Making Pies in the winter, well actually any time making pies is one of my favourite things to do, and if I was truthful it is actually the eating of the pies which is my favourite.
A few weeks ago we made an Irish stew in our instant pot (see recipe here). One of the best things to do with leftover meat stews is to make them into pies.
I am going to assume you have the individual-sized pie tins and a small brush for putting egg-wash onto the top of the Irish stew pies.
The ingredients are also simple and just some flakey pastry (purchase frozen from your local supermarket in pre-rolled sheets) and one egg, salt, pepper, and any pastry toppings for decoration is all that is needed. We used black sesame seeds to top our pies.
True story about the Irish and the pies.
Recipes incorporating the stewing way of cooking have been traced back to the days of the Roman Empire. In the early 19th century, during a period of poverty in Ireland, Stewing came to be quite popular. Simply hanging a pot on an open fire and putting in whatever meat and vegetable you have plus some water and seasoning enabled families with little money to survive on Irish stew.
Below are the ingredients we used to make our Irish Stew.
Our Irish Stew is made is an Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew and can be made in around 1 hour!
So we are going to use that as our pie filling. Now let’s get on with how we make a pie.
How to make an Irish Beef Stew Pie
1. First take the pastry from the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before. You want the pastry thawed but not too soft – hence keeping it in the fridge till just before you start will ensure it is soft but firm and much easier to work with. If it is too soft it can not be molded to the pie dishes and it will break.
TOP TIP – If the pastry does get a bit soft – just place it back into the fridge to get cold and it becomes nice to work with again.
2. Now you need to cut tops and bases for the Irish stew pies – the tops are easy they are just a little bit wider than the pie tin – for the pie base you may need to experiment if you have not used your pie tins before as the pastry needs to be cut so it covers the base and comes up the sides
3. Lets get all our pie tins ready by spraying them with an oil like canola in a spray can.
4. Placing the pastry in the pie tin. This is probably the hardest part of the process and requires you to work the pasty in so that it is flat against the base and the sides. To do this you will need to overlap some of the pastry circles you have cut as you put them in the tins. This does take a little bit of practice. We used to make about 10,000 pies by hand each week (we had a small artisan food factory) – so we have a lot of practice. Watch our video at the bottom to see how we do it.
5. Now add the meat filling to the pie – not too much (else it will overflow) just over half full with a mix of meat, vegetables and gravy. One of the great things about making an Irish stew pot pie by hand is you can put in nice big chunks of meat and vegetables so you know it is really going to taste good.
But it’s really your choice; you can make an Irish beef pie, and Irish lamb pie, Irish chicken pie, or and Irish veg pie that’s becoming popular.
6. Egg wash – simply wash one egg in a bowl and use a brush to apply the egg liquid to the pastry top (the underneath). Doing this kind of creates a glue and sticks the two pieces of pastry together.
7. The next step is to crimp or seal the pieces of pastry together with a little bit of pressure. You can do it by hand and we show that in the video or as in this picture you can use a fork.
8. Before baking the pie there are three things to do
a. Cover the top of the pie with egg wash with the brush this makes it a nice golden brown color when baked.
b. Make a ½ inch slit in the top of the pie with a knife in one or two places to allow the steam out when baking the pie
c. Sprinkle some decorative toppings on the pie – we used black sesame seeds, but you can use what you like.
d. You can see in the middle of these pies the knife slot about ½ inch long we put in before baking to let the steam out. If you do not do this the pies will kind of separate the top from the bottom as the steam has to escape somewhere.
Watch our video above for some finer tips on how to make Irish stew pies.
9. Now all you have to do is enjoy. Comment and let us know how much you liked it!
Alternative Pie Filling Options
- Back when we sold pies by the thousands, this Rendang Beef Instant Pot was our second most popular pie filling. The pastry absorbs the curry flavor and the whole pie is delightful.
- Chicken, bacon, and mushroom was another pie favorite among our customers. It is exactly our chicken coq au vin recipe.
Author Bio: Rosie of One Pot Dish
I have loved food all my life and about 20 years ago I opened my first Restaurant. This was followed by some more food business which included a cooking school and a small factory where we made gourmet food for high-end supermarkets. This included a small team where we made over 10,000 pies a week. So for me doing an article on making pies certainly brought back some fond memories.
I recently started my website OnePotDish.com where I can share my love for food and also share many of the “chefy” tips and tricks I have learnt over the years. With my partner Jim we do all planning and cooking and our own photography.
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You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).
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Leftover Irish Stew Pot Pie
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- 1 pack Frozen Puff Pastry Trader Joe's is a great choice.
- 780 g Irish Stew For filling the pies. (Approx 4.5 oz per pie.)
- 1 Can Canola Oil Spray To grease the pie tins.
For the Egg Wash
- 1 Egg For the egg wash.
- .25 teaspoon Pepper Powder
- .25 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds (Kala Til) Or any other topping of your choice.
- This recipe assumes you have left over Irish stew or any other stew.
- Move the pastry sheets from the fridge to the refrigerator the night before. This will leave the pastry soft but firm to work with.
- Cut tops and bases for the pie tins.
- Spray the pie tins with the canola oil.
- Place the pastry in the tins with a sort of frill around the edges.
- Fill the pies half full with Irish stew. Don't fill it too much or you'll risk the pies leaking.
Egg Wash Steps
- Make the egg wash by beating together an egg with salt and pepper.
- Apply the egg wash to the underside of the top piece of pastry. The egg wash acts as glue that sticks the pie pieces together.
- Cover the pie with the top piece. Crimp it by hand as shown in our video or by using a fork.
- Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle it with black sesame seeds.
- Make 2 or 3 half in slits on the top of the pie. This allows the steam to escape while baking and the top does not separate from the bottom.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. And serve!
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- Trader Joes has Puff Pastry made with real butter so it gives a great taste. But any Puff Pastry will do.
- Do not overfill the pie with filling else the filling will bubble out in the baking process.