2 carrots (preferably purple or red), finely diced
1largered bell pepper, finely diced
1largered onion, finely diced
1-1/3poundslean ground beef
1/4cupall purpose flour
1tablespoonfresh rosemary, chopped
1tablespoonheavy cream or milk
Hot Water Crust
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Place water, butter and shortening in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
When the fats have melted and the water is boiling, pour into the flour and stir with a spatula.
Once the dough has cooled enough to touch, kneed for 5 minutes.
Divide two thirds of the dough into four large balls and one third of the dough into four small balls. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Sloppy Joe Filling
In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat.
Add vegetables to the pot and saute until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon.
When the beef is browned, stir in the flour then add the red wine, tomato paste and water.
Cook until the sauce is very thick and most of the water has evaporated.
Mix in the rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste, then chill.
Roll out one of the larger dough balls between two sheets of parchment. Use the hand as a guide, making sure that there's excess to hang over the sides of the mold.
Press the dough into the mold then fill two-thirds full with sloppy joe mixture.
Using the mold, make a hand template out of paper.
Roll out one of the small dough balls between two sheets of parchment and then cut out a hand shape using the template you just created.
Trim the bottom crust so that there's about half an inch of dough all around. Place the cut out dough on top of the filling and roll the bottom crust over the top, pressing the dough to make a tight seal.
Place hand mold open side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and place in the freezer until completely frozen.
Repeat the process for the next three hands.
Preheat oven to 450F
Pull the plastic mold off of the frozen hands then let warm up at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Using a small, sharp knife, cut the dough out of the wrist and reshape dough to resemble cut skin.
Cut slits in the knuckles and places where skin naturally folds and wrinkles.
Make indentations around the fingernails.
Make egg wash by whisking together the egg and cream, then brush onto hands.
Reopen any slits that have closed up.
Mix together wine and tomato paste and brush into slits, fingernails and then all over.
Reopen any slits that have closed up.
Bake for 45 minutes, checking the hands at 15 and 30 minutes for any slits that have closed. Also reposition the hands in the oven so they bake evenly.
Make a "bone" out of a white carrot, parsnip or parsley root with a vegetable peeler and roast until cooked but still firm.
Once the hand pies are done baking, insert the bone into the wrist.
See blog post for in-process cooking photos.
DO NOT bake pies in the gelatin molds I linked to! They are not oven safe!
Please follow the instructions carefully and don't skip steps. If you don't freeze the hands, they will not keep their shape. If you don't cut slits in the dough, the steam will make the dough puff up and the hands will lose their shape.
For more info on hot water crust (also called a standing crust) see this awesome video by Townsends. If you're a history of cooking nerd like me, you will love it!
When rolling out the dough, don't use flour, just the parchment paper. It will stick slightly and the paper will wrinkle, but it's a happy accident. Place the wrinkled side of the dough down in the mold, as it makes the "skin" look more realistic.
To make the hand template I colored a line around the edge of the hand mold using food markers, then pressed the mold onto paper. If you don't have food markers, do your best. It doesn't have to be terribly accurate since you'll never see the under crust.
Do your best to press the dough into the mold at each step, including once you've flipped it over for freezing.
Try to not overfill or under fill the mold. The pie should be level with the top of the mold.
If the hands start to thaw and get soft as you are prepping them for baking, refreeze them for 15-20 minutes before baking for best results.
These pies take time... but since they are frozen you can prep these up to a week in advance.
This recipe makes four hand pies but the pies are quite large, so four pies should feed 6-8 people.