Granny Smith Pheasant Hand Pies

Classic pairing of ingredients, simple prep and leftovers for lunch the next day – hand pies are superior to sandwiches in every way. 

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 pies


  • 4 Breast Pheasant You could also use thighs
  • 2 Pie Crusts
  • 1 Grannie Smith Apple
  • 2 Jalapeno
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Cup Cheddar
  • 1 Cup Gouda
  • 1 Egg White
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Cut the pheasant into 1/4" cubes – if you have time you can always brine birds overnight to add flavor and moisture, we often pound them flat as well to help tenderize.

  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the pheasant. Squeeze a half a lemon, season with salt and pepper. Sautéing in butter just helps add a fat component to a typically lean meat. 

  3. Preheat the oven (camp oven or campfire coals) to 350° 

  4. Slice the apple, dice the jalapeño, shred the cheeses while the pheasant cools and drains – place it on a paper towel if you're in camp.

  5. We use pre-made pie crusts, but feel free to make your own dough. A package of two crusts is cut into equal thirds.

  6. On one half of each dough segment stack apples, pheasant, jalapeño and cheese. You can play with the mix to your own liking depending on how much pepper heat versus tart apple and cheese you desire. I have a bad habit of overfilling which can make sealing the pies a bit of a challenge. 

  7. Use egg white for glue along the outside edge of the dough wedge opposite your filling, then carefully fold over the dough. Use the tines of a fork to seal the outside edge and poke a few steam vents in the top of each hand pie. 

  8. Brush the remaining egg white across the top of each pie to help get that nice golden finish. 

  9. Put the pies in the oven for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 

  10. Place pies on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before digging in or risk the internal lava removing multiple layers from the roof of your mouth. 

Recipe Notes

If you have more birds, just be sure you have more pie dough. This made exactly six hand pies, but if your birds are bigger you might end up with enough filling for more. 

Diced apples instead of thin slices could be a nice textural contrast. 

You can freeze these hand pies prior to baking on a cookie sheet, then package them individually for the freezer. Grab and bake as desired for a no-prep lunch or dinner.