Meat Pie

Meat Pie

It’s been a while.  I know this.  I have no apology.  But what I do have is this incredible and easy Meat Pie recipe.  Trust me, you’ll accidentally eat every single one the second they cool down enough to shove into your mouth.  And you won’t even feel bad about it.  So in honor of that feeling, let’s get rid of all guilt associated with not posting for a while and just get on with the show!

OH! And as a side note, I finished exploring every. little. section and area of BotW except the final castle.  It’s done!  And tonight I’m totally finishing the castle.  Here’s hoping I find the last few things I’m missing there…

And without further waiting on your end:

Meat Piedifficulty and time

Start by making the pastry dough.  This has to chill for at least an hour so it should always be your first step.  If you want to make the dough far ahead it can be chilled up to overnight in the fridge before use.  So make life, and dinner, a little easier on yourself and make it when you have a spare 10 minutes.

Put some water into a cup and add a cube or two of ice.  The colder the water, the better the pastry will turn out.  Add the flour to a bowl and cut up the cold (it must be cold, just like the pie crust recipe in Apple Pie) butter into 1-2 tablespoon chunks.

Now let’s rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs with some pea-sized chunks of butter left.  You don’t want it too fine or you won’t get a nice flaky crust!  … maybe next time I’ll make a gif of how to do this.  I’m just now realizing that would probably be nice…

Now add 2/3 cup water to the dough and mix until it completely comes together and forms a ball.  This is a far more forgiving recipe than my pie crust (even though the method is the same) so a little extra handling won’t necessarily hurt it… but I wouldn’t work it too much.  You should still see large chunks of butter in your dough.

Split it in half and press into a square shape about an inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready for it.

Now, the key to the filling on this meat pie is dicing everything up really small.  Like, say, 1/4 inch cubes.  This goes for the carrots, the onion, and the roast.  Normally with my recipes size doesn’t really matter.  But in this case we want everything to cook properly and be able to squish as much as possible in the little pastry cases, so size becomes very important.

add the bowl

Once they’re all cut up put them together in a bowl and mix with a spoon to combine.  Add all the spices and stir until the spices coat everything.  I’d start with the smallest amount of spices and then, based on look and smell (please don’t taste it!  There’s raw meat in there…) add the rest if you feel like it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices.  I like my food to have some flavor!  Also – yeah, yeah, I know that meat pie doesn’t traditionally have random vegetables thrown in.  But I can’t really make something like this, which feels like a full meal, without adding at least one vegetable to it.  So it’ll be fine.

mix it up

Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.

roll it out

Start by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.  Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.

Take the largest round cutter you have (mine happened to be 3.5 inches long) and cut circles into your pastry.  Cut the same amount of circles into each pastry rectangle – these will serve as your bottom and your top.  If you’re really feeling ambitious you can gather the scraps and roll them out once more for even more pies.  I didn’t really feel like doing that so I simply threw the scraps away.  If you’re feeling lazy and the idea of wasted scraps horrifies you, simply cut the pastry into an equal amount (and equal sizes) of squares on both pastries and call it good.  It’s all about presentation and how much you’re willing to give to it.

rounds of pastry

Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling.  Now, we want to fill to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and we want it to be no more than stacked double in the center.  That’s very specific, I know, but if you fill it too much the case will either split mid-bake or you’ll be unable to get the top on in the first place!

add the filling

Next, dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.  Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  This will crimp the pastries together and (fingers crossed) hopefully prevent them from leaking.  After your pastries are crimped poke 3-4 holes in the top.  It helps release the steam to prevent mini explosions in your oven

Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg.  This will give you a nice, beautiful, crispy, shiny crust!  The best kind, in my opinion!  Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish.  We can be less specific because we’re using roast and beef instead of poultry.

Remove from the oven and serve warm!

