Sunday, October 5, 2014

Traditional English Meat Pie

Not sure if this is technically regency food, and it certainly wouldn't grace the table of a nobleman, but the English have a thing for meat pies. Here's one I just did for the family (with an American twist for good reason).

The filling:
2 onions
3 carrots
2 parsnips
1/2 Swede (Rutabaga in the USA).
Saute, starting with the onions until they are at least partially done.

Mixed spice (Marjory, thyme, basil) add about 1/2-1 teaspoon to the veggies.

Cut about 1 lbs (1/2 kg) beefsteak into cubes, flour and brown. Add Bouillon and 1/2 bottle good beer. (not that watery American approximation for lager).

Mix the veggies and the browned meat in a large pyrex baking bowl (or similar). If there isn't enough liquid add some more beer.

Now here's were the UK and USA directions differ. My sister-in-law in the UK would bake the dish for about 1-2 hours in a moderate oven (150-180 C) then put a dumpling crust on it and bake at higher heat for about 15 minutes. The dumplings are suet, self-raising flour and water. About 1/4 kg suet, 1/2 kg flour rub together and add water to make a slightly sticky crust.

We can't get suet easily in the USA and vegetable suet (Crisco and that ilk) just doesn't work. So I used a biscuit mix (Southern flour, Type L) and made a crust with that.

Bake for 1-2 hours and enjoy.