Given the number of Indian recipes on this blog I thought it was time to celebrate Steve’s cultural heritage. Pam and her husband Colin are family friends and have known Steve since he was under 3 feet tall. We both agree that her corned beef and potato pie is our favourite dish from the North East of England. It is served at all Geordie christenings, funerals and parties and goes very well with pickled onions and cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick!
NB This recipe uses the UK variety of corned beef. I have not been able to ascertain what the US equivalent of this meat is but it definitely isn't the same as American corned beef. Please add a comment if you know what the American equivalent is.
For the pastry:
- 180 grams plain flour
- 100 grams butter – cold from the fridge – cut into small chunks
- Ice cold water
- 1 large onion – coarsely chopped
- 2 large potatoes – chopped into wedges
- 400 grams lean corned beef – cut into smallish pieces (Marks and Spencer sell very high quality (an oxymoron?) fresh corned beef)
- Black pepper
- 1 egg – beaten or milk
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add water (a tablespoon at a time) to form a soft, smooth ball of dough.
- Wrap the dough in a clean tea towel and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
- Cook the chopped onion in boiling water for approximately 6 minutes until soft.
- Drain the onions but keep the water (which will now be a lurid green colour) and leave it to one side.
- Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes and then mash them in a large bowl. I find a potato ricer is the best way to mash potatoes and doesn’t require any additional milk or butter.
- Add the corned beef, onions, salt and pepper to the mashed potatoes. Mix it all together and if necessary add some of the onion water to make a soft but firm consistency. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Divide the pastry into two and roll out such that one half is large enough to line a large ovenproof dinner plate and the other half is large enough to use as a pastry lid.
- Line the plate with pastry and then cover with the corned beef mixture.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with water so that the pastry lid sticks.
- Put pastry lid on the pie and brush with a little milk or beaten egg and bake until the pastry is nicely browned - about 25 - 30 minutes.
- This pie is delicious served hot or cold.
Adding a little Tabasco and Worcester Sauce to the pie filling at the same time as the seasoning, gives the pie an added dimension and makes it not unlike corned beef hash. However this is yet another variation that Steve disapproves of – although I did notice that he kept eating while he expressed his indignation.