These savory Minced Beef, Bacon & Cheese Hand Pies are rich with sharp cheddar, dried cherries, and fresh thyme and tarragon for a delicious addition to any picnic or potluck.
Panfry the bacon in a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Once the fat is rendered and the bacon just crispy but not overcooked, remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels. Remove all but one tablespoon bacon fat from the pan.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up any burnt bits on the bottom of the pan, and let cook for 2 minutes more. Add the fresh herbs, dried cherries, and beef broth to the mixture and stir to combine. Cook until the liquids have reduced significantly, 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, chop up the bacon you set aside earlier.
Remove the pan from heat, stir in the chopped bacon, and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. If making ahead, transfer the beef mixture to a sealed container and chill for 10 minutes up to overnight until needed.
Sprinkle the bottom of each crust with a pinch of cheddar cheese, followed by about 1/4 cup filling so that it comes nearly to the top of the pastry. Top with another sprinkling of shredded cheese. Repeat until you run out of filling.
Once fully assembled, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush this over the tops of each hand pie. Sprinkle with a pinch of black sesame seeds and flaky sea salt.
Bake the hand pies for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and the dough appears cooked through. Remove from the oven, and let them sit for 8-10 minutes before gently removing them from the muffin tins. Serve warm, or follow instructions below for cooling and storage.
Choosing Your Pie Dough: You can use any double-crust pie dough you like for this recipe (including store bought!). If making your own dough, I suggest using one that is all or part butter.
To Freeze and Store: If not eating right away, you can store your pies in the freezer. Once your pies are cooked, let them come to just about room temperature on a cooling rack. Transfer the pies to a single baking sheet, and freeze individually (about 2 hours). Stack the frozen pies into freezer-safe containers or gallon bags and keep stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat your pies, arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in a preheated oven set to 375°F for 15-20 minutes.