Connolly

Image of Corned Beef Pie with Mushy Peas

Corned Beef Pie with Mushy Peas

Ingredients

For the corned beef

  • 1 large good-quality corned silverside
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, halved
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 3 litres good-quality chicken stock

For the pastry:

  • 500g flour
  • 125g butter, frozen
  • 125g lard, frozen
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

For the filling:

  • 1 kilo cooked corned beef (included in recipe)
  • 600mls corned beef poaching liquor (included in recipe)
  • 2 tbsp duck fat or butter
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 egg, beaten

To serve:

  • Mushy peas

Let’s Cook

Prepare the corned beef:

Place all ingredients into a large pot for which you have a lid and bring to the boil. Place on the lid, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for around 4 hours until meat is soft. Set pot aside until meat has cooled in its liquor.

Prepare the pastry:

Sift butter into a large bowl. Use a cheese grater to grate butter and lard into the bowl. Rub butter and lard into flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in egg yolks, salt, and cream of tartar and lightly knead until just combined into a dough. Pat dough into two even discs, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day before using.

Prepare the filling:

Remove 1 kilo of cooked corn beef and 600ml of the poaching liquor from the pot.

Run a fork along the grain of the beef to separate it into strands (some can be thick chunks of strands). Chop strands into 2-3cm long chunks.

Melt duck fat in a large pan on a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10-12 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Pour all but a quarter-cup of the 600ml poaching liquor into the pan, stir in chopped corned beef, and bring to a simmer. Stir cornflour into remaining poaching liquor to make a thick but smooth paste. Stir into pan and simmer for a few minutes further to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before using.

Assemble the pie:

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 25cm pie dish.

Roll each pastry disc into a circle that is 35cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Transfer one pastry circle to the dish and press into place (there will be some overhang). Spread filling onto pastry. Brush pastry rim with beaten egg then place second pastry circle on top. Press the outside edges to seal, then trim away the excess. Prick pastry lid in a few places with a fork and brush with beaten egg.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Rest pie for 10 minutes before serving with mushy peas.

Tips:

  • The quality of the corned silverside will make a big difference to the pie, so use the best one you can get

More stories

What’s Cooking

Lois Daish’s Welsh Rarebit Dip and Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Food columnist at The Listener

My mother always served Welsh Rarebit as a dip, rather than grilled on toast. My guess is that this innovation began as a mistake when the mixture was too runny to spread. It certainly appealed to me as child, and we’re now into the fourth generation of making it this way in my family. The…

Kelli Brett’s Shark Bay Chowder

Editor Cuisine Magazine

I grew up in Western Australia, where Mum had one of the state’s first gourmet food stores. I worked there on weekends, tasting and serving exotic imported cheeses, coffees, and chocolates while my friends were eating processed cheese and baked beans, and it opened up a whole world of food to me. Mum went on…

Michael Meredith’s Pani Popo

NZ Chef, Merideths Restaurant

Mum’s food is like soul food for me, and pani popo are all memories. They’re sweet yeasted buns baked with a creamy coconut sauce and you can find them in all the homes and markets in Samoa. As kids we’d hover around the tray once they came out of the oven, but we knew not…

Charles Royal’s Pikopiko Soda Bread

NZ Chef

I was in the kitchen with Mum from a young age and always knew that cooking was for me. I remember walking into the house on Saturday mornings after our rugby games. There was always Mum’s pikopiko bread with butter, and either hot soup or Mum’s boil up, which you could smell straight away. The…

Lauraine Jacobs’ Roast Chicken with Bacon Stuffing

Food Editor, NZ Listener

I have wonderful memories of chicken, always served as a special treat for birthdays and Christmas when I was a child. My mother always took the time to make a fragrant savoury stuffing for her roast chicken. It was probably to help it go a little further but it also produced a wonderfully aromatic moist…

Lisa King’s Pork and Chive Dumplings

Founder, Eat My Lunch

Dad did most of the cooking at home but I remember Mum sitting us down every other weekend to make dumplings. We’d spend hours making hundreds to freeze, so Mum would always have to cook some off for my sisters and I to keep us going. They’re still one of my go-to comfort foods and…