Friday, December 5, 2014

Meat Pies!!

Growing up in Fiji, meat pies were a part of everyday life. It is your afternoon snack after school or your dinner at the Royal Suva Yacht Club (who served the BEST meat pies). You can find meat pies at the local bodega or the Chinese take out place. They are everywhere. So this is my ode to my childhood of meat pies, always served with ketchup. 

Meat Pie

2 packages of pie dough (there are two per package)
1 1/2-1 3/4 lbs ground beef 
1 cup carrots, small dice
1 cup celery, small dice 
1 cup onions, minced 
1 cup mushrooms, sliced or diced 
1 tsp Rosemary, minced 
1/2 tsp thyme, minced
1 tbs Italian parsley, minced
1 egg 
2 tbs heavy cream
1/2 tbs butter 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 1/2 tbs ap flour 
1 1/2 tbs Wostershire sauce 
1 1/2 tbs ketchup 
1 1/2 cups beef stock 
1 tbs tomato paste 
1/2 tsp salt plus 1/2 tsp 
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1 tbs olive oil 

I used eight 5-inch nonstick pie tins- you can use 1 large pie tray and then only use 1 package of pie dough 
Pastry brush 
Large sauté pan 
Wooden spoon 
Small bowl 
Parchment paper 
Pie weights- which I don't own so I used rocks from the driveway (hey, it works) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out your dough and line each pie tray with enough dough to cover the lip at the top. Using a fork, poke holes into the bottom. Then place parchment paper into the pie bottom and place pie weights into the dish to blind bake the crust. I could find nothing to blind bake with at work so I decided to use the tiny rocks from the driveway. They worked great! (See photo) 

Blind bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until the crust turns a very light brown. Remove from oven and remove the weights and allow to cool. 

Preheat your sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and once heated add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally, and then add your minced parsley, 1/2 tsp of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables are al dente. 

Remove vegetables from heat and place in a bowl for use later. Add 1/2 tbs of butter to the same uncleaned pan and once melted, add your ground beef. Begin to break the beef up with your wooden spoon. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Cook until meat is crumbles and browned. Remove the meat from the pan while reserving 1 tbs of drippings in the sauté pan. 

Keep the drippings over medium heat on the stove. Add the flour and cook for a good 2-3 minutes while stirring. Once flour has cooked, add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Then add the beef stock, ketchup, Wostershire sauce, and the remains herbs: rosemary and rhyme. Simmer these ingredients until the sauce thickens slightly. Then add the ground beef and vegetables back into the sauté pan. Mix everything together and then turn off heat. At this point, the filling can be refrigerated for 3 days before making pies. 

Once filling has cooled- ladle your filling into the bottom crust. The more filling the better, in my opinion. Take the egg and whisk it in a small bowl. Brush the edges of the filled pie crusts with your egg wash. Then place the top crusts onto the bottom crusts and press the seams together gently. Continue this process with all the pies. 

Add the heavy cream to the remaining egg wash and then brush all the pie crusts and edged very well. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is a beautiful golden color. 

I ate mine with a simple salad and opened the top and dumped ketchup inside- it's the Fijian (read:best) way of eating the pie! Enjoy! Xo

I totally used the driveway to blind bake the crust. 

My filling is on the drier side because I like to eat meat pies on the go, and although the filling has tons of flavor- I get none of it on my pants!! If you like more saucy pies- add more beef stock. 

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