I have a new tv show addiction. The Great British Bake Off. The bakers, the treats, the aesthetics, the tears, the joy, the trials, the triumphs–I just eat it all up. A couple of weeks ago, I was indulging myself in back-to-back episodes of the Bake Off when Omar came in to watch an episode with me. He just happened to sit in on an episode featuring pies.
Savory pie persuasion
Pies always meant dessert in my mind, but this episode of the Bake Off featured a range of savory pies. As we watched, my dear husbandy began his not-so-subtle encouragement:
- “Wow, that looks awesome.”
- “You could totally make that, can’t you?”
- “I bet you could make that, it looks great!”
Aaaand, finally, the request:
- Why don’t you make that?”
The savory pies were pretty mouth-watering and compared to some of the other complicated recipes they bake up on the show, the savory pie looked doable. So, with the self-interested encouragement of my husband, I set off to make my first savory pie.
Grocery shopping challenges – Blé.Blé.Blé.
The first and most difficult step was actually getting the ingredients for the pie. It’s not so much that the pie itself requires ingredients that are scarce, but more that shopping for certain ingredients requires basic literacy–something I lack in Tunis. There is the challenge of buying the right flour, and while I do have a go-to flour, I can never resist the temptation of trying new ingredients. For example, I know “farine” is flour in French, but “blé?” What is that?
You might be thinking that I should just use a translation app. Yeah, I did. Type in “blé” into Google translate and it says “corn.” But type in “Farine du blé” and it tells you it’s wheat flour. The one I bought is “farine au blé…”
Then there is the matter of the meat. Translate “viande” and you get “meat.” But what kind of meat? And what cut? It is hard enough to keep track of the terms for cuts of meat in English! Beef shoulder, lamb chop, chicken thighs. This requires vocabulary in body parts and in the animal kingdom.
Plus, if I want to have the lamb chops “Frenched” do I need to ask for that…if we are already speaking…French? Google tells me that “Frenched” is “dénudé” in French. I can’t be sure you are right Google. The similarity to “nude” is just too close comfort. And I don’t have the confidence to ask for “rump” in French. No. I can’t. Not yet. I’m not ready for that.
Typically, viande in Tunis means beef. Or at least that’s what I am told. How do you know it’s not ground lamb, or some other meat? Pure faith. Blind faith, really. The main comfort is that pointing to a cut of meat in the glass case transcends the spoken word, and I know how to point and say “un kilo viande hache, si’l vous plaît” (translation: one kilogram of ground meat please). Then, I watch the butcher take the meat I pointed to and put it into the grinder. So, I have myself to blame if I point to something other than beef when I ask for ground meat.
The result – Savory and Spicy Mincemeat Pie
Shopping adventures aside, once I had the my ingredients for my savory pie, I set off to put it together. I made a savory pie crust and used a mix of spices for my mince meat filling. See the little speckles in my pie crust? That’s the hint of rosemary I added to the crust to highlight the savory warmth of the pie.
I think the pie would be superb with ground lamb and I plan to try a lamb version just as soon as can muster the confidence to have that conversation with the butcher. Either way, the fresh ginger does a nice job of brightening up the flavors of the filling to balance the buttery pie crust.
And yes, that’s an ALL butter pie crust. And yes, I had seconds. It’s a hearty pie.
- For the crust
- 2½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) dried rosemary
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup (120 ml) ice water
- 1 egg
- For the filling
- 1 pound (1/2 kg) ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 3 large button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) fresh, finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) tomato paste
- 1 15 oz (400 g) canned crushed tomatoes, drained
- ⅓ (80g) cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the Crust.
- Pulse flour, salt, and rosemary in a food processor to combine.
- Pulse in butter until it looks coarse, with pieces of butter still visible, about 18-20 pulses.
- Stir vinegar and ice water in a small cup.
- While pulsing the flour mixture, drizzle in the vinegar mixture and pulse until dough just holds together. The dough will still be a little crumbly, but will hold together when squeezed, about 8-10 pulses.
- Turn out dough and divide in half.
- Shape the dough into a small disk, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge until firm.
- While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
- In a large skillet over medium-high, cook the onions and beef, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the beef is browned.
