Some time ago, Im not sure where, I came across a recipe for meat pies and tucked it away along with the hundreds of other recipes I plan on making one day. Today was the day for meat pies. The weather is getting colder and comfort foods like this are extra appealing. The ingredients are very basic and the dish comes together quickly, especially if you use pre-made pie crust. However, its Sunday and I had lots of time, so I used my favorite King Arthur recipe for pie crust which Ill also share here. I made two pies and shared one with our neighbors. She has been down with a cold or flu and no one feels like cooking when theyre sick. He doesnt like vegetables so this dish was perfect for sharing.
First the crust.
2 1/2 cups AP flour (10.5 oz)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
10 T cold unsalted butter, cubed
6-10 T ice water
The beauty of this recipe is that you make it in your stand mixer. Ive made crust recipes in my food processor before but this works perfectly every time. Measure out your flour, salt and shortening and put it into the bowl of your stand mixer. Use the beater attachment and mix until you have an even crumble.
Add the butter and mix until there is an uneven crumble. You still want to be able to see little chunks of butter.
Once the butter is mixed in and while the mixer is running slowly add the ice water until the mixture starts forming large clumps. Stop adding water and stop the mixer. If the clumps hold together restart the mixer and add just enough additional water to make the crust come together in one ball without any crumbs. Youre done mixing. Remove the dough to your work surface and divide it into two discs. Wrap each disc in wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
One of the tricks I learned from King Arthur that makes so much sense is to make one larger and one smaller disc. The larger disc for the bottom crust, the smaller one for the top.
Now that the crust is made and chilling youre ready to prepare the meat mixture.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large sweet onion diced
2 T butter
4-5 russet potatoes boiled
2 T poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Peel, cut and rinse potatoes. Cover with cold salted water, bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking rough chop the onions. Heat butter in a large heavy skillet and cook the onion just until it is translucent..
Add the pork and beef to the skillet with the onion and, over medium heat, cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat but leave a little for flavor.
Season the meat with the poultry seasoning, cloves, and salt and pepper to taste.
Rice the potatoes (or mash) without any butter or cream. Stir in just enough of the potato to bind the meat together.
Looks like cheese, but its just riced potatoes. Now its time to roll out your pie crust. The filling recipe makes 2 pies. Put half of the meat mixture in each pie.
Roll out the top crust and cut vent slits.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Slice and serve.
I served ours with steamed broccoli and a salad. And catsup of course.
Meat pie is definitely a good comfort food for cold days and I will make it again. The leftovers should reheat well and it may even taste better the second day than the first.
NOTE: When I first read the recipe I thought the spice combo of poultry seasoning and ground cloves with a beef and pork dish was odd. But it actually worked well. However, you could change that up and use Italian seasoning and serve with a side of marinara or Mexican seasoning with a side of fresh salsa. Endless possibilities. I preferred using catsup with this recipe but you could make a gravy or barbecue sauce if that would be more to your liking.
As an aside, for years I always cooked potatoes in a pot with the lid on. Awhile back someone told me potatoes should be simmered in a kettle with the lid off. I googled it, because thats what we all do now, and sure enough, the instructions for boiling potatoes say lid off. My potatoes have always tasted fine but occasionally, I make an effort to do it the proper way now.