corned beef pie recipe

Corned Beef Pie Recipe – An Old Favourite

corned beef pie

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.

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.

bully beef pie


But why so popular? 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.

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.

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.

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.


Corned Beef Pie Recipe - An Old Favourite
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old favourite recipe of Corned beef (or bully beef) pie.
Recipe type: Pie
Cuisine: British
Serves: 10
  • 250g plain flour (ideally 00 or extra fine)
  • 125g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • small glass of cold water
  • 2 tins of corned beef
  • 6 medium white potatoes
  • 1 large cooking onion
  • 3 small carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  1. First make your pastry. The trick for this is to have cold hands so run them under some cold water before you begin.
  2. Measure and sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Dice the butter into small cubes approx 1cm in size and add to the bowl, with your pinch of salt.
  4. Rub the flour and the butter together, until it forms a find sand-like texture or crumb.
  5. Add a small splash of cold water (no more than a tablespoon at a time, and up to 3 tablespoons worth of water) and press the mixture together, rolling it with your hands in the bowl until it forms a dough.
  6. On a clean surface, sprinkle a handful of flour and roll the pastry mixture out into a thick square approx 1cm thick. Loosely fold into a neat roll and place to one side in the fridge until ready.
  7. For the filling peel and quarter the potatoes and boil in salted water until soft, this should take roughly 20-25 minutes. For best results add the potatoes to cold water on the hob and bring to the boil gradually.
  8. Dice the onion finely, and peel and grate the carrots.
  9. Remove the corned beef from the tins, and dice roughly.
  10. Once the potatoes are boiled and drained, add the carrot, onion, mixed herbs and diced corned beef.
  11. Mash together well, and season with salt and pepper and a little butter if desired.
  12. Take your pastry from the fridge and roll out as thin as possible, just a few millimetres thick. Place into a large pie dish, and press into the corners. Trim the excess off with approx 2cm overlap from the edge of the dish.
  13. Roll up your excess and re roll ready for the top of the pie.
  14. Place the pie filling into the dish, spreading evenly.
  15. Take your pie top and place over the dish, trim the edges to meet the bottom pastry layer (this is why you left a 2cm overlap). And fold the bottom layer over the top, pinching as you go, to crimp the pie edge.
  16. Beat the egg in a small cup and lightly baste the pie top with it.
  17. Place in the oven on 175'C for approx 30 minutes or until golden

Like the look of this recipe? Why not pin for later?

Taking something as cheap and simple as corned beef (or bully beef) and turning it into something delicious. This corned beef pie recipe is a classic.


Looking for more corned beef pie recipes?

Fellow blogger Helen at Fuss Free Flavours has this mexican style corned beef baked eggs recipe too!

The lovely Gingeybites also has this Corned beef hash recipe over on her blog.

About the Author Lisa

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.

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