Steak Hand Pies

4 inch left, 3 inch right 4 inch pies left and 3 inch pies right

This is a second recipe from Baked In Vermont (Gesine Bullock-Prado) from the Food Network channel. I think these are an excellent idea and work well, but I would recommend a few changes.

Steak Hand Pies

Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado
Food Network’s Baked in Vermont series

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces beef tenderloin, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium potato, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 batch “Part Butter / Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough” chilled, see below
  • 1 large egg whisked with 2 Tablespoons water, for the egg wash

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, flour and paprika. Stir to combine. Add the thyme, garlic, potato, onion and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Divide one portion of the chilled pie dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round about 3 inches in diameter. You may use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut each round and even the edges if you desire. Repeat with the second piece of chilled dough.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Brush each round of dough with the egg wash. Divide the filling among the rounds, piling it in the middle of each round. Bring the sides of the dough up to meet in the middle and gently crimp the edges down in the center. Cut 3 small slits into each hand pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pies with egg wash.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, cold, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • 4 Tablespoons shortening, chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal but there are still pea-sized chunks of fat.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture pulsing until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between you thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it ni half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

I felt the making of the pie dough in the food processor was not as good as I would like. Some of the dough stuck to the bottom under the blade and other parts of the dough seemed to stay dry. So I looked for a better recipe, and found a pie dough recipe by Alton Brown. Surprise! It too uses the food processor! However, it is much more detailed and doesn’t just dump the ice water into the processor. I imagine that Gesine used that as a basic recipe but tried to make it simpler. I have yet to try Alton’s recipe myself. Alton’s recipe needs to be doubled in order to provide as much dough as Gesine’s recipe.
I also decided that I liked 4-inch circles for the pies better than the 3-inch circles; I couldn’t get enough filling in the 3-inch circles and still get them to close. If you recheck the recipe, Gesine never says you need to cut a true circle; that is one of the reasons she divides the dough into 8 parts and rolls each out separately. I would just as soon require a circle cookie cutter and roll the whole disk of dough out as a single flat piece to then cut with the cookie cutters.

In the making of the filling, I felt there was a problem getting everything chopped/minced to the same size. I think that next time I might use a food grinder for the meat, potato and onion. A long time ago, Mom made hash about once every couple weeks and I would turn the handle on the manual food grinder for her. Now, my food grinder is connected to the stand mixer.
Another concern about the filling is that the recipe uses medium size potato and onion. Since I always end up with more filling that I can use in the amount of dough in the recipe, I have to assume that the potatoes and onions we get are bigger than those in Vermont. I tried weighing the amount of each of those before mincing / grating, and it appeared to be about 2 ounces each. I could get about a Tablespoon of filling in my 4 inch pies, and with luck, I got a total of 10 4-inch pies from the recipe of dough. I used guides and rolled the dough to 1/4 inch thick before cutting the circles.

Overall, the recipe is a good starting point for hand pies. I now have told you some of the ways I would change it to make it mine. I hope you enjoy the hand pies as much as I and my test group did.

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