St. Patrick’s Potpie

I have a little bit of Irish in my background, but I’ve never done a very good job celebrating St. Patrick’s Day aside from wearing a bit o’ green. But after years of experimenting, I’ve finally landed on a winner: a truly delicious and mishmashed celebration of Irish food.

I have nothing against corned beef and potatoes, but that never seems to fly particularly well around here for a few reasons. Some children appear to haven an aversion to potatoes (unless they are deep-fried), and I am unwilling to invest the time in making my own corned beef at this stage of my life. We have had corned beef sandwiches, and green eggs, and Irish soda bread — but none of those ever called for annual repetition. So I was particularly pleased when I came up with this vegetable-rich savory potpie. It is comfort food at its best: warm, not too heavy, a little cheesy, and very tasty. Excellent with a side of sautéed broccoli and a cold Guinness. Sláinte!

St. Patrick's Pot Pie (with broccoli on the side)

St Patrick’s Potpie Corned Beef and Cabbage Pot Pie with Irish Cheddar Biscuit Topping

(Print a copy of St. Patrick’s Potpie)

Stew
2 T butter or bacon fat
1 onion, sliced thinly
one whole green cabbage, sliced
1 cup Guinness
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 cup milk
¼ cup flour
1 lb corned beef lunchmeat, sliced into strips
salt, pepper, lemon juice

Warm the fat in a 5-quart dutch oven or similarly-sized pan. Sauté the onion in the fat. Slowly add the sliced cabbage until it is all softened and wilted. Add the Guinness and the bouillon. In a measuring cup, whisk flour into the milk, and then add that to the cabbage mixture. Stir in the corned beef. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Biscuits
3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt (or possibly a bit more)
1 ¼ cups grated Irish cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
12 T (1 ½ sticks) butter, cold
1 ½ cups cold buttermilk, plus a bit more if necessary

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, then add the cheese and the buttermilk. Stir until dough just comes together. (Add a bit more buttermilk if needed.)

Assembly
Preheat oven to 400°. Pour stew into a ovenproof serving dish (9×13 works, or I may try two 9” pie plates next time). Pinch biscuit dough with fingers into small rough rounds and place over filling. Bake until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30-35 minutes.

Note
I increase the biscuit dough a bit and bake a few on the side for children who like their food separate. If that sounds like it would go over well in your domain, here are the new proportions to make the dough:

4 cups flour
1 T + 1 teas baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ teaspoons salt (or possibly a bit more)
1 ½ cups grated Irish cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cold
2 cups cold buttermilk, plus a bit more if necessary
St. Patrick's Pot Pie

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