How to Bake a Meat Pie

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Start to Finish: 2 hours
Servings: 6 to 8
Difficulty: Intermediate


You'll find meat pies common to cuisines across the globe, including those of Britain, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These pies feature a casserole-like filling made of ground or chopped meat along with vegetables and a savory sauce encased in a buttery crust. In this recipe, inspired by Aussie celebrity chef Curtis Stone, ground beef and vegetables mix with a creamy sauce reminiscent of a French bechamel and are encased top to bottom with pastry.

Ingredients

  • The Pastry

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 2/3 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 cup ice-cold water

    The Filling

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
    • 1 1/4 pound ground beef, 80 to 90 percent lean
    • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups beef or chicken broth

    Egg Wash

    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Make the Pastry

  • Put the flour, salt, cheese and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the food processor running on low speed, gradually pour in the cold water until it's combined with the other ingredients, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the dough onto a floured board and use your hands to form it into a ball. Divide it into two equal portions and flatten each one into a disc. Wrap the dough discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least an hour or until you're ready to roll it out.

    Alternatively, use a pastry blender, two butter knives or your fingers to blend together the flour, salt, shredded cheese and butter to create the coarse mixture. Stir in the water using a wooden spoon and continue to mix with your hands to form the rough dough.

Prepare the Filling

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and let them sweat until the onion is translucent and the celery and carrots are soft. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking the beef up with a spoon or spatula. Stir in the crumbled bacon.

    Stir in the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Pour in the dry white wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer, so that the wine can reduce by about one-half -- approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

    Meanwhile, whisk the flour, nutmeg and milk in a small bowl. Add all at once to the beef mixture and stir to incorporate it so that no lumps form. Pour in the broth and bring the entire mixture to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and reduced slightly.

Assemble the Pie

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

    Remove one section of dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a 12-inch round circle, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Gently lift the circle into a 9-inch, greased pie tin and press it into the sides of the pan. Top with the filling, allowing it to mound up slightly above the top of the pan's edge.

    Roll the second portion of dough into a 10-inch circle, also about 1/8 inch thick, and carefully lay it on top of the filling. Use your fingers to press, or crimp, the edges of the dough together around the entire perimeter of the pie. Cut a slit, or several decorative slits, in the top of the pie.

    Mix the egg and milk together and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the pie with the egg wash.

    Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown, and the juices of the meat filling are bubbling through. If the crust browns too quickly, cover the edges with aluminum foil.

    Allow to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

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References

  • Photo Credit Lesyy/iStock/Getty Images
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