- Add the garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and ginger and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
- Drain the excess fat from the pain, then return to heat.
- Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Cook and stir in the spices.
- Make a small space in the pan and add the tomato paste, then stir to combine.
- Add the the crushed tomatoes and frozen peas, stir and turn down to medium-low.
- Cook until the peas are bright green, about 4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the fresh parsley.
- Drain any excess liquid and salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside to let cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 375F/190C.
- Roll out the pie crust.
- On a lightly floured surface (I like using a pastry cloth), roll out 1 disk of dough to about 13 inches for a 8 or 9 inch pie pan.
- Lay the dough into the pan, pressing lightly up the edges and leaving a slight overhang around the edges.
- Lightly prick the dough in the pan with a fork.
- Roll out the second disk of dough to assign slightly smaller than the first.
- Fill the pie with the meat filling, then drape the second disk over the filling to cover.
- Fold and crump the edges of the pie, cutting off any excess dough at the edges.
- Beat one egg in a small bowl and brush the top of the pie lightly with the egg.
- Bake until crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Let pie cool slightly and enjoy!
What is your favorite savory pie filling?
Try one of these beauties from this week’s collection of pies from the Sunday Supper family! Thanks to Erica from The Crumby Cupcake for hosting all of these delicious pies.
#SundaySupper Pies: Sweet & Savory
Sweet As Pie
- Apple Browned Butter Tart by The Chef Next Door
- Banana Cream Pie from Recipes Food and Cooking
- Blood Orange Pie from The TipToe Fairy
- Brown Sugar Pie from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cherry Chocolate Brownie Pie from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Chocolate Macadamia Nut Tart from Desserts Required
- Chocolate Pudding Pie from The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Coconut Cream Pie from Family Foodie
- Easy Lemon Pie from Basic N Delicious
- Fresh Lemon Hand Pies from From Gate to Plate
- German Sweet Chocolate Cream Pie from Meal Planning Magic
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Pie from NinjaBaker
- Gluten Free Mini Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse Pies from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grapefruit Pie from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies from Pies and Plots
- Irish Cream Coffee Mud Pie from The Crumby Cupcake
- Leaf Topped Apple Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Magic Cookie Bar Pie from Moore or Less Cooking
- Mixed Berry Hand Pies from My Imperfect Kitchen
- No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Pie from Feeding Big and More
- No Bake Blueberry Mini Filo-Pies from Hardly A Goddess
- No-Bake Mixed Berry Cream Cheese Tart from Magnolia Days
- Orange Meringue Pie from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Paifala (Samoan Pineapple Half Moon Pies) from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie from Sweet Mornings
- Perfect Manhattan Pie from The Texan New Yorker
- Pineapple Meringue Pie from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Quick Swiss Apple Pie from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Raspberry Cheesecake Pudding Pie from Flour On My Face
- Strawberry Mascarpone Tart from Taste And See
- Beef & Red Wine Pie from Wholistic Woman
- Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Grated Potato Crust from Food Lust People Love
- Chard and Parsnip Galette from Caroline’s Cooking
- Chicken Tamale Pie from Rants from my Crazy Kitchen
- Cornish Pasties from Palatable Pastime
- Homity Pie (British Potato Leek Pie) from Curious Cuisiniere
- Italian Cheesy Artichoke and Asparagus Phyllo Pie from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Italian Hand Pies from Brunch-n-Bites
- Irish Shepherd’s Pie from The Freshman Cook
- Jamaican “No-Beef” Patties from What Smells So Good?
- Mini Swiss Quiches from Family Around The Table
- Mushroom Swiss Quiche from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Pizza Rustica from Monica’s Table
- Salmon Pot Pie from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Savory and Spicy Mincemeat Pie from eating in instead
- Shepherd’s Pie Hand Pies from Our Good Life
- Skillet Shepherd’s Pie from Life Tastes Good
- Spaghetti Pie from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Spicy Korean Cottage Pie from kimchi MOM
- Taco Hand Pies from Kitchen Gidget
- Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie from Books n’ Cooks
- Plus: Baked Puerto Rican Meat Pies and More Pie Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
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