Oktoberfest Pies

Delicious meat pies of beef braised in Oktoberfest beer wrapped in puff pastry.

Makes 6 large muffin size pies

1 lbs beef
¼ cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ small onion, finely chopped
24 oz oktoberfest beer
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
2 lbs puff pastry
eggwash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)

Continue reading “Oktoberfest Pies”

Cajun Pies

These little spicy fried pies are addictive.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped
4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire
2 tablespoons flour
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced
5 dashes Krystal or other hot sauce
2 pounds puff pastry
eggwash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water)

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Brown meat. Drain grease. Add meat back to pan.

Add seasonings: salt, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, white pepper, cumin, and black pepper. Stir thoroughly. Add onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and worcestershire sauce. Cook until juices have released and reduced, about 10 minutes.
Add flour. Stir out any lumps. Cook until thick.
Turn off heat. Add scallions and hot sauce.
Allow to chill thoroughly.

Working in batches so it stays cool, roll out puff pastry until thin. Cut out 2 inch circles using cookie cutter. Brush edges with eggwash. Place 1 tablespoon filling in the center. Fold circle over filling in half. Where edges meet crimp with fork tines. Transfer pies in a single layer on dusted surface to the refrigerator to keep cool as you work. Chill pies at least 30 minutes before frying. Any pies you don’t plan on using can be frozen for later.
Fill deep dutch oven or cast iron skillet with 3 inches of oil. Fry pies in small batches until golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to drain.

For more Cajun food, try this recipe for Maw-Maw’s Dirty Rice.



Root Vegetable Pasties

You can call these Root Vegetable Pasties or Root Vegetable Turnovers, depending on what side of the Atlantic you are on. They are a vegetarian take on the Cornish pasty, which are traditionally made with an uncooked filling of meat and vegetables. The earliest references to this style of pie dates to cookbooks of the thirteenth century, but its origins are probably even older than that. The term Cornish pasty has been in use since the 1860s. This popular hand pie has spread throughout the world due to Cornish miners. Although traditionally uncooked filling is used, I like to par cook the vegetables. The pâte brisée butter pastry cooks quickly, and I find the vegetables too raw otherwise. These have carrot for color, rutabaga for flavor, and potatoes because they are delicious. Experiment with your own combinations. The pasties can be made larger than the examples here for a more filling pie, but I like the handiness of these. Plus you can always have two.

Continue reading “Root Vegetable Pasties”

Pâte Brisée Pie Dough



Image of Rolled Pâte Brisée Pie Crust
Rolled Pâte Brisée Pie Crust

This recipe for pâte brisée is my go to pie crust recipe.  It works with both sweet and savory fillings. It can be made quickly in a food processor. Also it stays flaky if you need to reroll your crust. If you don’t have a food processor you could always form it by hand. The butter must be at a cool room temperature to blend correctly. I usually make the dough the day before baking to prevent shrinkage. This makes a large batch, as large as my food processor can handle. Freeze what you don’t need and save time later.

Yields 2 lb/ 910 g


Continue reading “Pâte Brisée Pie Dough”

Cheese and Leek Rolls

These popular rolls are based on glamorgan sausages. Instead of being incased in bread crumbs and fried, they are baked in puff pastry.  Also they are a good stand in for sausage rolls if you want a change.  I’ve given proportions to shape a full sized 5″ roll, but you can also cut these smaller for appetizers and snacks.  You can freeze whatever you don’t need unbaked.  They can be baked from frozen; just increase cooking times.

The leeks are sautéed in more butter than you might think is needed so that it will bind the mixture.

To thoroughly clean the leeks cut of the dark green portion.  Slice down the middle, leaving the root intact. Run cold water over leek, opening middle to rinse out all sand. Shake off excess water and slice.

You can make your own puff pastry or purchase it. If it’s store bought try to get all butter pastry if possible.

This recipe yields 12-15 rolls.

Continue reading “Cheese and Leek Rolls”