Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Dingle Pies...

Dingle is a town in Country Kerry, Ireland, situated on the Dingle Peninsula on the Atlantic coast roughly 50km southwest of Tralee. From all I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place, a with lush, rugged and spectacular coastline, unfortunately I never got to see it for myself. When we were in Ireland my husband and I traveled to 14 different cities starting in Dublin, then going North, then west, then south, until arriving back in Dublin to head home. While we had originally planned to go to Dingle, and wanted to very much, it proved to be just a little to far south for us to reasonably fit it into our schedule. So I’ll have to wait until my next visit to see it for myself. In the meantime however I can make these delicious, traditional Dingle Pies!

These pies are traditional in Dingle particularly on special occasions such as Lammas Day which marks the first day of the harvest. Though these pies are normally made with mutton - ew! - recipes abound with multiple variations. Some with more ‘meat’ some with more vegetables, some with gravy and some without. Sometimes the pies are made in individual serving sizes, sometimes they’re made as one big pie from which you can take a slice, and sometimes they are made in individual dishes with the pastry only on the top. It really depends on who’s making the pie, I guess.

Now originally I wanted to make these the traditional way by making six small individual hand pies. However I was in a bit of a rush, and I’m no expert with shortcrust pastry so after many minutes of frustration and swearing down at the pastry, I decided to do myself a favor and take the easy route.  So instead of making six pies I made one, and yes it kind of looks like a pot pie, but it doesn’t really taste like a pot pie, not the kind of pot pie you get in America anyway. In fact this reminds me of something German from my childhood. It’s reminiscent of some kind of pie my mother or Oma, - or even my grandmother - might have made. So even though I’ve never been much of a fan of pot pies, or savory pies in general I found these Dingle pies immensely satisfying, and I hope you do as well!

Now, I list the gravy as being optional and it is. If you choose to make six small pies it’s not exactly necessary though it’s recommended if you want a juicer pie. If you choose to make the big pie I definitely recommend it, and in either case trust me when I say you’ll definitely want to lather some gravy over the top of the finished pie. Small or big, that shortcrust pastry is just begging to be drenched in gravy!

Irish Dingle Pies 


1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1lb Irish Style Seitan finely chopped
3 Celery Stalks Chopped
3 Carrots Chopped
1 Large Onion Chopped
2 Red Skinned Potatoes Chopped
Celtic Sea Salt and Black Pepper
1-2 Tbsp Almond Milk
Vegan Gravy (Optional but highly recommended


2C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1C Vegetable Shortening
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

Quick and Easy Pan Gravy 

½ Yellow Onion Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic chopped
1 ½ C Vegetable Broth
1/4C Red Wine
2 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
1/4C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp Ground Thyme
½ tsp Dried Sage

To make Crust 

- Combine Flour and salt in a food processor. Cut in the vegetable shortening with a knife and process until the mixture resembles crumbs.

- Stream in the cold water and process until a dough forms.

- Remove the dough from the food processor and kneed for 2-3 minutes, then wrap in a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To Make Filling 

- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, carrot, potato and seitan. Saute for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are beginning to get soft.

- Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle

To Make the Gravy 
Adapted from Robin Robinson’s Pan Gravy recipe in “Party Vegan

- Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until beginning to get soft. Add garlic, thyme, and sage and saute another 5 minutes.

- Add the flour, and mix together. Cook for 1 minute then add 1 cup of vegetable broth.

- When the mixture begins to thicken stir in the red wine, remaining broth, Bragg’s. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

- Transfer to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.


- Preheat Oven to 350'F

- Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Remove roughly a third of the dough and set aside to make the pie lid.

- Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface. Once rolled out to desired size and thickness press the dough into a greased pie plate.

- Place the filling inside of the pie crust and top with a quarter of the gravy.

- Roll out the leftover dough to make a top crust. When it’s reached desired size and thickness carefully lift the dough and place it overtop of the pie.

- Press the edges of the dough together and roll the dough up to make a nice tight lip.

- Slice two or three holes in the top crust to let steam escape and brush with the almond milk, then place in the oven. Bake for 35-55 minutes until the crust is golden. Then remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

- Serve drizzled with gravy, and a nice side salad.


- If you want to do it the traditional Dingle way. Roll out the dough, and using a small plate cut out six circles. Re-rolling the dough as needed to make the circles.

- Divide the filling evenly between the six circles. Top with a couple of tablespoons of gravy if desired.

- Roll out the remaining dough and using a slightly smaller plate cut out six circles to make lids.

- Place each lid circle and lay each on top of the crust with the filling. Dampen the edges of the crust and bring the edges of the pastry up around the meat, pleating it to fit the lid. Draw a slice through the top of each pie to let steam escape. Then cook as directed above.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, everyone who even remotely likes Irish food or pot pie-like dishes should try this! This was SO good! I was never a big pot pie fan but this was really good. Like you said, it's not a pot pie per say - it's better! =D SO GOOD! - Matt