For the Love of Beef: Savory Irish Hand Pies

One of my go-to ground beef recipes, from Martha Stewart, gained a permanent place in my dinner rotation due to how few ingredients it requires—most of which are pantry staples. They are also awesome because you can make them ahead of time and bake last minute, as well as freeze them for a quick lunch or dinner another day. Since these are a nice individual portion size, they can be frozen (prior to baking) on a sheet pan and then stored in a bag, all together, for easy retrieval. If you often eat by yourself, it sure is nice to still have the option of a meal hot from the oven, without a lot of fuss.

These Beef and Cheddar Hand Pies remind me of Irish Pub food. The Worcestershire and Dijon give them umami (a trendy Japanese word that translates “pleasant savory taste”) and the cheddar cheese takes it over the top.

For the Love of Beef: Savory Irish Hand Pies

Beef and Cheddar Hand Pies

Yield: 8 Pies


  • 1 pound ground beef/chuck (80 percent lean)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 cloves)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces cheddar, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high. Add beef, garlic, and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. Briefly transfer beef mixture to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess fat/liquid. Return mixture to pan and stir in Worcestershire and Dijon. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Stir in cheese.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 14-inch square. Cut into four 7-inch squares; place 1/3 cup beef mixture on each. Brush two sides of dough with egg, then fold a corner of each pie over, forming a triangle. Press edges to seal.
  4. Place pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with more egg. Sprinkle with flaky salt and pepper. Cut 2 vents in each top. (Freeze now, if saving for later) Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes (add 5 minutes, if baking frozen).


These do NOT reheat well in the microwave. They get soggy and greasy. Even if they have already been baked in the oven, I recommend reheating in the oven to keep the puff pastry crispy. Wrap in foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

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Recipe from Martha Stewart, method slightly adapted

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  1. Darlene says:

    I have been wanting to find some recipes for freezing for quick easy meals when I am not in the mood to cook. This looks like a great choice! Can’t wait to try it.

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