This meat pie recipe, featuring a blend of beef and sausage encased in a flaky pastry dough, is a delightful reinterpretation of traditional hand pies. Infused with cognac for an added touch of sophistication, these pies merge the heartiness of shepherd’s pie and the comfort of cottage pie into perfect finger foods. Ideal for an easy dinner, serve these savory pies as a standout dish at your next potluck or enjoy them as mini pies for a convenient and satisfying meal.
This beef sausage hand pie recipe is a delightful and easy meal, perfect for picnics or potlucks.
You can enjoy it at room temperature, conveniently eating it with your hands and without any mess.
The savory filling is a delicious mixture of half beef and half pork, combined with diced carrot, celery, and onion, and flavored with a touch of Cognac, making for a mouthwatering experience in every bite.
The beauty of these hand pies lies in their convenience.
They can be prepared and frozen while uncooked, allowing you to defrost and bake them whenever needed.
This feature makes them incredibly practical for busy days.
Simply pair them with a fresh salad for a complete, hassle-free meal.
Hand pies, originating in 19th-century England as semi-oval Pasties, were a practical lunch choice for Cornish miners who ate the center and discarded the crust due to their dirty hands.
In my adaptation, these traditional pies take the form of a long bread roll, akin to a sandwich, with a thin crust enveloping a savory meat and vegetable filling.
This twist makes them an ideal, easy-to-eat option for any occasion, perfect as a homemade, convenient dish for potlucks and easy meals.
For more homemade meat pies you can make for a potluck you can check out: Italian sausage chestnut stuffing, brioche sausage rolls, Chelsea Market Heidi Pie With French Chevre, Zucchini Mushroom Quiche Recipe, Caramelized Squash Spinach Bacon Quiche
Start the day before
The secret of this recipe is to let the filling rest overnight in the fridge so the Cognac has time to combine all the flavor together.
You can also make the pastry ahead of time.
If you decide to try it, it is best to start the day before!
Making the Pastry:
- Butter (Room Temperature): Essential for a flaky pie crust, it adds richness and texture.
- Flour: The base for the homemade pie crust, giving structure and form.
- Egg: Acts as a binder in the pie dough, contributing to the texture and cohesiveness of the pastry.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the flaky pastry crust.
- Cold Water: Critical for achieving the perfect pie dough consistency.
Making the Filling:
- Lean Ground Beef: The main component of the beef mixture, offering a meaty and robust flavor.
- Minced Pork or Sausage Meat (Casings Removed): Complements the ground meat, adding richness.
- Diced Carrot: Introduce sweetness and a contrasting texture.
- Diced Onion: A foundational element for the meat filling, adding aromatic flavors.
- Diced Celery Stalk: Enhances the filling with its subtle, earthy notes.
- Freshly Chopped Parsley: Brings freshness and a herbaceous touch.
- Beaten Egg: Binds the ingredients in the meaty filling together.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Season the filling, accentuating its flavors.
- Cognac (or Substitute Stout Beer/Apple Juice): Adds a unique depth and warmth to the beef mixture.
Additional and alternatives
- Egg Wash (Beaten Egg with a bit of Water): Brushed on top of the dough for a golden, flaky crust.
Puff Pastry Sheets/Crescent Roll Dough: Alternatives for a quicker, yet still flaky crust.
Start the day before
For the pastry
- Mix the ingredients for the pastry until you get a smooth dough.
- Wrap in cling film and let it rest overnight in the fridge.
For the meat mixture
- Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Cover with plastic or cling wrap and let it rest overnight to let the flavors blend together.
Making the hand pies
Prepare the egg wash by beating an egg in a small bowl using a pastry brush.
- Portion the filling into six equal parts, shaping each into a ball.
- Divide the dough into six equal sections.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough section into rectangles larger than 8x12 inches (20x30 cm) with a 2 mm thickness, using a rolling pin.
- Place each ball of filling in the center of the rolled-out dough, shaping it like a large sausage.
- Carefully fold the dough over the filling:
- Brush one side of the dough with egg wash using a pastry brush.
- Fold the other side over and brush the edges of the dough with egg wash to seal.
- Tuck and fold in the ends of the dough.
- Place the pies on parchment paper with the folded edges facing down.
- Arrange the hand pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash for a golden brown finish.
- Make three diagonal slits on top of each hand pie to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 355 F (180 C) for 45 minutes.
- After baking, let the pies cool for at least 1 hour.
- Serve the pies at room temperature.
How to serve them
These beef sausage hand pies are not only a delicious recipe but also the perfect addition to any outdoor adventure, such as a hiking trip or a skiing day.
Their convenient packaging into crunchy parcels makes them an excellent choice for a picnic or potluck.
Best enjoyed at room temperature, these hand pies eliminate the need for reheating, making them a practical and satisfying option.
Packed with a hearty combination of meat and vegetables, they provide a substantial, energy-boosting meal ideal for active days out.
