Nelly Elliott

Newcastle based blogger, mama, creative, coffee-only with my oxygen, vegan, plus-size fashion lover and feminist.


The ultimate comfort pie...

I have never been a huge savoury pie fan, I don't really know why. I love pastry, but fill it with mince beef or creamy chicken and my taste buds just turn off.

There is one special exception to this self imposed rule though, and that is the humble corned beef and potato pie. I know corned beef has a bad reputation and believe me I have had a few people turn their noses up at the mere mention of my corned beef and potato pie, but I defy anyone to turn their nose up after they taste it! It is pure comfort and joy wrapped in a warm pastry coat!

Shortcrust pastry is one of my favourite things to make, it is so simple yet so satisfying. My shortcrust recipe is pretty simple, I have no idea where it came from as I have it scribbled down on a piece of paper that floats around my kitchen but it has been adapted a lot over the years...

Shortcrust Pastry

Makes enough for the base of the pie double up to make a lid.

  • 250g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 110g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

    I start by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl.

    Then I add the chilled and cubed butter and rub into the flour with my fingers, until you have something which resembles course breadcrumbs. This is best done with cold hands and quickly so the butter doesn't melt or become greasy.

    I then add cold water little by little, stirring with a knife to bind it together as a dough, go slow as you don't want it to be too wet.

    I then wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge.

  • I really need to start experimenting a bit more with different types pastry, but I do love a good shortcrust. What is your favourite pastry?

    Now down to the filling...

    I simply boil some plain old white potatoes and some sweet potatoes, I never know quantities, I just go by how much I have and you can never have too much, right?

    The added sweet potato is something I sort of discovered by accident when I didn't have enough white potatoes once. It was the best accidental discovery since penicillin (N.B might be a slight exaggeration).
    I have also started adding finely chopped onions or leeks into the mix too, adds an extra dimension and a great flavour.

    Basically the filling is anything goes! You could add cabbage, carrots, sauerkraut, turnip, pickles, mustard powder, garlic... Anything your heart desires really.

    Simply get equal parts mashed potato mixture, and corned beef mixture and then just smoosh them together.

    I am a naughty baker and never normally blind bake my bottom with this pie, I have tried both ways and to be honest both ways work! I am sure if I was presenting my pie into some sort of contest or TV based baking competition I would blind bake and get all pedantic about it, but if its just for me and the family I go with whatever is easiest at the time.

    This pie is good both hot and cold, so go on... give it a go!

    What weird and wonderful pie fillings do you favour? Inspire me with your fantastic flavour combinations!

    P.s upon completing this blog post I realised I have actually blogged about my corned beef and potato pie before! This recipe is more in depth and yummy though.