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Link’s Meat Pie recipe:

      • Any Meat
      • Goat Butter
      • Rock Salt
      • Tabantha Wheat

Meat Pie

  • Servings: 13 3 inch pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Meat pies with carrots and onion

Pastry

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (455g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (300g) cold butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound beef roast
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and add some ice to a small cup of water.
  2. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. Add the butter to the flour and begin rubbing it between your fingers while adding flour. This will create a breadcrumb-like texture. Make sure you leave some butter pieces as large as peas.
  3. Add 2/3 cup of your ice water and mix until combined. There should still be chunks of butter visible in the dough.
  4. Split the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour but up to overnight.
  5. Dice the roast, carrots, and onion into small 1/4 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
  6. Add the smaller amount of spices and then, based on look and smell add the rest if you feel it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Roll the dough by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.
  9. Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.
  10. Using a large round cutter cut circles into your pastry. Repeat on the other half of the pastry dough, ensuring you have the same amount of circles on each side. You may gather the scraps and re-roll the dough to cut more circles if you wish, but only re-roll once to prevent a tough pastry. Or, alternatively, cut your pastry into even squares, ensuring there’s an even number on each half.
  11. Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and no more than stacked double in the center.
  12. Dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.
  13. Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  Poke 3-4 holes in the top.
  14. Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish. Serve warm.

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

Thank you all for you patience as I sort through the latest episode of “Extreme Home-Ownership”.  This last one, if you missed my live-tweet recipe extravaganza, involved a fried motherboard on our brand new range the first time we used the oven.  Apparently it’s an incredibly busy week in the appliance warranty repair business this week because the earliest they can come fix it is Friday.  Which is the worst for a cook/baker like myself.  I’ve definitely learned all the weird work-arounds like cooking pasta in a rice cooker (it turns out mushy… I don’t recommend it) and the benefits of an electric fry pan (thank you parents for that one).  But come Friday we should be back in business!

In the meantime I tried a new thing!  I did a live-tweet of this Salt Grilled Prime Meat recipe.  And yes, I know on twitter I called it a live-twitter.  I’m still new to the social media game – an embarrassing thing to admit for a 20-something like myself.  There were a few people who stuck around and checked it out.  Did any of you blog followers think this was cool?  Is it something you’d be interested in seeing again?  Or, instead of live-tweets, would you rather see a twitch stream showing the entire process start to finish?  I’ve been thinking about starting one and maybe the comments on this post will help me finally make up my mind on the matter!  But now, without further delay, here’s the reason you came to my blog today:

Salt Grilled Prime MeatSalt Grilled Prime Meat Difficulty and Time

We start with purchasing the meat.  After a lengthy discussion with the butcher yesterday I finally learned that prime meat is, indeed, a thing.  Apparently there are 4 major types of meat – Select, Choice, Prime, and Prime Aged (least to best from left to right).  As you would expect the higher the quality the higher the price, with this particular butcher charging about $20.00 a pound for prime New York strip steak.  I had him cut 1 inch thick steaks for me and 4 cost about $40.00 total – a very pricy sum for a single part of a single meal.  It’s definitely something to save for special occasions!

Salt Grilled Prime Meat Ingredients

We start by taking the meat out to warm to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.  As I mentioned in my Meat and Rice Bowl recipe it makes a huge difference in the evenness and the time it takes to cook if you do this!  Make sure you keep it covered – as a microbiologist I promise you don’t want flies on your food!

With about 10 minutes until grill time heat your grill. I have a charcoal grill so this recipe is how to work with charcoal.  If you have a gas grill I think you’d want the setting at about medium-high.  You’ll have to play with it a bit to be sure…  If you are lucky enough to have a charcoal grill, like I do, start your briquettes.  I use Kingsford Match Light.  I have found they are the easiest and best quality – it’s what my dad, the master griller, uses.  Stack the briquettes in a pyramid and light in several places.  Leave them to burn and turn ashy for about 10 minutes.

When the coals are almost ready pat the steaks down with a paper towel to remove the excess liquid.  This is especially needed if the steaks were frozen and have been thawed.  Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  We use kosher salt because the large crystals make for a better flavor.  Using ground salt makes it much more difficult to control the quantity and taste of the salt on the steak.

