The game plan is at hand
Savory individual pies kick off Super Bowl parties
Game-day goodies: This year, for Super Bowl Sunday make hand-held pies. The pies can be large for big appetites or slightly smaller to suit a party spread that features other tidbits. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Memorable Saturday night suppers involved her flaky crust, beef stew meat and a few veggies that she'd transform into individual-size savory, rustic entrees. Seems she learned about these hand-held pies from our summer cottage neighbors who hailed from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, an area renowned for its Cornish pasties.
Mom says she never really followed a recipe; she'd simply dollop a filling of chopped lean beef, onions, carrots, turnips and spices on a small round of her pie dough.
Then she'd fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shaped, hand-held pasty much like the national dish of Cornwall in England. There, pasties fill the lunch boxes of the Cornish miners who brought the recipe to northern Michigan and Minnesota.
These days we seek out pasties and other hand-held pies for their novelty and sometimes for their convenience. I love the spicy stuffed and deep-fried meat pies of Louisiana and the sweet and savory empanadas from all over Latin America.
This year, we are making hand-held pies for a certain popular football party the first Sunday of February, a spicy cooked beef version tucked inside mom's super-tender, flaky crust.
The pies can be large for big appetites or slightly smaller to suit a party spread that features other tidbits. I also make small versions for cocktail parties using a 3-inch circle of pastry.
Accompany the pasties with a hearty green salad and dark beer. Pass spicy salsa for spooning over each warm pie.
You'll be glad you did.
Spicy hand-held pasties
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 10 large or 16 medium-size pasties
Note: You can substitute 1 package (22 ounces) frozen pie crusts for the pie dough. Thaw according to package directions, then cut each crust into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and chill. You'll have 8 medium-size pasties and leftover filling.
1 recipe tender pie dough, rolled into 10 or 16 balls, chilled
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
4 cups filling, about