Winter Meat Pies

Winter Meat Pies

My family asked me to make meat pies for Christmas dinner.  These are a bit time consuming to make but they assemble quickly and there is enough to make additional pies of any size and freeze for an easy and delicious winter weeknight meal.  These can either be made as a hand-pie, in ramekins, or in cute shorty mason jars.  They will come out of the oven piping hot so be careful.  The meatpies I made were in ramekins and I used a biscuit cutter to make them round and a baby tree cookie cutter to make them festive.  Using a heart cookie cutter would be adorable for Valentine’s day or shamrock for St. Patrick’s day…you get the picture.  There’s no end to your creativity, so go for it.  😉

First off, I enlisted the help of my beloved sister.  I love it when she comes to cook with me as you can see from my blog, we cook together a lot.  Cooking with her thrills me.  I simply can’t get enough time with her in the kitchen.

If you want to have this entree for dinner, you will need to start the night before.  If you were having a dinner party, you could actually make these ahead of time and freeze them until you were going to use them.  They look impressive and you won’t have a dirty kitchen when your guests show up!

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2 lb. chuck roast

1 white onion, sliced

4 carrots, rough chop

1 C. mushrooms, rough chop

1 C. dry red wine

2 C. beef broth

salt & pepper

Slurry: 1 t. cornstarch, 2 T. broth

1 sleeve of crushed Saltine crackers

2 T worchesterchire sauce

1 t. ground rosemary herb

1 t. ground onion

3 T. chopped fresh italian parsley

1 pkg. ready made pie crust

1 egg, whisked

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Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.  Add olive oil to a heavy pot and turn the stovetop on medium high.  When the pan is hot, sear the beef on all sides in a heavy pot.  Add the beef through salt and pepper above to a crock pot, cover and cook on low overnight.

In the morning, use a slotted spoon and remove the meat and vegetables to a bowl and set aside.  Pour the broth into a stock pot, place on the stove on medium high until it comes to a boil, turn down to low and simmer until the broth reduces to about a cup and a half.  This will take quite some time.  Later, you will add a slurry to the reduced broth (a slurry is a mixture of 1 tsp cornstarch and 2 T broth).  This will thicken your broth so it will now be a gravy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I also add a pat of butter to make the sauce a little richer but this step is optional.  Stir until thickened or until it coats the back of a spoon and then turn off the heat.

When your meat and vegetables have cooled, place them on a cutting board and chop them into small pieces.  You can even use a food processor if you are in a hurry, but be careful not to grind it into a paste which can happen quickly.  The goal is for the pieces to be bitesize, about a half inch in size.

Add the chopped meat and vegetables to a very large mixing bowl and add ingredents from Saltine crackers to parsley above.  Add the gravy you made above.  Using a large spoon, mix meat filling gently until combined.  Set aside.

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Preheat oven to 350.  Butter inside of ramekins or a casserole dish.  Using a spoon, place meat filling in dishes.  You can fill close to the top edge of the ramekins, and about 3/4 the way up if using a casserole dish.

Roll out your refridgerated, ready-made pie crust on the counter using flour so it doesn’t stick.  Roll to desired thickness and cut out circles for ramekins.  Place the circle on the ramekins to cover meat filling.  Use a festive cookie cutter as described above and gently press into the top of the pie crust.  Its up to you whether you want to remove the cut out piece or not.  I liked the look of them left in.

Assemble your eggwash mixture:  1 egg and 2 T water.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the pies with the eggwash.  Place pies on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Remember:  Freeze them (for up to two months)!  You and your sweetie or your family can have them all over again.  If you are making them for Valentine’s Day and you have extra, use shamrock cookie cutters on the rest and take them out for St. Patrick’s day!  Serve with green beer and look how amazing you are!

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