Lay the steaks perpendicular to the grillOnce the coals are ashy spread them out along the bottom of the grill until they are evenly distributed.  Lay the steaks cross-ways along the grill – you want really pretty sear marks and it provides the best support for your steaks.  Cover your grill and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and thickness of the steaks.

Before they start to look cooked on both sides turn the steaks over.  Cover and cook another 5-7 minutes, depending on how well done you’d like them.  Remove them from the grill and leave the cover off to allow the coals to burn out faster.

 

steaks smoking on a grill

Place the steaks immediately on a plate and cover with foil to let them rest.  This rest period is very important – it allows the juices to equilibrate so they don’t ooze out the steak the minute you cut into it.  It makes for a more tender, juicy bite!

Garnish and serve just the way it is – if you did it right it’ll be delicious!  And trust me, if you do splurge and get prime meat, it’ll be the best steak you’ve had in a long time!

steak on a plate

Link’s Meat and Rice Bowl

    • Any raw prime meat or bird thigh
    • Rock salt

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Prime New York Strip steak charcoal-grilled with salt and pepper


Ingredients

  • 4 Prime New York strip steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 40 or so Kingsford Match Light briquettes (This quantity is based on the size of my grill. You may need more or less based on yours.)

Directions

  1. Warm the steaks to room temperature.
  2. 10 minutes before cooking your steaks build a pyramid of briquettes in your grill. Light them in multiple places and allow to burn until ashy.
  3. Dry your steaks with a paper towel, especially if they were previously frozen.
  4. Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and generously spread kosher salt and pepper. Gently rub this in to the steaks.
  5. When the briquettes are ashy and grey, but still hot, this means they are ready. Spread them evenly across the bottom of the grill and replace the grill top.
  6. Add the steaks perpendicular or at an angle to the grill lines. Don’t place them parallel because this won’t give your steaks the support they need.
  7. Cover the grill and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes. This time is dependent on several factors, including the heat outside, retention of heat in the grill, and thickness of the steaks. Keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook!
  8. Before they steaks look cooked on both sides flip them, cover, and cook for another 5-7 minutes. This time will be determined again, by lots of factors, including how well done you’d like them.
  9. Remove from the grill and cover with foil. Allow the steaks to rest for at least 5-7 minutes. This will allow the juices to equilibrate and will make your steak more juicy.
  10. Serve with whatever you’d like but enjoy these steaks just as they are! You won’t regret it.

Meat and Rice Bowl

Meat and Rice Bowl

While the basics for this recipe are fairly straight-forward it had so much potential for embellishment that I’ve been chomping at the bit to make this one.  I decided to spice up Link’s recipe by adding a delicious garlic ginger sauce.  I’ve never used fish sauce before so when I found this recipe I was really unsure.  But with a little tweaking I was able to get something that I really loved.  And it made my house smell amazing for days.

Meat and Rice BowlDifficulty and Time Meter

This is the regular old meat and rice bowl so I decided to use sirloin, the easiest and, generally speaking, least expensive cut of steak.  But just because it’s less expensive and less tricky doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious when done right.  Pan-seared is the easiest and also my new favorite way to cook a steak and it lets me use my cast iron a lot more.   Let the steak come to room temperature – it sears a lot easier and cooks more evenly that way.

Meat and rice Bowl Ingredients

Amount of Water To Add to RiceStart the rice while the steak is warming up.  It’ll take the longest to cook and you want it to be ready and hot when your steak is done!  Definitely only use traditional Asian sticky rice.  I only use sticky rice exclusively for everything because it’s legitimately the only rice worth knowing.  I use Calrose Botan rice, but you can use any sticky rice in your market.  If you choose to use a rice cooker a nice trick to using sticky rice is to wash it several times before you cook it.  Rinse it under warm water, drain the water, and repeat until the drained water starts to look a little more clear.  Add water to the rice cooker until it comes up to the first knuckle joint of your index finger when your finger is resting on top of the rice… does that make sense?  If not, here’s a photo:

While everything else is cooking/getting ready to cook start chopping the other ingredients.  Using frozen ginger seriously makes it 1,000% easier to work so just pop the ginger in the freezer about an hour before you want to use it and it’ll be ready to go!  Mince the garlic, measure out the sauces, and grate the ginger using a zester (best option) or the small side of a cheese grater (good enough option).  Cut the green onions into 3/4-1 inch pieces and make sure the slab of butter is ready and you’re all set!

