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Use leftover brisket or other cooked meat to make savory hand pies. They’re really easy and are great appetizers or lunch snacks.
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What are hand pies?
Hand pies are popular in many cuisines around the world and are sometimes referred to as turnovers, pasties, empanadas or calzones, depending on the region and cultural influence.
If you’ve had a Pop-Tart, you’ve had a hand pie. They are basically portable little pies that fit in the palm of your hand that you can eat without a fork.
The dough used for hand pies can vary. I go back and forth between using store-bought pie dough, homemade pie crust and store-bought puff pastry. Puff pastry is light, buttery and airy.
Hand pies are usually baked or fried. Today’s homemade hand pies recipe is baked on my Ninja Woodfire Grill. You can also bake them in the oven or on a pellet grill.
Once you get the hang of this technique, which won’t take you long at all, get creative. The flavor combinations are limited only by your imagination.
- Puff Pastry: Look for this dough in your freezer section at your grocery store. Each box contains puff pastry two sheets, which is how many you need for this full recipe.
- Leftover Cooked Brisket: Or any other leftover cooked meat.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices: Or any other flavor cheese slices that you prefer.
- BBQ Sauce
- Egg: Mix with water to create an egg wash.
- Googly Eyes: If you want to make these into mummies for Halloween, add the googly eyes at the end.
Substitutions: Instead of puff pastry, you can also use regular pie crust.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to prepare and cook hand pies
Preheat your Ninja Woodfire Grill. Set the function to bake, the temperature to 325F degrees and the time to 30 minutes. I always set the bake time for longer than needed on my Ninja, so it doesn’t turn off early.
- STEP ONE: Thaw the puff pastry at room temperature and roll it with a rolling pin to flatten. Break each cheese slice in half and place the cheese slices on the puff pastry. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut around the slices, leaving about 1/4 inch extra on all sides.
- STEP TWO: Lay the pastry slices and cheese on a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Top with leftover brisket and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
- STEP THREE: Combine a beaten egg and a little water to make an egg wash. Brush the edges with the egg wash.
- STEP FOUR: For regular hand pies, place another piece of puff pastry on top of the brisket. Pierce small slits in the top with a knife to vent. Then seal the edges with the tines of a fork.
For lattice hand pies or mummy hand pies, cut the remaining pastry into thin strips. Lay the strips across the brisket, cross-crossing some to make it look like a mummy. Leave an opening near the top of each pie for the eyes.
- STEP FIVE: Use a pizza cutter to clean up the edges. Then, crimp the edges together with a fork. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash.
- STEP SIX: Place the lined baking sheet on the grill and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
- STEP SEVEN: Remove from the grill. For mummy pies, add one to two googly eyes on top of each hand pie.
How to serve hand pies
These cute leftover brisket hand pies are great for appetizers or fun lunch snacks.
If you’re having a party, place the assembled hand pies on a platter with a small bowl of your favorite BBQ sauce or sour cream for dipping.
They’re best when they’re served warm, but they can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
Refrigerate leftover hand pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A large zip-top bag works great.
Keep them for three to five days. Reheat in the microwave or air fryer.
You can also freeze hand pies in a zip-top freezer bag for a few months. Just pull one out when you’re looking for a snack.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- For an extra flaky crust, use puff pastry
- Leave about 1/4-inch of space around the filling
- Seal the edges with egg wash
- For golden brown crust, brush egg wash on top of the pies
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make hand pies with puff pastry or flaky pie crust.
Hand pies can be sweet or savory. Some savory fillings include leftover meat, cheese and veggies. Hand pies can be sweet or savory.
Some savory fillings include leftover meat, cheese and veggies. You can even make chicken pot pie or hand pies with Thanksgiving leftovers.
For sweet hand pies, use apple filling, blueberry pie filling, peach pie filling or Pumpkin Butter. Sprinkle coarse sugar or turbinado sugar on top of the egg wash.
Sweet hand pies are also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Refrigerate hand pies that use perishable ingredients as the filling.
Hand pies go by different names around the world. They are basically portable pastries stuffed with a filling and are baked or fried.
Empanadas are a type of hand pie popular in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. They are usually stuffed with savory ingredients, shaped like half moons and fried.
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Savory Hand Pies with Leftover Brisket
- 5 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup cooked brisket, chopped
- 3 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 20 googly eyes, for mummy tarts
- Heat Grill: Set your Ninja Woodfire Pro Connect XL Grill function to bake, temperature to 325F degrees and time to 30 minutes.
- Prep: Cut each cheese slice in half. Remove the pastry from the packaging. Unfold and roll slightly to flatten.
- Layer: Place the cheese slices on the puff pastry. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut around the slices, leaving about 1/4 inch extra on all sides.
- Prep Pan: Lay the pastry slices and cheese on a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Add Filling: Add about 1 tablespoon brisket on top of each cheese slice and spread around. Continue to leave an edge all the way around. Drizzle with BBQ sauce.
- Egg Wash: Mix the egg with a little water. Brush along the edges of the pastry.
- Top: Cut the remaining pastry into rectangles the same size as the bottom Place on top of the brisket. Crimp closed with a fork.
- Lattice or Mummy Strips: Cut the remaining pastry into thin long strips. Lay the strips across the brisket, criss-crossing some to make it look like a mummy. Leave an opening near the top for the eyes. Cut away any overhang so the strips are the same width as the rectangle. Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Brush: Brush the top with egg wash.
- Bake: Place the pan on the preheated grill and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve: Remove from the grill and serve. If making mummy hand pies, add one to two googly eyes to each tart.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.