July Meat Pie: Butcher Dan’s Tourtiere Meat Pie

July's meat pie!

This year I’ve committed to making a meat pie every month. So far I’ve made

This month, I went to Joseph’s Market, my local butcher and asked how to make a “toutiere” pie. You see, Waterville has a lot of Franco-Americans. Every time I’ve mentioned how my speaking tour in New Zealand inspired my goal to cook one meat pie a month, people would say, “Oh…tourtiere?”

I really thought tourtiere was something else. I’d remembered it being sweetish. So I’d say “No, like steak and cheese.”

So I was suprised when Dan said he’d make tourtiere with ground pork, onions, potatoes, and seasoning.

Maybe I have been making tourtiere all this time!

This was the first recipe I didn’t look up to find specific measurements. I used:

1 1/2 lbs ground pork
a couple onions
some boiled potatoes
some poultry seasoning

I set the potatoes to boiling (I like adding onion salt as they boil). Then I chopped the onions and started browning them in a big skillet with some olive oil. After a while, I added the pork and started adding seasoning. Dan said to keep adding the seasoning until you liked the taste, so I did. I added a lot of seasoning! I also added healthy doses of onion salt and garlic powder.

Once the potatoes were tender, I drained them and added about 3 potatoes to the skillet. Dan was adamant that the potatoes not be mashed. Tender so they are falling apart, but not mashed.

I put that whole mixture in a shell of the trusty store-brand pie crust I love and baked at 400 for about 35 minutes. (I always tinfoil the edges so that the edges don’t get burned or hard. The tin foil can be taken off in the last 5-10 minutes.)

This was super easy. And it tastes great with my home brewed red ale!

This was the first pie with ground pork that I really liked. The other pies with ground pork reminded me how much I love beef. But this one stood on its own.

For seasoning, I used McCormick’s “Perfect Pinch Original Chicken Seasoning.” Had I looked in the cupboard, I would’ve seen that my wife had purchased Bell’s Seasoning. McCormick’s would probably taste great on a roast chicken, but I think Bell’s would’ve made a better pie.

I’ve got 5 more meat pies to make. Do you have any favorite meat pie recipes?

June Meat Pie: Traditional New Zealand Shepherd’s Pie

Meat pie #6: a traditional New Zealand recipe for Shepherd's Pie
This month’s meat pie was from a traditional New Zealand recipe shared with me by Rob Price. I figure NZ, being the sheep capital of the world, would know how to make a shepherd’s pie! 🙂

The recipe in the Edmonds cookbook was:

1 T oil
1 onion
1 lb ground beef
2 T flour
1 T ketchup
1 T chutney or relish
3/4 C beef stock
3 potatoes
1 T butter
1 T finely chopped onion
1/2 C grated cheese
salt & black pepper

The onion and oil are heated in a pan. Then the meat browned in it. After you pour off the excess fat, you put it back on the heat and stir in the flour, ketchup, relish, and beef stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes and set aside. I didn’t have onion, so I used generous quantities of onion salt. And I added garlic powder.

I boiled the potatoes (I used 5 or 6) in water with more onion salt. When they were tender, the recipe said to drain the water and then reheat the potatoes to get rid of even more moisture. Then you add the butter (I added a couple tablespoons), onion (for me more onion salt and some garlic powder), and the cheese. (I used 1/2 cup of cheese–twice the amount called for in the recipe.)

Then you add the meat mixture to a pie plate and top with the potato mixture. Knowing I’d used alot of salt, I didn’t put anymore in at this point.

I sprinkled it all with another 1/2 cup of cheese and baked at 375 F for 20 minutes.

I really liked this recipe. It’s VERY tasty and pretty easy. Much better than the hot lunches i remembered from school. 🙂

May Meat Pie: Easy Peasy Pie

This month’s meat pie was another of the Blokes Who Bake called Easy Peasy Pie.

And it was.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 onion
1 cup mashed potato
1 cube chicken bullion
shredded cheddar cheese
pie crust pastry

This recipe called for the bottom crust to be baked at 350 F for about 10 minutes. Then I started cooking the onions in a skillet. Then threw in both meats. Once those looked done, I added the potato and crushed bullion cube.

All that went in the crust, top of crust went on, and the pie was baked for 25 minutes. Then came the cheddar cheese. YUM. Covered the pie all over with cheese and baked for another 10 minutes.

Very nice but next time I believe I’ll use all beef, not beef and pork.

Making mashed potatoes took more time than making the pie! So I decided to make some ginger nuts too. New Zealand recipes were well represented in our house today!

Ginger Nuts: A recipe from New Zealand

The meat pie was going so easily, I decided to make some ginger nuts too. I’d had some while in New Zealand last fall. Had to sort of gnaw on them.

These were very similar! 🙂

This Blokes Who Bake recipe required a lot of conversion from the metric system, so I was grateful for The Metric Kitchen.

Here’s how the recipe came out:

1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
1 1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 T golden syrup
2 C flour (The recipe called for a bit more so I rounded the second cup)
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ginger

It was pretty easy. The butter and sugar get creamed with egg.

