Kale and Smoked Chorizo Hand Pies | Dinner Pies

Recipe © 2016 by Ken Haedrich and Used by Permission of The Harvard Common Press

This hand pie is so delicious that I could eat one every day of the week (but that pretty much goes for anything with kale and sausage in it). Its like eating a little calzone and, as with the calzone, everyone seems to enjoy a little side dish of red sauce on the side, to spoon on each bite. Serve with nothing more than a big salad and youre all set.

Makes 4 servings




  1. If you haven’t already, prepare and refrigerate the pastry for at least 1 hour.
  2. About 45 minutes before you want to assemble these hand pies, heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or stovetop casserole over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute; salt and pepper the vegetables lightly. Add 3/4 cup beef broth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the kale, cover the skillet, and gently braise the kale for
    10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 5 to 10 minutes more. (If there’s too little liquid in the pan, add the remaining 1/4 cup broth, or even more if needed, and finish cooking.)
  4. When the liquid has mostly evaporated, stir in the sausage and tomato. Heat for 2 minutes, stirring often, then remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F and get out a large baking sheet. Line it with parchment if you have some.
  6. Working with one piece of dough at a time (and leaving the others in the refrigerator), roll it on a lightly floured surface into a round- cornered rectangle about 10 inches long and 8 inches wide. Draw an imaginary line across the center (crosswise) and put one-quarter of the kale and sausage mixture to one side of that line, leaving a border of 3/4 to 1 inch uncovered. Cover with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Press the filling down gently to compact it.
  7. Using a wet fingertip or damp pastry brush, moisten the entire perimeter of the dough, then fold the uncovered half of the dough over the filling, lining up the edges. Press gently to seal, then roll up the border to form a sort of rope edge. Poke the top once or twice with a paring knife to let steam escape. Transfer the hand pie to the baking sheet, then make the remaining pies. Brush all four pies lightly with the egg wash.
  8. Bake on the center oven rack until the pastry is a rich golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the hand pies to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Flaky & Sturdy Hand Pie Pastry

I’ve been making hand pies for many years and I’ve yet to run across a crust recipe that’s as reliable or easy to prepare as this one is. The first thing you’ll notice is that the proportion of fat to flour is quite a bit less than your typical pie or tart pastry; that accounts for the “sturdy” part of the recipe title, sturdy being a desirable quality in the handheld dinner pies we use this for. But it’s also flaky as all get out. The crust fractures into these lovely, large shards that will make you swoon. This pastry is so good, I use it for virtually all of my hand pies, and I almost always make it in the food processor. (If you prefer to make it by hand, see the Note.)

Makes enough for 4 medium-size hand pies or more smaller ones



  1. Put the butter and shortening cubes in a single layer on a flour- dusted plate, with the shortening off to one side of the plate by itself. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and refrigerate that as well. Gently whisk the egg, water, and vinegar in a 1-cup glass measure until combined and refrigerate that also.
  2. When you’re ready to mix the pastry, transfer the flour mixture to a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and add the fat all at once, dropping it here and there over the flour. Give the machine six to eight 1-second pulses, cutting the fat into small pieces (baby pea–size and smaller).
  3. Remove the lid and pour about half of the liquid over the dry ingredients, but not all in one place. Give the machine two or three half- second pulses. Remove the lid, add the rest of the liquid, and pulse the machine again until the dough just barely starts to form coarse crumbs that hold together when you press them between your fingertips. Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl and gather it together, kneading it gently several times.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into four equal pieces. Knead each one a couple more times, then shape into balls. Put the balls on separate sheets of plastic wrap and flatten them into disks about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap individually in the plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before rolling, or longer if desired. (You can also slip the wrapped dough into a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)

Note: To make the dough by hand, measure and refrigerate all of the ingredients as specified in step 1. When you’re ready to mix the dough, transfer the dry mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the fat; toss by hand to coat with the flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in the fat until it is broken into small pieces (baby pea–size and smaller). Push the mixture toward the center of the bowl. Add about half of the liquid, pouring it all around the sides of the bowl rather than in any one spot. Stir briskly with a fork to dampen everything. Add the remaining liquid and mix again until the dough pulls together. Knead, divide, and shape as specified in step 4.