Beef Pasty (Hand Pie) – A simple recipe made from meat and vegetables baked inside pastry dough. Beef pasties can be served for either lunch or dinner and they taste best when dipped in brown gravy.
Years ago, my mom received this beef pasty recipe from a cook in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Apparently they were a big thing in that area at the time. They quickly became a favorite in our home as well, however mom didn’t make them very often. If she did make them it was usually to celebrate some accomplishment that one of us girls had, basically she used them as a reward.
I don’t know exactly what made them so special to us, but we all enjoyed them, a lot. Maybe it’s the same thing that makes Hot Pockets so popular today, a hot meal that you can eat on the go. All I know is that it was always a surprise opening your lunch box to find one of these meat filled hand pies and realizing that mom recognized what you did, no matter how small it was.
1 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
2 medium potatoes or rutabaga
1/2 cup beef stock
salt and pepper
pie dough (4 crusts)
1 egg white
measuring spoons & cups
6-inch biscuit cutter
small mixing bowl
Simple Beef Pasties (Hand Pies)
Prepare pie dough as directed or remove pre-made crust from package and allow to come to room temperature.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain, add the diced onions, carrots, potatoes (or rutabaga) and beef stock. Cover and let cook, on low, until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
While the meat mixture is cooking, roll out the pie dough and cut 4 circles from each crust using a 6-inch biscuit cutter. You may have to re-roll the scraps to get enough circles.
Drop 1-2 tablespoons of the cooled meat mixture into the center of each pie crust circle. Fold in half and pinch edges together. Using the tines of a fork, dipped in flour, press the edges to seal.
Place pasties, 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Brush each one of the hand pies with the the egg whites, avoiding the edges.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with brown gravy.
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 medium potatoes or rutabaga
- ½ cup beef stock
- salt and pepper
- pie dough (4 crusts)
- 1 egg white
- brown gravy
- Prepare pie dough as directed or remove pre-made crust from package and allow to come to room temperature.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain, add the diced onions, carrots, potatoes (or rutabaga) and beef stock. Cover and let cook, on low, until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- While the meat mixture is cooking, roll out the pie dough and cut 4 circles from each crust using a 6-inch biscuit cutter. You may have to re-roll the scraps to get enough circles. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of the cooled meat mixture into the center of each pie crust circle. Fold in half and pinch edges together. Using the tines of a fork, dipped in flour, press the edges to seal.
- Place pasties, 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Brush each one of the hand pies with the the egg whites, avoiding the edges.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with brown gravy.
Since this is such a simple recipe and they are so convenient to eat on the go, I like to make big batches of these handpies and freeze for later. I’ve even been known to change them up a bit too, filling them with things like taco meat, beans and cheese or ham and cheese, they’re our families version of Hot Pockets.
What would you fill your pasties with?
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Robin, pasties are still popular in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! There’s even a festival dedicated to the pasty in Calumet every June that includes vendors, a parade and bake-off. The pasty (pronounced with a short a) was introduced to the U.P. by the Cornish miners who came here to work in the copper mines, and people have been enjoying them ever since. You’ll find them in all the local grocery stores and most restaurants. Mentioning gravy can stir up quite the controversy, however. Some people enjoy them with gravy, some with ketchup, some with butter, and some pasty purists will scoff at all three! This can be a hotly debated topic! So glad to see them represented on your blog!
Wow, I had no idea that they were so popular and that they were the main event of a festival. In West Virginia they have a similar item that was introduced to the area by the Italians who came to work the coal mines, which are called pepperoni rolls. Like the pasties, the locals make a big deal out of them, I haven’t heard of any festivals, yet, but they can be found at every store that you shop.
I’m from Upper Michigan, too. Pasties are pretty much a staple in every home.
Check out Yooper-Pasty on Facebook. (“Yooper” comes from the term U.P. (upper peninsula). If you’re from The U.P., then you’re a Yooper.)
It seems to me that there is a song about Yooper’s and a Pontoon boat. LOL
Oh, and your recipe looks really good. However, in traditional pasties, potatoes are a must! Carrots and rutabaga are optional. And the crust… well… using packaged pie crust would be considered sacrilege. ; )
These looks great. I may be biased, because I love beef pasties. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.
They sound delicious! 🙂 Thanks for sharing at the Sew It Cook It Craft It Link Party.
Sally Baker says
I’m from Cornwall. The Finns in the UP also claim the pasty as their invention. The controversy is where the crimp is made: around the side (Cornish) or across the top (Finnish). In Cornwall and Devon there are many versions of ingredients. To each his own.
Thank you for all the insightful information!
Kathryn Phillips says
Do you freeze before or after cooking?
I freeze them after they are cooked!
How do you reheat them from frozen? I love that you used a pre-made crust and will try these later this week! Thank you!
I re-heat them in the microwave for about 3-3/12 minutes. A little tip, I saved a few of the re-heating covers from hot pockets and use for the pasties.
Can you cook the filling and let it cool in the fridge for a day or two before baking? Does that matter?
I don’t see a problem with that, but I wouldn’t go longer than two days.
Yep, love our pasties. You got to have hamb. Or round steak chopped up, rutabaga potatoes, onion, and carrots. Home made pie crust. And not gravy, butter and ketchup. 😋
Hello Robin. Great to see the pastie featured. Here in Australia we also love the Cornish pasties, and they are usually available to buy in our bakeries. Occasionally have made at home like my Mum did many years ago but its nice to have a recipe. I was looking for the pastry ingredients, then l realised you must be able to buy pre made round pie cases. I think in my old school recipe book l may have the a recipe so l will look it up.
This is my favorite pie crust recipe: https://flusterbuster.com/flaky-crispy-pie-crus.html