Not having “golden syrup,” I mix 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup and 1 teaspoon of molasses.

The rest get blended together. The dough is then rolled into balls and put on a cookie sheet.

They baked at 350F for 25 minutes.

Out of the oven they were nice and soft. And within minutes, they’d hardened to a hearty crunch. Very nice with one of my remaining Elf Warmer Christmas Ales!

April Meat Pie: Cornish Pasties

As I’ve been working on my goal of one meat pie a month, I’ve been getting to know the folks at our local butcher shop. Last month, I discovered one of them was from Great Britian. He was excited that I was making meat pies like he knew growing up. (Everyone else here thinks I’m making tourtière!)

He told me I had to make Cornish pasties!

Not only are they a comfort food for him, but they had a cool history. Apparently, miners needed a meal they could eat with their hands but were not sandwiches. And since they were so dirty and sooty, they had to be able to eat with only one hand. Thus, Cornish pasties were born. (For what it’s worth, he pronounced it “pah-stees”.)

These are exceedingly easy to make. I read as many recipes as I could from a simple Google search. (Alas, Blokes Who Bake didn’t have any recipes. Apparently Cornwall didn’t make it to the Kiwis.) But it was so simple, I created my own recipe.

1 lb ground pork
2 potatoes
1 onion

That was it.

I chopped the potatoes and onions and mixed them with the pork. My son put in some salt and pepper.

For the dough, I unrolled my trusty store bought pie crusts and cut 6 inch circles out of them. I was surprised to get 8! Spooned the filling in the circles, folded them over, sealed them, brushed with egg, cut a slit in the top, and popped them in the oven.

They baked at 425 for the first 10 minutes; then 350 for the remaining 35 minutes.

They were pretty yummy!

March Meat Pie: Steak, Guinness, & Cheese

Today I continued my meat-pie-a-month commitment with a great pre-St. Patty’s day pie: Steak, Guinness, & Cheese. (January’s was a bacon & egg pie. February was a Beef & Onion pie.)

The recipe I used was on Epicurious.com and attributed to Jamie Oliver.

Beef brisket (1 inch pieces)
Store bought puff pastry
3 onions sliced
Sprig of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 tbsp butter
2 sticks celery – finely sliced
2 carrot sticks – peeled and sliced
Field mushrooms (portabella); as many as you like; sliced
1 can Guinness
1 heaping tbsp flour
Beef stock
2 handfuls of shredded white cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten with a fork

When I went to my favorite butcher, Joseph’s Market, Danny recommended New York Sirloin rather than brisket. Apparently, they only sell brisket in 6 lb sections! (He also made me promise to try making Cornish pasties for one of my pies. He had them growing up and says they’re amazing!)

The recipe was sort of vague, so I got a couple pounds of meat. Everything was combined in a pot on the stove, one at a time. (I forgot the mushrooms, much to my family’s glee.) Oh yes, I also used Guinness Extra Stout. That’s how I roll.

Since this is a stew, I checked another cookbook and added oregano and Worcestershire Sauce. I also added garlic salt.

Then you bake the contents in the pot in an oven at 350 for a couple hours. Boy did the house smell good!

I sampled it about 90 minutes in and thought it a little bland. So I put some Lost in the Woods Hot Sauce to give it a little kick.

After the oven, you add a handful of cheese, pour the stew in a pie crust, and add another handful of cheese on top. Brush it with egg and bake it at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

It is delicious!!

February’s meat pie: Beef & Onion

After my trip to New Zealand, I decided to make a meat pie each month in 2011. Today’s meat pie was a Beef & Onion pie based in a recipe from Blokes Who Blake. And it was good.

The recipe on Blokes Who Bake is:

  • 500-650 grams Quality Mark chuck, blade or gravy beef steak
  • 1 each onion and carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 swede, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 45 gram packet beef flavoured soup mix*
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste or puree
  • 1 1/2 cups water or beef stock
  • 100 grams mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 400 gram packet frozen savoury short pastry, defrosted milk to glaze

* Any beef or tomato-flavoured soup mix can be used for this recipe to add flavour and variation.

Living in North America, I didn’t fully understand the recipe. For instance, I know many Swedes but wouldn’t put any of them in a meat pie. 🙂

So here is were my substitutions:

  • 1.5 lbs of cube steak from Joseph’s Market
  • A couple parsnips instead of swedes. (I didn’t know what Swedes were but figured they were a root. It turns out they are rutabagas.)
  • I didn’t have any soup mix, so I just sorta mixed a bunch of spices: basil, oregano, “italian spice mix,” black pepper, salt, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, and some sun-dried tomato herb oil dipping seasoning from Pampered Chef. (I might have used some other spices too…just made the mix to taste.)
  • and, in addition to the garlic powder in the seasoning mix, I doubled the minced garlic called for in the recipe

Oh, and for pie crust, I just used the pre-made stuff from the grocery store.

It took a couple hours from start to finish. Next time I will try rutabagas. And I won’t simmer the pie filling for the full 45 minutes. It got a tiny bit dry when I did that.

But there will be a next time!