Image of Dingle Pies. Photo credit to Ian.

Ian Leatt wearing a semi casual attire and posing for a picture
Ian Leatt


My Gran hailed from Ireland and there was always something cooking in her house, from buns to pies to stews. Good wholesome home cooked food is hard to find these days, temps passé have long been forgotten, everything is way too convenient. I look back with fond memories reminiscing the sounds of her working in the kitchen.

With Gran in mind, what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than to have ‘Dingle Pies.’ Dingle, or Kerry, pies are savory lamb pies, a specialty of the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland.

Traditionally, the pastry crust was made with mutton fat; here we use butter and eggs to keep the crust flaky and melt in your mouth lip-smacking.

Image of Dingle Pies. Photo credit to Ian.

Here is what you will need:

For the filling

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion finely chopped.

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme.

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage.

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary.

1 boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 litre chicken stock

Salt & pepper to taste


For the Pastry

4 cups all-purpose flour.

1 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

4 large eggs, divided.

3 to 5 tablespoons ice water


The all important how to:

The Stew

Melt butter in a large skillet oven over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, sage, and rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent.

Place the lamb cubes into the skillet, stirring occasionally, until brown. Add the flour stirring constantly, until flour is lightly browned, and mixture has become sticky and thick.

Add the stock and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Once boiling reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, stirring occasionally, for up to two hours. Cook until the lamb is fall-apart tender, and the liquid has reduced to a very heavy gravy, if sauce becomes too thick before lamb is tender add a little more water. Roughly pull lamb using 2 forks.

Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the stew to a large bowl; leave to cool completely, about 1 hour.

The Pastry

In a large mixing bowl add the flour and salt and mix. Add the butter cubes and rub together using your fingers until mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. In a small bowl beat 3 eggs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; add beaten eggs combine using your fingers. Add 3 tablespoons ice water. Continue adding ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a wet dough like consistency. Wrap dough tightly in surround wrap then refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours.

Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap on a lightly floured work surface. Separate in to two pieces then roll out to roughly 1/4-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut 6 dough rounds place rounds on parchment paper in a baking tray. Roll out the second piece of dough and using a 5-inch round cutter, cut 6 dough rounds. Place loosely on top of the 6 4-inch pieces, cover baking sheet tightly with surround wrap and then place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes minimum.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Once you have removed the pastry from the fridge, place the 4-inch dough rounds at least 1 1/2 inches apart in the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl.

Spoon the cooled stew onto the center of each 4-inch round then brush the dough edges lightly with beaten egg. Place the 5-inch dough rounds on top of the filling, pressing lightly to bond the pastry together. Using a fork, crimp edges to seal then place hole in top of each pie.

Brush pies lightly with remaining beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, once cooked, remove from the oven and place pies on a wire rack. I love fresh pie from the oven and always serve it hot. Great for a lunch break or an evening meal. To make it a true Irish night perhaps add some Colcannon Potatoes. You will love it.

Thanks Gran. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ian Leatt is a trained chef from across the pond.

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