Thursday, January 02, 2014

Meat Pies 2014

French Meat Pie
by Sister M. Concepta Mermis

31/2 lb. pork
1 lb. beef
1 onion
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. loves
1 tsp. celery salt
1 c. dry bread crumbs (or more)
Cook meat and 1 onion in water to cover meat, simmer about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Remove onion and discard. Set aside to cool overnight to allow fat to congeal on top. 
Skim off grease (use to make pastry). Add bread crumbs and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Put meat mixture into pastry shell, top with crust. Slit the top of the crust to allow steam to escape. Bake on cookie sheet or foil in case the pie bubbles over. Bake about 35 minutes or until brown in 400 degree oven. Let stand thirty minutes before serving.

This year I used half a kilo of ground beef and half a kilo of ground pork.  (One kilo meat yielded about 5 cups of filling, enough for one 11-inch pan.)  I really think it should be mostly pork, however.  I think the beef overwhelms the spices.  I also halved the original spice amounts, but then added back the entire amounts and still felt that the spices were not strong enough.

Next year, more pork.  I'll aim for for 3/4 kilo pork, 1/4 kilo beef.  

I made my first pie crust from scratch this year.  I did not use the fat from the meat.  Instead I used only butter.  While the audience was delighted, I was not.  The crust was very crispy and had a heavy butter taste.  It was tasty, but it was not a pie crust.  I didn't have a pastry cutter.  So I froze the butter and used a vegetable grater instead.  Hopefully by next year the crust will have been conquered.  

Served with mashed potatoes and creamed peas (otherwise know as borsofozelek).  For dessert, homemade chocolate salami.  Recipe to follow.  

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