Chef’s note: With the arrival of fall, we typically start eating heavier foods and use the oven a lot more. These cute Irish-inspired pocket pies are perfect for the season, and surprisingly substantial for their size, making one or two ideal to eat for lunch or dinner. They are fairly easy to make as well, and can be assembled ahead of time. For a future meal, you can place them in the freezer for an anytime snack, even on a weeknight. The recipe yields about eight pies. You will invariably have extra filling, but if you don’t want to waste it, you can eat the extra filling like chili.
1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of shredded green cabbage (I used angel hair coleslaw)
½ lb of red potatoes, scrubbed then diced
1 large carrot, peeled
1 lb of minced or ground beef sirloin or lamb
About 1 cup of fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
All-purpose flour, for dusting and rolling
2 9-inch pie crusts
Egg wash (one egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water)
Heat oil over medium heat, add carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Cook for about 7 to 9 minutes, until beginning to brown.
Add beef, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, thyme, worcestershire sauce, peas, and water. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Mash mixture lightly with fork – try not to damage the peas too much. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare two greased baking sheets.
Roll out one pie crust into a large, thin, square piece of dough approximately 12 or 13 inches across. Cut into 4 smaller equal squares. Repeat for the second pie crust.
Spoon filling onto each square, leaving plenty of room to fold the crust and form a border. Fold the crust over and bring the edges to meet.
Crimp the edges with a fork. Slit 3 vents into each pie. (At this point, if you want to freeze the pies, you would freeze them until solid, then wrap them in foil. They keep, frozen, for up to two months.) Brush each pie with egg wash.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. If baking from frozen, bake for about 30 minutes. Let the pies cool for 5 minutes before serving.
All photos by Lauren Quinn