To complement these pies, I recommend serving them with crisp radishes and a pinch of salt.
This pairing offers a healthier alternative to traditional sides like french fries, adding a fresh and crunchy element to balance the savory richness of the pies.
Personally, I wouldn't use a dipping sauce, as the pies are already moist and flavorful, but feel free to experiment.
Variations and Substitutions
- Meat Alternatives: If beef or sausage isn't to your preference, feel free to experiment with different types of ground meat like chicken or turkey. If you want to try a meat-free version, you can try using lentils or beans.
- Seasoning Adjustments: Customize the seasoning to suit your palate. Consider adding herbs like thyme or rosemary, or spices like cumin or paprika for a different flavor profile.
- Cognac substitute: For a substitute for Cognac, consider using a different type of brandy, whiskey, or for a non-alcoholic option, apple or grape juice.
- Pastry Options: While homemade pastry is delightful, you can also use ready-made puff pastry sheets or crescent roll dough for convenience without compromising the flaky crust.
- Cheese Addition: For a cheesy twist, add grated cheese like cheddar or parmesan into the meat filling for added richness and flavor.
- Size Variations: Make mini hand pies using a large biscuit cutter for smaller, bite-sized portions, ideal for appetizers or kids' meals.
These variations and substitutions offer a way to tailor the hand pies to your specific dietary needs or preferences, making this recipe versatile and suitable for various occasions and tastes.
Storage and Convenience
The true beauty of these beef sausage hand pies lies in their make-ahead convenience. You can effortlessly prepare them in advance, freeze, and then bake them whenever needed. This feature makes them an ideal solution for busy schedules or unexpected guests.
- Freezing Unbaked Pies: Assemble the pies and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once they're solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Baking from Frozen: There's no need to thaw; simply bake the frozen pies, adding a few extra minutes to the original baking time.
- Storing Baked Pies: If you have leftovers, they can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven to maintain the crust's crispiness.
This make-ahead feature ensures that a delicious, homemade meal is always at hand, ready to be enjoyed with minimal preparation.
Origins of this hand pie recipe
Even if the concept of these hand pies is the same as the Cornish Pasty, this is not their recipe.
I adapted this recipe from the ‘The Hairy Bikers’, but I don't even remember the original name of the recipe. It got my attention as Cognac was added to the filling.
Their recipe was more of a Pork Pie with gelatine poured inside once the pie was cooked. I never tried to add the gelatine, not because I didn't want to try, but because I knew my boys would discard it.
I may try one day, but for the moment these are very popular with my boys and their friends.
More pie ideas
More recipes with sausages
If you are making this Beef Sausage Hand Pie Recipe, leave your comment below I would like to hear from you. You can find more delicious ideas if you FOLLOW ME on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram or sign up to my newsletter.
📋Beef Sausage Hand Pie Recipe
Making the pastry
- Mix the ingredients for the fillings until you get a smooth dough.7 tablespoon butter, 2 cup flour, 1 fresh eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅓ cup fresh water
- Wrap in cling foil and let it rest overnight in the fridge so the flavours have time to amalgamate.
Making the filling
- Mix the ingredients for the fillings in a bowl12 oz freshly minced lean beef, 12 oz minced pork or sausages, 2 chopped carrots, 1 onion diced, 1 celery stalk diced, ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley, 1 fresh eggs, 2 teaspoon salt, ½ cup Cognac
- Cover with a cling foil and let it rest overnight in the fridge so the flavours have time to amalgamate.
Making the hand pies
- Before you start making the pastry, make an egg wash by mixing an egg in a small bawl with a brush.1 fresh eggs
- Divide the filling into 6 equal portions and shape them into balls.
- Cut the dough into 6 equal sizes
- Roll the dough into rectangular shapes larger than 8x12 in - 20x30 cm with a thickness of 2 mm
- Place the filling in the centre making a large sausage.
- Fold the pastry over the filling
- Turnover on one side of the pastry and brush the top with the egg wash
- Flip over on the other side of the pastry and brush with the egg wash the two ends.
- Fold the two ends and put the parcel on a parchment paper with the folded sides facing downward.
- Lay them on the baking tin over the parchment paper.
- Make 3 diagonal cuts on each parcel so the steam can evacuate during the cooking process
- Brush the top with egg wash
- Bake them in a hot oven at 355 F - 180C for 45 minutes.
- Once they are ready let them cool down at least for 1 hour before serving them.
- They should be served at room temperature.
- You can make the filling and dough the day before, letting it rest overnight.
- Don't dice the vegetables too small as it is nice to have pieces of vegetables mixed with the meat.
- Use the egg wash to seal the pies.
- Make some cuts on the top of the pastry so that steam can escape while cooking.
- Once they are ready, let them cool down, they should be eaten at room temperature.
- If you are going for a picnic, put them into a sealed container just in case some juice comes out.