Corned Beef & Cheese Pinwheels


Corned Beef and Cheese Pinwheels

BBC1 here. Many moons ago I was a residential social worker, working in children’s homes. In one of these homes, the children came from ‘inner city’ Hackney, but were placed in ‘leafy middle class’ Woodford. Anyway, during a school holiday, I suggested to the kids we had a ‘picnic’. They laughed, and told me it was raining. I suggested, maybe we could make all we needed together and have our picnic indoors.

They were incredibly enthusiastic. Especially, Mark, who was about 11yrs old. So we buttered bread, grated cheese. Got some cold meats and cut up some pork pies etc. Made some coleslaw and salad and prepared for our ‘indoor picnic’.

Bearing in mind that this was over twenty years ago, I went to get the deputy of the home from the office to join us for lunch.

We all sat together and I decided to have something I really like, a slice of cornbeef with some grated cheese in a sandwich. Young Mark, having seen me do this, decided he’d try this and copy me. The deputy, Lily, said to him “no, don’t do that”. So I tried to explain, “no, it’s all right Lily, he’s just seen me do it and is just copying me.”

To my astonishment, she replied “That’s ok, you’re staff, he’s just greedy!”

Needless to say I complained to the manager, but because of the outdated and awful culture still prevailing at the time I didn’t/couldn’t stay there long or prevail against the ignorance or injustice!

Regardless of that, I wondered if BBC2 could make me a cornbeef and cheese pinwheel…

And of course he could…

Personally, I would recommend eating these at room temperature, to allow the cornbeef to get it’s full flavour back. But whatever, they are yummy and both Lizzie and her mates enjoyed them and gave us some positive feedback!


500g/ 1lb puff pastry
150g/ 5oz mature cheddar cheese
250g/ 8oz thinly sliced corned beef

Pre-heat your oven to 170c fan, line two baking trays with baking parchment or grease proof paper

Lightly flour your work surface and rollout the pastry to a square appox 20 inches by 20 inches and about a £1 pound coin thickness, or an eighth of an inch. Grate the cheese over all the pastry, then place the corned beef on the cheese in a patchwork fashion don’t cover all the pastry yet as when you start to roll it from one edge the corned beef will start to push the next slice so be ready to push it back into place then you can add the next few slices and so on until complete.

Using a sharp knife cut into the cut into 1 inch rolls and place on the baking trays spacing well apart to allow for expansion and press gently down with the palm of your hand, brush with a little milk

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, when removed from the oven let the stand for 5 minutes or so before placing on a wire rack to cool.

Whenever I eat corn-beef and cheese now I always think of young Mark and wish him well!

2 thoughts on “Corned Beef & Cheese Pinwheels

  1. Love this memory of the kids and can identify with it………however when it comes to corned beef, I have always found it irresistible and as this snackette finger food was one of the 6 served to me and my mates, and it was very tasty, moreish and again a hit………

    I am being objective, honest……despite the fact I lurve these guys to bits……..if it tasted like poo I’d tell the world !

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