Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Best Meat Pie Ever

The stickers are the best part of this letter. 
There are several versions of meat pie out in the world. If you google meat pie, invariably a French or British, and Australian  recipe will come up. Invariably is a great word.

You'll find   Almost every country has its own version, including Italy, and though my mother isn't Italian, this became her thing to make. When we were little, meat pie was an Event. We had it frequently enough that I remember it being made in the kitchen. We would hover by my mother because meat pie meant canned black olives, and nothing is better than black olives straight out of the can. She'd open the can, reach for something, and there we were, pinching as many as we could.  I remember one day my mother putting out the two loaves of dough to rise, and then coming home to find our dog, Jessie, lethargic, not moving, and with a much expanded belly, and only one loaf of bread remaining on the counter. It's a family memory we all share. Another time, my father was at the stove, bossing about something. Usually, we were hovering, sneaking black olives.

"Don't eat the black olives!"
"We won't!"

A long time ago, when I was young and newly married and thought my mother would be around forever, I asked her to send me the recipe. Now, you can find every recipe online, but back then, mailing them was still a thing. So she mailed the recipe to me, and I cherished it. I still have it, complete with the stickers, the misspellings, and the funny note about keeping it up high enough so the dog can't get it. She spelled dough like doe and wasn't quite sure why you poked holes in it, but suggested not doing so might make the meat pie blow up.

It's titled Italian American Meatpie. You can find many variations on this, but this is ours. You can also find French-Canadian variations, but they include a potato and don't include mozzarella cheese, so really, what's the point?

I haven't seen this particular recipe online anywhere, which is a crime against all lovers of meat pie, so here it is.

Two loaves of bread dough (just get the frozen kind and thaw and let rise - roll out on floured countertops)
Olive Oil
Basil, Oregano (basically, Italian seasoning)
Big can of sliced black olives
Mushrooms (I skipped this)
 1 lb Ground beef
 1 lb ground pork,
1 25 (26?) oz can of crushed tomatoes
Big bag of Mozzarella cheese

Saute the onions and garlic until onions are soft. Add in, and cook, the ground beef and ground pork. 

Pan of onions, garlic, pork and beef.

 Add olives, crushed tomatoes and spices, and stir it up.
Also, pick out  an olive, eat it, and stir some more.

The 'meat' in meat pie. Toss it in a pan lined with one of the rolled out loves of dough. 
I didn't mention that earlier. Roll out the dough on a floured counter when it's risen.
 Add the layers of mozzarella yumminess.
Cheese. Because dairy is just as important as meat.
Cover with bread dough, top with olive oil, poke holes, so it won't explode, and bake in 350 oven until bread is done.  One day, I'll come back and replace this image with a proper bread topping image.
See this? This is cheating. This is a pie crust topping. Use bread dough. 
It tastes that much better, it's just tonight is a weeknight...
 This is the end result. If you aren't a hacker/slacker, than you will have used the bread dough, and the result would be a thicker top crust and a much heartier pie. Either way, it tastes amazing, because how can meat and cheese not?

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