Cornish Hand Pies

This traditional British coal miner’s lunch is a hardy, easy-to-transport meal; great for picnics, camping, or tailgating.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 1 hour 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup lard, chilled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 12 oz. lean sirloin steak, cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced into ⅛" pieces
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and diced into ⅛" pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • ½ tsp. fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With your fingers, rub the lard into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse sand studded with pea-sized pieces of fat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vinegar, and water. Add 2 tablespoons of the liquid to the flour mixture and mix until the dough forms a rough ball. Add more liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
  • Roll the dough into 2 squares (12"), ⅛" thick. Cut each pastry into 4 squares (at least 6"). Cover with plastic and chill for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the steak, salt, pepper, turnip, potato, onion, thyme, and melted butter. Mix well.
  • Heat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the filling evenly among the pastry squares. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, then fold over and twist the edges to seal. Brush the tops of each pastry with the beaten egg.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350°F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown on the top and bottom. Serve warm or cold.