British Corned Beef and Potato Pie is traditional North East England comfort food. With flaky homemade pastry that’s filled with corned beef, mashed potato and onions, this could be that ideal meal when feeding the family. Use leftover corned beef or tinned/canned, the choice is yours.

The inside of a corned beef and potato pie

Yes, I’m bringing you two options for the corned beef and they are both similar but very different. You know that leftover corned beef that you made for St Patrick’s Day? Well, now you can turn it into a pie! Or go with the tried and true, old fashioned method and use tinned/canned corn beef.

The good news is that I’ve made this recipe with both and, as you would expect, the real roasted corned beef tasted much nicer than the canned/tinned version.

A corned beef pie from overhead with a shamrock

I know there will be those out there (my fellow British compatriots) that will only use canned/tinned corned beef because that’s exactly how granny used to make it. This is ok as well as either type of meat will get the job done.

A simple corned beef pie has only a few ingredients: corned beef, mashed potato, onion and, of course, the crust. The mashed potato is added as a binder so you will want more corned beef than mash – a 3 to 1 ratio of corned beef to mash works best for this recipe.

A slice of corned beef and potato pie

Is corned beef Irish?

Corned beef is so popular for St Patrick’s Day, but why? Is this delectable dish really of Irish origin? (See more below on this). And, because St Patrick’s Day is this Friday, I decorated the pie with pastry good luck shamrock, just for fun (picture below).

Disclaimer: I know that this is titled as a British recipe, yet I have decorated with a shamrock. This is purely an for anyone around the world (particularly my U.S audience) who like to make corned beef for St Patrick’s Day and make this pie.

A pie garnished with a pastry shamrock

It is a well known debate of its origin and I have read so many conflicting stories on the subject. Whether it was born from the abundance of cows in Ireland or the people of the Jewish colonies in New York, who’s to say?

Corned Beef has no corn

Interesting fact! This is true; corned beef has nothing to do with corn. It traditionally was brined/cured with rock salt that were literally the size of corn kernels and that is how it got its name, which is also known as ‘salt beef.’

Now, you may know know that all traditionally British recipes come with a story of how and why they came about and it usually has to do with the cost and availability of certain food items. As I mentioned previously, tins of corned beef were prevalent during World War 1 and WW2 since fresh meat was rationed. This was a great way for people to get their protein and eat a somewhat balanced meal.

How do you turn a freshly roasted corned beef into a pie? Well there are a few things you can do. You can cut the beef (which should be very tender) into chunks and mix with the mashed potato and onion. Or, like I did, you can mimic the pasty texture of canned/tinned corned beef by adding the beef to a food processor and blending until you get the right consistency.

Brisket or Round?

I recently saw that my supermarket has corned beef in round cut and not brisket, which is news to me, so I had to try it. It was delicious and got the job done and blended up for the pie very easily. So, as a tip, corned beef brisket or corned beef round (the silverside/topside for my U.K friends) works well for this recipe.

The makings of any good pie is based on both the filling and the crust. My signature shortcrust pie crust is used for my Steak and Ale Pie, Sausage Rolls, Minced Beef and Onion Pies and all my sweet dessert pies. It’s flaky, buttery and just completes this pie. Truth is, this is one killer crust! You can also use store bought puff pastry, but I prefer homemade. 

The makings of any good pie is based on both good filling and good crust. My signature shortcrust pie crust is used for my Steak and Ale Pie, Sausage Rolls, Minced Beef and Onion Pies and all my sweet dessert pies. It’s flaky, buttery and just completes this pie. Truth is, this is one killer crust! You can also use store bought puff pastry, but I prefer homemade. 

When it comes to making this pie with roasted corned beef, if it is so tender than you can pull it apart with your hands, you can make this pie. All you have to do is add it to a food processor and blend until it is the same texture as the canned/tinned version. 

Roasted corned beef vs. canned/tinned

From the picture below, you can see that when you blend/process the roasted corned beef it does turn out the same texture as the canned/tinned, but just a little pinker in color.

A comparison of roasted corned beef and corned beef from a can
Why is corned beef so pink?

When beef is cooked low and slow, it is able to maintain some of its myoglobin pigment that is responsible for keeping meat red throughout. When beef is cooked over high heat and well done, it turns grey. 

How do you serve Corned Beef and Potato Pie?

With a side of peas and some tomato ketchup or HP brown sauce (yep, it’s a British thing!). You can even serve it with a side of Irish Colcannon or cooked cabbage.

Yield: 6

British Corned Beef and Potato Pie

British Corned Beef and Potato Pie with a slice removed

Leftover corned beef is mixed with mashed potato and onion inside a flaky, homemade crust.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • For the pastry:
  • 3 cups (375 grams) plain/all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold until ready to use
  • ½ cup (118 ml) cold water
  • 1 large egg beaten with a little milk to brush on pastry
  • Large dried beans for weighing down pastry
  • For the filling:
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (plus more for greasing pie dish)
  • 1 cup (128 grams) yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 3 cups (354 grams) corned beef (leftover roast corned beef or canned/tinned)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) mashed potato


  1. For the pastry:
  2. To make the pastry in a food processor: Add the flour and salt and butter. Pulse until you get the texture of fine breadcrumbs. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in cold water until it forms a ball. You may need more or less water depending on the dough.
    To make the pastry by hand: Add the flour, salt and butter to a large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix using a fork until the it starts to come together and holds together when pressed in your hand. You may not need all of the water. Remove and shape into a ball on a floured board. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. For the filling:
  4. If using leftover corned beef, blend the corned beef in a food processor, or chop very finely (if using canned/tinned skip this step). Set aside.
  5. Add the oil and butter to a pan over medium heat. When bubbly add the onions and a little salt, and sweat the onions until soft, don’t brown. Set aside.
  6. To a mixing bowl, add the corned beef, mash and onions. Use a fork to mix the mash into the corned beef until it resembles a paste-like consistency. If you are using leftover corned beef and it seems dry, you can add a little water to make it more paste like.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Wrap one half back in the plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
    Liberally grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish with butter.
  9. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, a little larger than your pie pan, trim the edge so it’s even. If the dough is too firm, allow to come to room temperature so the butter softens. Roll the dough over your rolling pin and place into dish.
  10. Cut a large circle of parchment paper or foil larger than the pan or and place on top of the pastry in the pie dish. Pour the dried beans to the center to weigh down the dough and stop it from rising. Or, place a piece of foil on top of the dough and weigh down with an oven-proof dish that will fit inside. Bake for 12 minutes until you start to see the edges get a little golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven, grab the corners of the paper or foil and remove the beans If it puffs, it should go down. Keep the beans, you can reuse them over and over.
  11. Return the crust to the oven for 5 more minutes to cook. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. This is called blind baking which partially cooks the bottom crust, you can skip this step.
  12. Fill the pan with the corned beef filling and smooth the top. Brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash.
  13. Roll out the other half of the dough and roll over your rolling pin, place on top of the pie. Press the edges to seal and trim the overhanging edge of the pastry. Brush the top with egg wash. Cut a shamrock from the trimmed pastry (optional), brush with egg wash.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown, time will depend on your oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 655Total Fat 43gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 171mgSodium 1089mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 22g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.