I don’t know if it’s possible to find a dish more comforting than one that combines meat and pastry. Recipes like chicken pot pie and shepherd’s pie are hearty, filling main courses that are perfect for a cold winter night. Since spring has finally arrived, I’m presenting a lighter l option in the form of a hand pie.
Meat and mushrooms are the base of the filling. Stock, shallots, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and thyme infuse the hand pies with savory richness.
Toasted pine nuts add just the right amount of crunch. To keep things simple I used store-bought pie crust but you can easily swap that out for your favorite homemade pie or tart dough (you can find my favorite recipe here).
The best part about these hand pies is that they can be made several days in advance of when you need them. Whether you want to serve them as a party appetizer or as an after school snack throughout the week, these will be perfect. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you want to reheat them simply place them in a 350 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes until heated through. A few minutes in the microwave will also work for a quick snack.
- 8 ounces ground beef
- ¾ cup beef or chicken stock, homemade or low sodium
- extra virgin olive oil as needed
- ¾ cup shallots (approximately 2 medium), diced finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ cups chopped portobello, cremini or button mushrooms
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 2 packages store-bought pie dough (4 rolls total)
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot set over low heat, render the fat from the beef for several minutes, stirring as needed. Drain most of the fat from the pan (1-2 teaspoons leftover will help keep ingredients from sticking) and allow the meat to begin browning. Once a brown “glaze” layer has developed on the bottom of the pan, add ½ cup of stock and scrape up all of the brown bits into the meat. Place the ground beef in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the shallots and garlic to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook for several minutes until translucent (a bit of olive oil can be added to the pan if needed). Transfer the shallots and garlic into the bowl with the ground beef.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook on low heat until they’ve darkened and reduced in size slightly. Add the ground beef mixture back to the pan along with the cumin, coriander, thyme, cinnamon, salt and remaining stock. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick, remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the pie dough so that it’s very thin. Use a 3½ inch cookie cutter to create rounds. Place half of the rounds on the prepared baking sheets.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of the meat filling into the center of each round, and top with 1 teaspoon of pine nuts. Place a second round on top of the filling and gently press down to cover the filling and remove air pockets. Use a fork to seal the edges by firmly pressing down around the perimeter. Press the fork prongs once into the top of each hand pie to create a steam vent. Brush egg wash on top of the dough and sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Repeat this process with the remaining hand pies.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through and the top of the pies are golden and shiny from the egg wash. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. May be served warm or at room temperature.