When the steak isn’t cold use a paper towel to dry the steak as much as you can and then rub it with rock salt and pepper.  Drying the steak is a great trick to making it sear much better.  Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

Add all the ingredients for the sauce to a pot, whisk thoroughly, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to simmer for about 5-7 minutes.  At this point you can start cooking the steak if you feel comfortable.  Otherwise let the sauce thicken and blend and remove from the heat.  We will heat it back up after the steak is done.

While the steak is marinating for a minute in the salt and pepper, heat up the pan until piping hot (this is where the cast iron comes in handy).  When it’s ready add a little oil, but really, make sure it’s just enough to barely coat the bottom of the pan!  We don’t want our steaks swimming in oil.  It’ll ruin the beautiful sear.  Add the steak to the pan, laying it down away from you to prevent any oil splashes and painful burns.

Meat_&_Rice_Bowl_11

After the steak has seared for a minute or two turn the steak to caramelize the fat by placing them fat-side-down in the pan for a minute or two.  Then swap to all the other sides, following the same protocol of searing, turning, searing.  Finally lay the steak down flat on the last raw side and let it sear for a few minutes.  The remainder of cooking the steak is based on several factors: 1) how thick your steak is and 2) how well done you want it.  If your steaks are on the thinner side or you want your steak a little more raw you may be ready to spoon on the butter at this point.  If your steaks are thick or you like them well-done alternate cooking them on each of their flat sides until they are medium rare to medium.  Add the butter and onions all at once and start spooning the melted butter and cooking onions over the steak.  When the steaks are medium (or cooked to your preference, I just prefer medium!) remove them from the pan, cover with foil, and let rest for a few minutes.  Continue cooking the onions in the butter until they are done and remove them from the heat.

Phew. Take a deep breath, you’ve finished the most nerve-wracking part of the recipe!  Take it a little easy for a minute and, while the steaks are resting, quickly re-heat the sauce.  When you slice the steak slice it against the grain.  It’ll make a smoother, easier, and much more aesthetically pleasing cut!  Spoon out the rice into a bowl, add the steak, drizzle on the sauce, and enjoy!

Close up of Meat and Rice Bowl

Link’s Meat and Rice Bowl

    • Any raw meat or bird drumstick
    • Rock salt
    • Hylian rice

Meat and Rice Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Sirloin steak with sticky rice and a garlic ginger sauce

Recipe adapted from Garlic-Ginger Flank Steak by Judy Kim on delish.com

Steak

  • 4 Sirloin steaks, warmed to room temperature
  • 2-3 Green onions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons rock or kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cups sticky rice
  • Enough hot water to cover the rice

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

Directions

  1. Start cooking the rice
  2. Dry the steaks with a paper towel and rub with the rock salt and pepper until well coated.
  3. Add all the sauce ingredients to a sauce pan, whisk thoroughly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  4. Heat the cast iron pan until piping hot. Add the oil and then add the steaks to the pan, laying it down away from you to prevent any oil splashes.
  5. Allow the steak to sear for a minute or two and then turn the steak on it’s side, fat side down. Allow the steak to sear until the fat is caramelized.
  6. Repeat step 5 on all sides until the steak is completely seared.
  7. If the steak needs more time to cooks due to thickness or how you’d like it cooked, continue turning the steak every few minutes until it is nearly done.
  8. When the steak is nearing completion add the butter and green onions to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the steaks until they are the appropriate temperature.
  9. Remove the steaks from the pan and cover with foil to let them rest.
  10. Continue cooking the onions until wilted and then remove them from the pan.
  11. Slice the steak into strips against the grain and serve over rice. Drizzle the sauce over the steak and rice and enjoy!