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Giraffe Pie

Written by Jeanette Smith 7th May 2020

Ok, well I know what you’re thinking and it’s not what you think.

An age old recipe passed down for generations. Well, I’m not sure how many generations. Maybe just me and my mother, and then my own kids…that all depends greatly on when tinned corned beef was invented!

My step father would get back from work and tell me he’d been off to catch a giraffe, much the same as he told us he was out catching shepherd’s whenever we were having shepherd’s pie for dinner.

It’s a nice cheap meal that feeds my lot nicely. So, for about €8 (that’s including the veg on the plate) I’ve fed 6 adults. I say 6 adults because my 13year old lad eats as much as the rest of us!

So, for this amount of people, you will need:

  • 2 cans of corned beef
  • 3 beef oxo
  • 1 large diced onion
  • About half a bag of salad spuds (500g ish) I judge it by how many are in the pan)
  • Black Pepper (no need for salt as tinned corned beef is salty enough)
  • Shortcrust pastry

To make shortcrust pastry:

I tend not to buy shortcrust pastry because it’s so easy to make, but it can be purchased in the supermarket cheap enough.

You need half fat to flour. I use:

  • 360g plain flour
  • 180g fat (I used 90g baking marg block & 90g lard. You can use any white fat, like frytex or trex if you’re vegan and soya margarine)
  • Pinch salt
  • Ice cold water

Place the flour and salt into a bowl or your food mixer.

Chop up the fat to cubes and add into the flour.

If using a food mixer, blitz it up until you reach a breadcrumb type consistency. If you’re using your hands, rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips until you reach the breadcrumb point.

Pastry demo

Using a knife to cut and stir, slowly add a little water to the mix. Do this slowly until your mix forms a smooth dough. Be careful not to make it too wet as this will make it difficult to roll out and you will need a lot of extra flour.

Place into a freezer bag or wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge until you need it.

To make the filling:

Cook the cubed potatoes and diced onion together in a pan until soft. Then drain. This should take around 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, empty the cans of corned beef and chop them up. Add in the pepper (to taste), oxo and the potatoes and onions. Give it a good stir.

Roll out the pastry on to a floured surface until it’s big enough to fill the case you’re using.

Make sure you grease the case. I used the paper cover from the lard as it’s still got fat on it.

Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry over the case and line the case. Be careful while pushing it into the edges, then trim the edges using a knife.

Fill your case with your filling. In this case…giraffe 😂

Roll out the remaining pastry, then place it over the pie. Push the edges down to seal. Then trim off the excess pastry.

You might find it doesn’t fit exactly. You can use some of the excess pastry to cover what you missed. Make sure you wet the patches before you apply them so they stick well.

Place pie onto a baking tray and pop in a preheated oven at 180°/gas 7 for about 30 to 35 minutes. The pie will be golden when cooked.

Serve with your choice of vegetables and gravy if desired. Enjoy dinner with your family.

Top tip: Don’t throw away the excess pastry. I used mine to make some jam tarts 😁

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