Meat Pies

I have a thing for meat in pastry. Empanadas, Jamaican beef patties, beef Wellington… I just love them all. So I’ve been wanting to make meat pies for some time now, but I’ve been daunted by how many ingredients most recipes seem to involve. I may have a thing for meat in pastry, but I also have a thing for easy recipes with few ingredients. So, I decided to wing it.

I chopped up two onions and sweated them in a bit of olive oil. To that, I added a pound of ground chicken breast and a pound of sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed. Salt, pepper, a bit of oregano. I cooked that until the meat was nicely browned, then dumped it all into a large bowl and added a cup of grated parmesan and a cup of Italian breadcrumbs. It seemed like the mixture might be too dry, so I added two beaten eggs. That could have been ugly, adding raw eggs to a hot mixture, but the eggs didn’t cook so it worked out.

The whole lot got divided between two pie shells and topped with a top crust. It baked at 350 for about 40 minutes.

The result? It’s delicious. The first night, we had it warm just with sliced apples. The crunchy sweetness of the apples is a perfect foil. Last night, I made a salad with baby greens, walnuts, dried cherries, and dried cranberries, and dressed it with a red wine vinaigrette. We had the meat pie cold with the salad on the side. It was fantastic. Tomorrow, I’ll serve it cold again with a Waldorf salad.

Next time I make this, I think I’ll add some apple cider instead of eggs. Hopefully that will help make the filling a bit more juicy, though I must say I’m really happy with how tightly packed the filling is. It makes it really easy to cut a slice and eat it cold with your hands. I think I’ll also bake it at a higher temperature, maybe 450, for less time.

I plan to vary the fillings from time to time. For Christmas, for instance, I’ll use ground beef and pork sausage.

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