Few things are more comforting during the colder months of the year than the marriage of savory flavors and flaky pastry. The humble pie comes in many forms — there’s the fully-encased-in-pastry chicken pot pie, crusted open-faced pie like quiche, and even pies without a crust or pastry shell at all, like shepherd’s pie — but some of the best to try are savory hand-held pies. Many countries have their own versions; The Daily Meal has sampled savory handheld pies around the world and has compiled a dozen portable pies to try.
Whether eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack, savory pies have become a staple to stave off hunger.
Sold at restaurants, sporting venues, street-side stands, and convenience stores, each pie is unique: Latin American empanadas are baked or deep-fried pies stuffed with meat or veggies, while meat pies from Australia and New Zealand are minced meat and cheese enrobed in pastry.
No matter your portable pie of choice, one aspect is universal —these pies are perfect on-the-go pockets of doughy, flavorful goodness. No fork required.
Meat Pie (Australia and New Zealand)
These immensely popular meaty snacks are palm-sized pies filled with savory ingredients, like steak and cheese. Popular brand Mrs. Mac's is found in supermarkets and convenience stores in Australia, and Goodtime Pies are found in Zed petrol stations and convenience stories in New Zealand. Do as the locals do and grab one of these hot pies on-the-go, but be sure to blow on them before taking a bite — the ingredients are notoriously scalding. If you can’t make it Down Under, try Pie Face in New York City.
A bridie, also called forfar, is a pie from Scotland that is similar to a pasty but much lighter. Traditionally filled with minced steak, butter, beef suet (raw beef or lamb fat), onions, and salt and pepper, the pies are wrapped in short pie dough or a flaky pastry. Bridies are eaten at special occasions like weddings and as everyday snacks.
Empanadas are hand-held pies stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables and surrounded by pastry dough that is baked or fried. El Sanjuanino in Buenos Aires serves some of the best empanadas in the Argentinian capital.
Fleischkuekle (Germany and Russia)
Similar to a Cornish pasty, fleischkuekle, also spelled fleischkuechle, are flat pies filled with seasoned meat and deep-fried. A popular spot to try them stateside is at Kroll’s Diner in Bismarck, N.D., where the fleischkuechle include seasoned hamburger meat wrapped inside pastry and deep-fried, and are served with a side of soup, salad, french fries, or cottage cheese.
Karelian Pasty (Finland)
Originating in Karelia in Northern Europe, Karelian pasties have gone through many iterations. Initial versions had barley and oats enrobed in a rye crust. Later regional variants stuffed the oval rye or wheat shell with potato, buckwheat, rice, or millet, but the most popular version today is filled with rice and topped with butter and boiled egg.
Jamaican Patty (Jamaica)
Jamaican patties are easily recognizable, with their turmeric-yellow exteriors filled with seasoned ground beef and allspice, but other options like chicken and lamb are also popular. Try these hefty and flaky patties at Christie’s Jamaican in Brooklyn, N.Y., or you can try making your own at home.
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