- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup shortening or butter
- 4 tbsp. cold water
- 1 cup chopped potato
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 tbs. margarine or butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme or sage, crushed
1 1/4 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cup chopped carrots and peas
2 cups ground beef.
Making the Dough
Make the Pie Crust. Mix flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 tsp salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Cut the butter or shortening into the flour. There are many different methods of cutting the butter into the flour, but all are equally effective with the right amount of elbow grease. Keep the butter at a cool temperature and begin by cutting large chunks. Keep cutting your chunks down until the butter is mixed in thoroughly. Aim to get small and uniform pea-sized chunks.
3 Mix cold water into the flour mixture. Pouring cold water one tablespoon at a time into your flour will help you integrate the water gently, allowing the dough to form loosely. The mixture should just barely come together and form a loose ball, and shouldn’t be damp or wet looking.
- Use a food processor. The easiest way to cut the butter is to use a food processor, pulsing the flour mixture for a minute or two, until the butter is chopped up to the appropriate size.
- Use a pastry cutter for butter or shortening. A pastry cutter is a great way of chopping up the butter in a good uniform mixture, quickly and without much effort. Roll the pastry cutter through the flour mixture, clearing out the butter from behind the tines after you make each pass around the bowl, if necessary. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
- Use a fork or two knives. If you don’t have a pastry cutter or a food processor, don’t worry. You can cut up the butter with the flat side of a table fork, or use two knives to slice the butter in opposite directions, or even just use the end of a metal spatula.
- Just use your fingers with shortening. Shortening won’t be greatly affected by the heat from your hands or from the room temperature, making it easy to crumble using your fingers.
4 Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Very gently, pull the flour into a ball and then split the ball into two equal portions. The recipe should make two portions, one will be the bottom of your pie, and the other will be the top cover.
- Be very gentle. The key to a flaky crust is to make sure you don’t overwork the dough. If you overwork the dough, the crust will become tough and difficult to handle.
- Your mixture will form soft lumps. These lumps should be moist enough that they will hold together if you gently press them between your fingers.
5 Roll the Crust. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands and roll from the center to the edges with a rolling pin dusted with flour. Aim to form a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- It’s usually a good idea to chill the dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roll it out and bake with it. If you’ve already got the oven pre-heated and you’re anxious to get started, putting it in the freezer can be a good way to get the temperature down quickly.
- If you want to save the dough for a longer period of time, freeze it in a self-sealing freezer bag. When you’re ready to use it, let it defrost in the fridge overnight and roll it out normally.
Making the Filling
1 Cook your meat. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 cups ground beef and 1/2 cup chopped onions. Season with thyme, cloves, chopped garlic (if desired) and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring to crumble the meat and mix in the spices, until the meat is evenly browned.
- If you’d like a more flavourful pie, you can also use a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg as seasoning.
2 Discard the grease or fat. Once your meat is cooked through, use a wooden spoon or spatula to push your meat to one side of the pan and tilt the pan away, letting the grease pool on the other side. Spoon it grease out, or carefully tilt your pan over a grease safe container to dispose of it. Place your cooled grease into a sealed non-recyclable container and discard it into your regular trash can.
- Do not dump grease into the kitchen sink or toilet bowl or even use hot water to wash it down the drain. This allows grease to get into the sewage system or harden in your pipes.
- Be careful whenever handling hot grease.
3 Add the vegetables and beef broth. Chop 1 potato into small pieces and add it to the skillet with 1 1/4 cup beef broth to start. Pour in 1 1/2 cup carrots and peas. The beef broth will keep your filling moist once the grease has been drained out.
- You can peel your potato if desired.
- If you want something different, try using a sweet potato instead.
- You can also add more or less beef broth as needed, but don’t let your filling get too soupy.
4 Thicken your pie filling (optional). You may need to thicken your filling if it gets too runny. This can be done in a number of ways. Here are some things to consider:
- Mix two tsp. of flour with 1/4 cup cold water or 1 tbsp. cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water before stirring it into your mixture
- Thicken with flour. For each cup of filling, use about 2 tbsp. of flour. Add the flour in increments of 1 tbsp. Add the flour slowly and stir in each addition. This will help prevent lumps from forming in your filling. Cook and stir for 1 additional minute until your sauce is thickened and bubbly.
- Thicken with cornstarch. For each cup of sauce, use 1 tbsp. of cornstarch. Add the cornstarch in increments of 1 tbsp. and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add 2 minutes to your cooking time for cornstarch.
Making a Whole Meat Pie
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Assemble a whole pie. Roll your pie crust around the rolling pin. Start from one edge and carefully wrap your crust around the pin. Transfer your crust to your pie dish by carefully unrolling it from your pin and laying it down into the dish.
- Avoid stretching the pastry.
3 Trim the crust. Trim to about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate and fold the extra pastry under to create a thicker crust on the rim.
4 Fill your pie. To assemble your pie, slowly pour the filling into the pastry-lined pie dish. Level it off and don’t overfill your dish.
5 Cover your pie. Roll out an additional circle of dough or pastry and carefully place it over your pie. Pinch the edges of the bottom layer and top layer of dough together and create the knuckle-like pie edge ridges. Trim off any excess using a sharp knife.
6 Make a few slits in the top. Use a sharp knife to cut some vents into the top crust to allow the steam to escape when cooking.
- Brush the top of your crust with egg or melted butter. This will help keep the crust moist and prevent cracking.
7 Bake your whole pie. Place your pie onto an oven rack in the center of your oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden brown.
- When your pie comes out of the oven, it will be hot! Make sure to let it cool on the countertop before serving.