Hand pies have a special place in my heart. Nine years ago, while studying abroad, I got lost in Plymouth, England. I kept having bouts of misplaced confidence (or just plain stubbornness), and ended up circling the town a couple of times before I asked for help. (The irony is that I was in the British Isles for geography field school, so one would assume I could simply refer to a map!)
I was broke and tired, but having a fun, liberating adventure. One of my memories from that day centers on the cheap, hearty, delicious meat pie I bought from a sweet, gray-haired lady. I remember being astonished at the deal and pleased by the pie’s portability. Prior to that experience, my notion of hand pies came in a Mrs. Baird’s wrapper (nonetheless delicious!).
Nearly a decade later, and — guess what — here I am still broke and occasionally tired, but having a fun, liberating adventure and I find myself turning to hand pies.
These Greek hand pies would make Popeye proud. I’ve used greens gathered from my own and friends’ gardens: chard, amaranth, beet greens, lambs quarters, along with mint, basil, oregano and dill. The first time I made the dough, I followed the recipe, which calls for olive oil. The second time I used lard, which was more enjoyable to work with.
These pies are surprisingly delicious and nearly free. I have twice devoted the time to make a batch to freeze for quick meals. Taken straight from the freezer, they take about 20 minutes to fry.