Hand-raised pies are an old traditional form of pie, the best known being the "Melton Mowbray Pork Pie". It uses hot water pastry and is moulded by hand before filling. It's not the easiest method but is worth the effort. This version is vegetarian but the ingredients can easily be changed for the pastry and the jelly and the filling can be easily improvised.
The vegetable suet can be switched for the more traditional animal based suet. This, together with a filling of chicken or diced pork would make a more authentic pie. Whichever you choose, it is the technique that is on display.
Fun little pies. Quite a bit of work but really rewarding end result. Every part of the process brings a moment of 'ooh that's cool', particularly when pouring in the jelly. Also the filling can be whatever you've got, but I think the swede/carrot core is a good call, my only addition was parsnip which worked great with the flavours. Thanks for this hippychris - 30 Dec 2016