Meat Pies
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 4-inch pasties
The following is adapted from a recipe included in a cookbook I wrote in the early 1990s. Adjust the fillings to your own personal tastes. We used ground beef, sharp Cheddar cheese, balsamic slow-braised onions, herbs and lots of garlic in today’s version. I’ve included the original recipe but use the same basic procedure to create your signature combination.
Pastry for two 9-inch pie shells
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup ice water
Handheld Pie Filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 pound flank steak, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 large baking potato, washed and diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Pastry for two 9-inch pie shells
  1. Mix the flour and salt together and place onto a counter top.
  2. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces. Rub the flour and butter between your fingertips until the mixture is pea-sized in texture.
  3. Add in the cold water, a little bit at a time, until the dough is just moist enough to form a ball.
  4. Flatten the dough with the heel of your hand and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Handheld Pie Filling
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté until it has softened. Add in the onion. Sauté the onion and garlic mixture until the onion is soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Add in the meat. Sear the meat over medium-high heat, browning on all surfaces. Add in the onion-garlic, mixture, the potatoes and turnip and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Use the lid from a saucepan or from a plastic food container to cut out an 8-inch or smaller circle.
  3. Place about ½-cup of mixture into the middle of one circle. Make sure that the dough is clear of any filling around the perimeter of the circle so it will make a seal. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. (Some people like to add a dollop of butter on top of the mixture for a little extra moisture). Moisten the edge of the pastry with a little cold water and fold the dough over and press to seal. Place the pasties onto a greased baking sheet. Fill and fold the remaining pasties.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut a small air vent into the top of each pasty. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325 degrees, continuing to bake for about 20 minutes more. Serve the pasties hot.
Recipe by Within The Wild at