Monday, September 5, 2011

Grandma's New Look Meat Pie

 My grandma was a wonderful cook.  She not only cooked delicious meals for her family, she was a caterer as well.  One of her "signature" items was her meat pie.  I was mentioning meat pie to my friend the other day and she asked, "What's that?"  I was surprised.  I thought everyone knew what meat pie was.  Usually what you may think of are the frozen chicken pot pies in your grocer's freezer.  Some are good, and many are not so good. 
Grandma's was good.  She called it "New Look Meat Pie" because instead of having a top and bottom crust, she replaced the bottom crust with potatoes.  She would take boiled potatoes, sliced like fries, and put them in the bottom of a baking dish (like a 9x13 or 11x15)--forming the bottom crust of the pie.  Then she would add browned ground beef with onion and mixed veggies, poured on some beef gravy and topped it with her pie dough, rolled thin.  Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk, poke some vent holes and bake at 375 until the top is golden brown and the gravy is bubbly.  Serve with additional gravy. 

You can change the meat to whatever you have on hand or whatever you prefer.  I usually make it with chicken.  My mom's variation of the recipe uses shoestring french fries (gotta' love the price!) for the potatoes, frozen mixed veggies, browned ground beef w/onion and cream of mushroom soup for the gravy.  Instead of additional gravy on the side, my mom would have ketchup available for those who wanted it.  Most of us kids liked that.

Lately, when I've made meat pie, I've made my own gravy by adding 1/4 cup flour to about 1/2-1 lb. meat, salt & pepper to taste and then I add 2 cups of liquid (milk or water is fine). 
 The pie dough recipe I like can be found here:
 Grandma's Pie Dough

On a day when I had a little more time, I doubled the pie dough recipe.  I decided on four recipes to make with my double batch of dough.  When it was time to roll the dough my helpers showed up.

 Helper A

 Helper B

 First I rolled out a couple crusts for quiche that I made for dinner that day.
 Helper A is showing a bit of the dough that she shaped.

 Then I mixed my meat with a package of frozen veggies, added the 1/4 cup flour, stirred the mixture, added the 2 cups milk, seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  I spread the fries on the bottom of the pan (I think this time around I used potatoes leftover from baked potatoes we had on Sunday--I just sliced them like fries), then I spread the meat and veggies on top.  I then rolled more dough into a rectangle and placed it on top of the pie.  I covered the pie with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for two days (the meat pie can also be frozen at this point, just pull it out of the freezer the night before you want to bake it, or allow extra time to bake if you stick it in the oven frozen).

Then I pulled it out and brushed the top with milk, poked some vent holes so steam could escape and baked it until it was golden brown.  Sorry if I'm sounding redundant here. 
I then had a nice main dish to feed to the missionaries who came over for dinner that day.

I added a salad and some yummy bread to the table (with butter and jam available) and we had a nice meal.

I had some leftover pie dough.  I used the rest to make empanadas and mini jam tarts (balls of pie dough pressed into mini muffin pans and a spoonful of jam for a filling, then baked until the dough is done). For the empanadas I had a taco filling of meat and beans with salsa and cheese.  I cut out pie dough circles that I filled with 1-2 tablespoons of filling, folded them over in half and crimped the edges with a fork.  I placed them on a baking sheet and then froze them for a day when I didn't want to make dinner.  I just pulled them out and baked them at 400 degrees until the edges were starting to turn brown.  Serve with salsa and sour cream or ranch dressing, add a couple sides (Spanish rice, corn, or refried beans are nice) and you're done.  There's a lot you can do with a bit (or in this case a double batch) of pie dough.


1 comment:

Lee-Ruth-Clark-Cal-Shanna-Haley-Elden said...

I LOVE the empanada idea! I think my kids would really like that. I'll have to make extra dough next time I make meat pie!