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Old 11-13-2020, 07:38 AM   #1
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Handpies

I’ve read that handpies such as empenadas and pasties were originally carried by laborers to the fields as a convenient lunch. I assume there was no refrigeration or reheating at the time. Are there any concerns storing the aforementioned pies (possibly with meat fillings) at room temperature for a few hours?

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Old 11-13-2020, 09:11 AM   #2
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With meat, 3 hours may be pushing it a bit. Most folks say 2 hours tops.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:36 AM   #3
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Pack such pies in chilled box with ice, or dry ice in a good cooler.

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Old 11-13-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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Let's not get ridiculous. People have been packing their lunches at 7 am or earlier, carrying them to work, and eating them around noon for as long as anyone can remember. I did it myself from the age of 12 until I retired at 63. I don't remember ever having a case of food poisoning or any word of mass food poisonings because of it. Quit being a sissy! What doesn't make you stronger, kills you, or something like that.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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Dysentery was a fact of life in those days.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Let's not get ridiculous. People have been packing their lunches at 7 am or earlier, carrying them to work, and eating them around noon for as long as anyone can remember.
Yup... and those lunches were usually prepared with cured meats packed with preservatives, which is not something fresh home cooking provides. Quit being a dummy! Especially when you are advising others.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:55 PM   #7
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Yup... and those lunches were usually prepared with cured meats packed with preservatives, which is not something fresh home cooking provides. Quit being a dummy! Especially when you are advising others.
Pasties and empanadas are usually filled with stew, not cured meats. The thing is that food poisoning doesn't always kill people and it usually doesn't show up for a few days, so people don't make the connection.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:07 PM   #8
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Pasties and empanadas are usually filled with stew, not cured meats. The thing is that food poisoning doesn't always kill people and it usually doesn't show up for a few days, so people don't make the connection.
Not sure I get your point as to whether you agree or disagree with my recommendation.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:16 PM   #9
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Not sure I get your point as to whether you agree or disagree with my recommendation.
I agree that two hours is the recommended maximum time for foods like this to be unrefrigerated. These types of hand pies were not traditionally made with cured meats, though. People lived with dysentery as part of normal life back in the days before refrigeration became common.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:24 PM   #10
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I agree that two hours is the recommended maximum time for foods like this to be unrefrigerated. These types of hand pies were not traditionally made with cured meats, though.
I never inferred they were. I was simply responding to Sir_Loin_of_Beef's comment about "people have been packing their lunches at 7 am or earlier, carrying them to work, and eating them around noon" and that had nothing to do with home cooked meats.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:35 PM   #11
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I don't think we have to jump directly from the two hour safety zone to dysentery.

Many millions of folks over the years, myself included, packed a lunch daily for their school years and working lives. You can be sure the vast majority of us did not get dysentery.

Food contamination does not happen at the flip of a switch. Bacteria may start to grow but at first there is not be enough to cause illness. I wouldn't eat yesterday's lunch today. That's a much bigger risk.

My lunches consisted of cold cuts or leftovers. I could have a ham sandwich or a meatloaf sandwich, leftover chicken etc.

Regarding the empanadas, Hot out of the oven, the empanadas would initially be well above the danger zone temps. So they may be OK to leave out for three or so hours. It takes time for the filling to cool down to the upper limit of the zone.

My mom often left food out on the counter to cool off before she refrigerated it. No one had dysentery-like illnesses. I'd remember.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
I never inferred they were. I was simply responding to Sir_Loin_of_Beef's comment about "people have been packing their lunches at 7 am or earlier, carrying them to work, and eating them around noon" and that had nothing to do with home cooked meats.
This is what you said.
Quote:
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Yup... and those lunches were usually prepared with cured meats packed with preservatives, which is not something fresh home cooking provides. Quit being a dummy! Especially when you are advising others.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:58 PM   #13
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You might want to reread this entire thread.
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:18 PM   #14
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I Just recently saw a great cooking show on Handpies from around the world. Not sure it specifically covered the point of this thread, but it was a good show. If it comes back to me I'll post the link.
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Old 11-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #15
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The typical 2-3 hour range for meat is not what I was looking for.

I thought part of the intent of the crust was to create a barrier that protected the inner goodness from the outside air and bacteria thereby allowing the delicate contents to be preserved longer than normal and be safe to eat. And I was curious how long it kept for. Maybe some of the posters are right and that it did make people sick back then but there was no alternative. Interesting thought.

I’ve also read that back in Roman times the crusts were significantly thicker. So maybe the thicker crust was abandoned in favor of a better tasting/flaky crust and the side effect of that is that the contents are no longer persevered as long as in the past.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Many millions of folks over the years, myself included, packed a lunch daily for their school years and working lives. You can be sure the vast majority of us did not get dysentery.

My lunches consisted of cold cuts or leftovers. I could have a ham sandwich or a meatloaf sandwich, leftover chicken etc.
And don't forget tuna salad. I had a tuna salad sandwich every Friday all through junior and senior high school. I was never, ever sick.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skier View Post

I thought part of the intent of the crust was to create a barrier that protected the inner goodness from the outside air and bacteria thereby allowing the delicate contents to be preserved longer than normal and be safe to eat.

I’ve also read that back in Roman times the crusts were significantly thicker. So maybe the thicker crust was abandoned in favor of a better tasting/flaky crust and the side effect of that is that the contents are no longer persevered as long as in the past.
Those crusts were used to carry the innards dryly and not squishing all over the rest of the things - if there were any thing else. Maybe a chunk of cheese.

They didn't have paper or plastic lunch bags. That food was wrapped in such a way as to allow them to be carried.

Food styles change over years - you can't compare what was done centuries ago or decades ago for how things are or should be done now-a-days.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier View Post
I thought part of the intent of the crust was to create a barrier that protected the inner goodness from the outside air and bacteria thereby allowing the delicate contents to be preserved longer than normal and be safe to eat. And I was curious how long it kept for. Maybe some of the posters are right and that it did make people sick back then but there was no alternative. Interesting thought.
The time period we're talking about is before the germ theory of disease was developed. People back then didn't have the knowledge we do. They had to make do with what they had.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:53 PM   #19
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Cornish pasties were made for miners and included freshcook meat, potatoes, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, all wrapped in a sturdy crust, made with a dough handle for the husbands who worked in the minds. The handle was ingenious as it gave the minors with dirty hands something to hang onto.. There was no refrigeration available either. The miners didn't suffer from eating the pasties. , it was a thing of necessity.

That being said today, there is no reason to risk tainted food.

My Dada and I used to bring sandwiches and milk with us when we headed for the trout stream. The streams were sprig-fed cold water. The milk, or soda, and the sandwiches were placed into water-tight bags. into a net, and tied to a log, or tree with the bag submerged in the cold water. It worked great. Be safe.

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