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Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Pocket Pies, savory

Curried Meat Pocket Pie

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 6 pies
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek*
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

For the pastry:

Specialized Hardware

A sifter (can be stolen from Grandmom) or food processor
Rolling Pin
Pastry brush
2 half-sheet pans (Standard equipment in restaurant kitchens and bake shops, the half-sheet pan is an 18" x 13" pan with a 1" lip. You cannot have too many of them. Inexpensive cooling racks are made to fit inside so we suggest having at least two of those in your kitchen at all times.)
Parchment paper
6-7-quart heavy bottom pot or dutch oven
Instant read digital or candy/fry thermometer
Spider or large slotted spoon
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 6 pies


  • Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable oil and onions and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Then add the beef and pork, along with the salt, pepper, curry powder, smoked paprika, ginger, and allspice. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook until the pink just disappears, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the miso and sambal, followed by the Worcestershire and beef stock. Cook until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove to a large bowl, fold in the peas and raisins, then set aside.
  • For the pastry: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. (If you don't have a sifter, give the powders a quick spin in your food processor to evenly combine and aerate.)
  • Rub the shortening pieces into the flour, using fingertips only, until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the milk all at once and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.
  • Lightly flour your hands and countertop then dump the dough out onto it. Knead the dough ball, folding it over 20 times, then divide into 6 equal pieces (86-87 grams each). Roll the pieces into tight balls and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Line one half-sheet pan with parchment paper and the other with a few layers of paper towels, topped with a cooling rack.
  • Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl and have standing by.
  • Lightly dust the countertop with flour and roll one of the dough balls with a rolling pin into a 7-inch diameter circle. Spoon 1/2 cup of the meat mixture onto the center of the circle and brush the edges with the egg wash Fold the circle in half, dip a fork into some of the flour then crimp the pie edges to seal. Then use the fork to lightly pierce the top of the pie a few times to allow expanding air a way out during cooking. Set the pie on the parchment lined pan and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • When all the pies are built, fill a 6-7-quart heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven with 2 inches of vegetable oil (about 2 1/2 quarts). Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the oil temp to 375℉.
  • Carefully move the pies, two at a time, to the oil, laying them away from you to avoid oil splatters, (I find fingers are best for this but you can use the spider or slotted spoon, especially if you briefly chill the pies first to inhibit stickage.) Fry for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally with a spider or slotted spoon until golden brown.
  • Remove the pies to the paper towel-lined sheet pan and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat the process with the remaining pies. Cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming.
  • Pies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, place the pies in a cold cast iron skillet over low heat. Cover with a lid and warm through for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. This is the best way to maintain a crisp exterior.
*Sambal Oelek, simply stated is an Indonesian-style condiment paste that has a myriad of variations. The best are (I think), handmade versions but for this recipe we used the Huy Fong Foods version, featuring a gold label with a rooster on it and is topped with a bright green lid. We're using it here for its Chile heat and vinegar bite.
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