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
Corned Beef Pie with Mushy Peas
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
- Mushy peas
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.
- The quality of the corned silverside will make a big difference to the pie, so use the best one you can get