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Savoury Hand Pies

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In Ghana, as with many other countries, savoury hand pies are generally called meat pies.
Our ‘meat pie’, similar to the Jamaican beef patty is a popular snack found everywhere in Ghana – from fancy restaurants, on the side of dusty country roads to busy bus stations and chaotic markets; often times showcased in distinct glass boxes.

The ones you get from the street vendors are undoubtedly the most delicious; the crust crumbly, and the spicy savoury filling can be anything… from corned beef to stewed tomatoes and onions, it’s incredibly wonderful with Fan ice cream or a bottle of cold soft drink.
In the years that I’ve been away, none of the Ghanaian-style ‘meat pies’ I’ve had have come close to what I remember.

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IMG_5013 Making Hand Pies
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I’ve come to settle for this other type of savoury hand pie; quickly made with yeasted (pizza/bread) dough and a fast tasty tomatoey sauce for the filling. They bare a slight similarity to calzones and any combination or variety of fillings work – but I always come back to this quick simple sauce.

I make them quite often because they’re so versatile; these hand pies can be eaten hot or at room temperature, they travel well, and freeze well.
The dough and filling can be made ahead of time which cuts the prep work down dramatically, I’ve tried a variety and combination of fillings – leftovers… sauteed vegetables, Ghanaian-style spinach stew and homemade pizza sauce have all become delicious fillers for these little pies.

The dough is from an old and trusted recipe; also freezes well… just remember to bring it to room temperature before use.
I used all-purpose flour for the pies in this picture, but I personally prefer whole-wheat flour because it adds depth and a nutty flavour to the pies.

To make this particular pie wholly plant-based (vegetarian/vegan) omit the sardines and add crushed chickpeas, lentils or some legume of your choice.

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Grab one of these pies and a cold drink… find the quietest spot in your home and sit, contemplate and let your mind wander and take you places. Enjoy!

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