Tag Archives: Pie

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

The other night we were trying to figure out what to have for dinner.  We had some ground beef, a few vegetables from our last CSA delivery, and the desire to do something a little different.  It was a cold and rainy day so both of us were in the mood for something warm and homey. 

Veggies sauteing

Marc suggested Shepard’s Pie but I generally find it to be pretty bland and uninteresting.  I thought about making a version of pot pie using a piece of puff pastry as the top crust but  Marc wanted a bottom crust too.  We finally struck an interesting compromise… use shredded potato cooked until crispy as the bottom crust, a savory meat filling in the middle, and a piece of puff pastry as a top crust.  Bake the whole thing in a cast iron skillet so there isn’t a lot of clean up and you have yourself an easy weeknight meal.

Meat filling

Ready for the oven






The meat is mixed with Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and fresh dill and parsley.  Chopped carrots, onions, and garlic add additional flavor and vegetable goodness.  Dried mushrooms add depth and savory flavor.  Puff pastry tops the whole thing with a light and flaky crust.   Feel free to spice up the meat with other herbs, spices, or hot sauce if you want.

Ready for dinner

Meat Pie


2 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 lb ground beef

1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms

8 oz beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh dill

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy fillet finely minced)

1 tbls Worcestershire Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1 sheet puff pastry, remove from the freezer at least 30 minutes before you are ready to use

To Make:

Bring the beef stock to a boil and add in the dried mushrooms.  Remove from the heat and set aside while the mushrooms rehydrate, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the garlic, onion and carrot.  Cook until starting to soften and brown, about 10 minutes.  Add in the ground beef, cook until no longer pink.  Add in the beef stock along with the mushrooms, Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, and anchovy paste.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the dill, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Meanwhile, working on a lightly floured board, roll out the puff pastry sheet to cover the pan by 2 inches around.  Trim the puff pastry into a circle (leaving that 2 inch overhang).

Grate the potatoes with the coarse side of a box grater.  Using cheese cloth or a clean kitchen towel, squeeze the water out of the grated potatoes.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in an oven safe pan (we like cast iron) over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the potatoes and use a spatula to press the them into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.  Cook 7 minutes.  Flip the potato over to the second side and turn off the heat. 

Spread the meat mixture on the potatoes.  Place the puff pastry over the meat and tuck the edges in.  Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is hot.

To Serve:

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Dinner, Meat, Recipes, Vegetables

Classic Apple Pie

All-American Apple Pie

All-American Apple Pie

Alex, I’ll take “Apples for $400.

A:  It’s as all-America as.

Q:  What is apple pie?

Apple pie is wonderful and this has a great, simple twist.  Let’s start with what you need.

Classic Apple Pie

The Crust


1/2 cup lard (yes, you can find it in the supermarkets these days)

3 tbls cold butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbls sugar

5-7 tbls ice cold water

To Make:

Measure out 5 tbls of water in a cup and drop an ice cube it.  In a bowl, bring your wicked (awesome) whisk to the flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside. 

Cut the cold butter into a dozen or so small pieces.  Add the cut butter and the lard to the flour mixture.  Combine using a pastry plenty blender until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Add the water a few drops at the time until the mixture just holds together.  Once you have a great big ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and toss in the fridge.  It should remain there for at least one hour. 

The Apple Filling

The base of this comes from the Joy of Cooking, Apple Pie II.  What makes this recipe so appealing to me is that the apples are cooked down before being put in the pie.  This prevents cooked apple shrinkage, thus preventing the ugly gap between the fruit filling and the top layer of the crust in the finished pie.


11 small to medium apples (about 3 lbs 4 oz) cored, peeled and cut.  I’m not sure what type of apples they were because we got them in from our CSA.

3 tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

1 vanilla bean – fresh or previously used (more on this later)

To Make:

Core, peel and cut the apples.  I used a mandolin to cut the apples to 5/16” thick slices.

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add the 3 tbls of butter.  Wait for that butter to start to brown and become fragrant, and toss in one previously used vanilla bean.  Our vanilla bean was initially used to make vanilla ice cream so the seeds had been scraped and used already (that’s a different post).  Apparently one bath in the heavy cream didn’t take the vanilla bean’s entire flavor life.  Toss the bean to coat with the butter and then dump in the apples.  Again, toss to coat, put on the lid, and drop the heat to medium-low.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes, the apples should be soft on the outside but still have some bite in the middle.  Remove the lid, add in the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and turn up the heat.  Reduce the juices to the consistency of a thick syrup, about another 3 minutes.  Transfer the apples to a cookie sheet, spread out in one layer, and allow to cool to room temperature. 

To Put it all Together:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut it in half.  On a well floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick and place it in your favorite pie plate.  Add the room temperature apple filling to the pie plate.  Roll out the other half of the dough and top your pie.  Cut a few vent slits in the top.  Bake the pie for about 40-50 minutes.  After about 25 minutes, take it out and cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning.  The pie is done when the crust is a nice golden color and the filling begins to bubble.

 To Serve:

The pie should cool on a rack for 3-4 hours to allow the filling to set.  This is best enjoyed with some equally awesome homemade vanilla ice cream.

By the way, this pie is excellent for breakfast.  No?  Okay, I’ll wrap the apple filling some squares of pastry, fold it into a triangle and call it an apple turnover.  Good enough for you now?


Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Fruit, Recipes