How To Make Meat Pie or English Pasties
Meat Pies, English Pasties, Beef Patties. Loved The World Over!
Meat Pies (a.k.a. English Pasties, Beef Patties or just Pasties), are meat-filled turnovers. This tasty treat is said to originate from Cornwall, England. Here in the US, Pasties are a type of pastry/meal that is very popular in the State of Michigan, right there in the Upper Peninsula. It was introduced years ago by the Cornish who settled in America, and was a favorite lunch box companions for those who work away from home.
In Nigeria, and among Nigerians in diaspora, Meat Pies (Pasties) are a favorite at parties, and always the party take-away (take-out) meal of choice. Meat Pie is also a popular treat with Jamaicans, among whom the name Beef Pattie has been coined for the tasty pastry. But beware, in this part of the world, every bite if this wholesome snack/meal tends to bite back as the Jamaican beef patties filling mix usually include hot Jamaican peppers.
Though this popular and tasty pastry may have a different name from one culture to another, there are some things they all have in common, and that is, lots of wholesome veggies and meats on the inside, and the flaky pastry crust on the outside.
Meat Pie Crust & Filling
The making of Meat Pie is done in two stages. You prepare the pie crust, and then the meat filling. But, not necessarily in that exact order as the meat filling can be done first before the crust. Once the crust and the meat fillings are ready, you start filling, sealing, and glazing the pie crust before placing it in the oven to bake.
Though the preparation time is a little lengthy, having the finished whole meal of veggies and meat rolled up in pastry makes it all worth it. Plus, it's a very tasty and enjoyable meal. Let's go ahead and start this very tasty treat.
The History of Pies.
- Pies, History of Pies, Pie History, History of American Pies
Pies, Learn all about the history of pies. The delights of the pie spread throughout Europe, via the Roman roads, where every country adapted the recipes to their customs and foods.
Ingredients For Meat Pie's Filling
- 1¼ cups peeled potatoes, diced
- 1¼ cup carrots, diced
- ½ medium onions
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper or one finely chopped fresh hot Jamaican pepper (optional)
- 1½ pound ground beef, turkey, or chicken
- ½ teaspoon Curry, (powder or flakes) optional
- ½ teaspoon Thyme, (powder or Flakes) optional
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Directions For Making Meat Pie's Fillings
- In a large wok, combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, salt and pepper. Set on stove at medium heat.
- Stir in beef, and butter (If using the Curry and Thyme, and other seasonings, you can stir in with the meats).
- Sauté veggies and meat mixture briefly on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. This brief cooking is done to ensure that meats are cooked properly through the duration of baking the pastry.
- Set meat and veggie mixture aside to cool.
- Now let's get the pie crust ready.
Pastry Ingredients & Preparation
- 4 cups all-purpose flour ( you can also use self-rising flour. In which case you will omit the salt and baking powder in this ingredient list)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cup shortening, or 1½ to 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup warm water or milk
- 1 tablespoon milk, (optional, for glazing)
- 1 small egg. Egg white will be used for glazing pie crust.
Low Sodium Pastry Mix
I sometimes use a combination of both all-purpose flour and self-rising flour for a low sodium recipe. That's 2 cups of each. The unsalted butter option also helps.
Directions For Making Meat Pie Pastry
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening/butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gradually add water/milk, tossing with a fork, or working it with your fingers until it forms a ball when molded between the palm.
- Divide dough into twelve portions; roll each into about 5 in. circle (around).
- For each dough circle, place as much of the filling as you can fit into the center of each circle.
- Fold pastry over filling and seal edges tightly with a fork (you may need to dust fork with some flour, or dip each time in some water to prevent it from sticking).
- Poke the top of each filled and sealed pie with the fork to make some holes. For a glazed effect, brush top of each sealed pie with some egg and milk mixture.
- Lay pies out on a greased and floured baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 -35 minutes or until golden brown.
You should be able to get about a dozen or more of these tasty goodness.
How Would You Rate This Pie?
Substituting The Beef In Meat Pie for A Healthier Option
The good thing about this recipe is that you can use any combination of meat or veggie filling of your choice. You can substitute turkey or chicken breast, salmon fish (fillets), and/or shrimp for the red meats. Below, I have provided a table of possible beef/pork substitute, amount and how to cook it before using it as filling.
Some people do not like to cook or sauté meat and veggies before filling the pastry. That's okay. Just make sure you add extra time to the overall baking duration. For raw meat filling, use oven setting of about 375 degrees F and let it bake for about 45 - 55 minutes, or until pie is golden brown. You can always alter a few things here and there.
Veggie Pie? Why Not!
If you are a Vegan, don't be intimidated by these meat suggestions. You can choose to have your pie with an all vegetable and carbohydrate filling.
Yes You Can! These are a few veggies and carbohydrate filling mix to consider:
- A mix of shredded carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and onions.
- A mix of brown rice, beans, carrots, onions, and nuts
- A mix of tofu, carrots, etc.
Pie Filling - Beef/Pork Substitute for Vegetarians and Dieters
Method of Cooking
Fish - Your choice of salmon, whitting, or tilapia fillets. These generates less fish fat/oil during baking and therefore won't break out of crust.
About 1 to 1½ pounds of
Sauté briefly with garlic, salt, onion, carrots, and potatoes . Let cool before filling in pastry
Veggies - Mix of potatoes, carrots, onions, red and green peppers, collard greens. *Avoid vegetable that gives out a lot of water as they would ruin pie crust. Drain cooked veggies before filling pie.
About 1 pound
Sauté briefly with garlic, salt, and other seasoning of your choice. Do not over-cook. *Drain veggies or thicken veggie juice with flour
Storing or Re-Using Your Left-Over Pie Filling
Freezing Pie for Future Baking - After the pie has been prepared with fillings and glazed with eggs, it is okay to store them in the freezer to be baked for later. Pies should be stored in an air-tight plastic container layered, with parchment paper under every layer. This can be stored for up to a month until you're ready to bake it.
Storing Left-Over Filling - Any leftover filling should be stored in the freezer using freezer bags or plastic containers/wraps. Use fillings within a week of storage. You can use them in any casserole or soup mix.
Re-Using Left-Over Filling
A great way to reuse it as a breakfast burrito's filling. Here's what to do:
- Scramble some eggs.
- Mix in the leftover filling. Stir together in pan.
- Heat up a/some floor tortillas wrap.
- Spread the inside of the heated tortillas with cream cheese. You can even spice it up with a layer of mild or hot salsa.
- Top with the eggs and left-over fillings.
- Wrap and enjoy a hearty breakfast of eggs, meat, and veggies.
Hmm, hmm. So Good! Mouth Watering Recipe.
Your Signature Meat Pie - Make It Your Way!
When it comes to making these pies, feel free to experiment! I often add a teaspoon of curry powder, and half a teaspoon of thyme to give it that taste of Africa. Meat Pies can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Just re-warm in a toaster or regular oven when ready to eat. You can also use a microwave to warm, though it may alter the texture of the pastry.
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Author: Comfort Babatola - © 2013
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