Luck of the Irish leftovers
Corned Beef and Cabbage Hand Pies. | Photo by Melissa Elsmo
Corned Beef and Cabbage Hand Pies
Makes about 8 pies.
To change things up a bit, try using corned beef and sauerkraut in this recipe, swap the poppy seeds for caraway seeds, and serve alongside a Thousand Island dip to make Ruben sandwich-inspired hand pies.
For the Hand Pies:
1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
2 cups of chopped leftover corned beef and cabbage from an Irish boiled dinner
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon poppy seed
For the Dipping Sauce:
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently unfold the puff pastry sheets and place on a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour and cut into 4-inch rounds with a pastry cutter. Gently roll the circles with a pin until about 5 inches in diameter. Place a teaspoon of shredded cheese in the center of each pastry circle, top with ¼ cup of corned beef mixture, and sprinkle with an additional teaspoon of cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon and press the edges together with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Combine the sour cream, horseradish and dill. Serve the dip alongside the hand pies and enjoy.
Updated: March 15, 2013 9:48AM
Birthday party planning is a breeze for my best friend.
Her husband’s birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day and to celebrate he wants nothing more than a Guinness and an Irish Boiled Dinner. So my friend slaps a cured brisket into her slow cooker and tosses in some root vegetables and a head of cabbage near the end of the cooking time. She slices some raisin-studded soda bread, opens a bottle of Irish whisky for dessert, and invites over a few close friends.
Considered party-worthy fare since Abraham Lincoln dined on the dish at his inauguration in 1861, corned beef and cabbage begs to be shared with friends. Like most taboo foods, corned beef is high enough in sodium, cholesterol and fat that it is can’t be anything other than delicious. This indulgent and nutritionally dubious braised meat meal is best reserved for special occasions like birthday parties or St. Patrick’s Day.
Large corned beef briskets, cured with a mixture of salt and spices, cook up to tender perfection, but a little bit goes a long way at the dinner table. Unless you are lucky enough to serve your St. Patrick’s Day feast to a crowd of birthday revelers, there are bound to be leftovers found in the refrigerator. After exhausting sandwich and hash recipes, figuring out how to use up scraggly bits of leftover corned beef requires a wee bit of kitchen creativity.
Wrapping up leftovers in a savory puff pastry crust and giving the edges loving St. Paddy’s Day pinches yields a batch of whimsical hand pies in no time. Nothing about my recipe for using up leftover corned beef is exact, but kids will especially love the way this quick recipe makes holiday leftovers feel new again.
Corned Beef 101:
— For optimal flavor look for Harrington’s Corned Beef in super markets. The Chicago-based company truly makes a superior corned beef suitable for home cooking.
— Corned beef is made from beef brisket and is not a tender cut of meat. Purchasing a high quality corned beef and slow cooking at low heat ensures meat will be tender and cuts down on shrinkage as a result of moisture loss.
— Just as hams come in shank and butt portions, corned beef comes in flat and point cuts. The flat cut is leaner and slices more easily, but can over-cook faster. The thicker point cut does not slice as well and contains more fat, but is more forgiving during a long braise.
— The term Irish Boiled Dinner does not mean a corned beef should ever be cooked at 212 degrees; you’ll end up with a dried-out dinner. Aim to cook a corned beef at a bare simmer (about 180 degrees) to protect the meat from drying out. A slower cooker set to low does a mighty fine job of cooking a corned beef.
— No matter if you cook your corned beef in the oven, on the stove top, or in the crock pot, always cook it in enough water to barely cover the meat.
— Make sure to cook a corned beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.