Corned beef may have lost it’s popularity since the 19th Century and World War two. But in some pockets of the UK, particularly South Wales, and old working class communities, it is still a beloved favourite that usually reminds us of a parent, or grandparent.
So I’m excited to share this corned beef pie recipe with you.
Canned Salted Beef or Bully Beef
The corned beef I’m referring to is canned salted beef, or bully beef. Much like spam, it proved useful for rationing during World War two, and also dating back to the 19th Century for it’s ease of exportation as it doesn’t spoil as quickly.
Cheap to Make and Freezes Well
The recipe featured is for corned beef pie. This is very popular in South Wales, most parties I attend with family will feature a corned beef pie. It’s something you remember your Mum, or Grandmother making and brings back fond memories. It’s also fairly cheap to make, and freezes and reheats well.
Serving suggestions vary greatly however! I personally like mine on it’s own, served hot. But you can eat it cold. Other suggestions are with tomato sauce, baked beans or even beef gravy and peas.
Notes on the Pasrty
This recipe has the corned beef encased in short crust pastry, however you don’t always have to do this. Sometimes we just put pastry on the top, and if we can’t be bothered to make pastry we just pat down with a fork, making a pattern and put in the oven to crisp the top.
We put the onions in raw, as we like the slight crunch. However my Father in law likes to blanche the onions in the potato water first to soften them. Either way is fine.
Bigger Than it Looks
The recipe below is for a larger pie than that pictured, so I’d use a large pie dish; or a lasagne dish would be fine.
In fact, our love of corned beef goes so far in South Wales, that the major bakery chain (Greggs) even sells corned beef pasties, but you won’t find this on their website, or in stores past Bristol.
I’m not sure as to whether they also serve them up North, but certainly in the South, it’s a Welsh thing.
The vast majority of bakeries in South Wales serve delicious corned beef pasties for a lunch time treat, if you visit Swansea Market the bakeries make dozens and dozens of corned beef pasties, far outweighing other flavours to satisfy our taste for them.
As a Swansea girl myself, I remember the shock and horror on moving to Cornwall, that the fabulous bakery Barnecutt’s (or any other for that matter) did not serve a single corned beef pasty!
They also didn’t have rissoles either!
Now classically rissoles are a French croquette, usually made of fish but often minced meat too.
But if you order a rissole in Wales (usually from a chip shop), you well be served a breaded, or sometimes battered ball of mashed corned beef, potatoes and herbs.
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I'm Lisa and this is the Lovely Appetite blog. I’m always experimenting with recipes, hunting through cookbooks for inspiration or trying out new places to eat. Please browse the site and enjoy reading about my findings.