Generic Meat Pie

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Generic Meat Pie

I made this last weekend and it was a huge hit. Of course I forgot to take any photos of it… Woops.

So, based on my previous work with the minced meat pie I figured out that the general concept of a meat pie in 16th Century England followed a set process, similar to how the stews did:

  • Meat (beef, pork, mutton, chicken)
  • Fat (suet, butter, egg yolk, cheese, bacon)
  • Spices (cloves, mace, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, caraway, sugar)
  • Dried Fruit (raisins, prunes, currants, berries)

With that in mind, here’s today’s meat pie, designed for ease of making and cheapness of ingredients.

Meat Pie Filling

  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1/2 cup diced suet, soft cheese, or uncooked diced bacon (feel free to add more)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts (A Boke of Gode Cookery has a pie that includes this and it adds a delicious flavour)
  • Spices (vary the quantities, I love the spiciness of pepper or mace so I add more of that)
    • 1/2 tbsp mace
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tbsp ground pepper
    • 1 tbsp ginger
    • 1/2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/2 cup prunes diced
  1. Brown ground meat, stir in spices and remove from heat
  2. Grind pine nuts into almost a paste
  3. Stir in pine nuts, cheese/suet/bacon, and fruit
  4. Allow to cool fully (I frequently make it the day before and put it in the fridge)

Pastry Crust (Based on Mistress Eulalia’s)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a heat-safe bowl, mak a well in it.
  2. Heat the water and lard together until the lard is fully melted and the water has barely begun to bubble.
  3. Pour the heated water and lard into the well in the flour and stir vigorously.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, adding more water if needed.

Meat Pies

  • Meat Pie Mixture
  • Pastry Crust
  • Egg wash (optional)
  1. Form crusts into desired shapes (hand pies may not be period, but they are super handy)
  2. Fill with pie mixture
  3. Bake!
    1. For hand pies bake for 10 minutes at 400
    2. For full pies bake at 400 until the internal temperature is at least 155F (non-optional)
  4. Egg wash (optional)
  5. Return to oven until golden brown, if the internal temperature is not 165 keep it in there (non-optional)
  6. The pies can then be cooled and should be good and food safe for a day or two as long as you keep their temperature under 20 degree C. (see Straßburg, Delbert von. “Pyes de Pares.” Cockatrice: The Lochac Arts and Sciences Magazine 21 (2006) for more)

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