I thought I’d go back to my childhood with a recipe of a mother’s love. Mom’s English Meat Pie was the one I remember having on many of our early Sunday dinners. After church, my sister, my mom, and I would go shopping. I remember my mom making the dough for the meat pie and us girls helping.
I wanted to recreate and update it a bit, you know, but put my own spin on a traditional English recipe. I went to Publix, saw my butcher, and picked out a 3-pound piece of London broil.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that traditional English recipes do not add vegetables to their filling. For example; English peas can be served on the side, never in the pie.
What’s new is I’m adding cremini mushrooms to the filling. I think it’s going to give an earthy element to the dish. I’m also going to be adding a full-bodied red wine, a Cabernet, for that extra depth of flavor.
I’m going to be using store-bought pie crusts for this recipe today but I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust. Let’s get started.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 16 slices, 8 slices per pie
Equipment: 2 (10-inch) glass pie dishes, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, dried beans, aluminum foil, pairing knife
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3-pound) London broil
1 large onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Cabernet
1-pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock, unsalted
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Homemade Pie Crust, 2 circles (12-inches in diameter, 1/4 inch thick) circles, link below
1 egg white, lightly beaten
*Egg wash, 2 whole eggs plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten
Note: If you’re planning to make Homemade Pie Crust, the dough should be made the day before. Click on the link below for my recipe, Homemade Pie Crust.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a preheated a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season both sides of the meat with 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. Place the meat into the pot searing the first side for around 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the meat over and do the same to the other side. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Set aside.
Continue over medium-high heat, in the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, diced onions, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook the onions until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes before adding the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Next, add the Cabernet wine to deglaze the pot by scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to reduce by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the quartered cremini mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves. Continue cooking until the mushrooms release all of their water and become brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Next, add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, stir and continue cooking, until all the browned mushrooms are coated and the raw flour is cooked out.
In the meantime, cut the London broil into 2-inch pieces. Add the meat back into the pot, along with Worcestershire sauce unsalted beef stock, stir to combine. Bring this back up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes allowing the liquid to thicken, stirring occasionally. Allow the filling to cool completely before filling the pies.
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
In the meantime, line 2 glass pie pans with store-bought pie dough. Next, is to *blind bake the crust. Cover the dough circles with a piece of foil that’s bigger than the circle of dough. Fill with dried beans (to be used as pie weights) to weigh down the dough, bake for 12 minutes, or until you start to see the edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven, grab the corners of the foil and remove the beans.
*Dock the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Return the crust to the oven for 5 more minutes to allow the bottom of the pie crust to fully bake.
Tip: To make a barrier between the fiIling and the bottom pie crusts, brush each crust with lightly beaten egg whites. This will prevent the crust from becoming gummy.
Using a slotted spoon, divide and evenly spoon the cooled meat filling into both pie shells. Spoon 1 ladle full of the gravy over the meat in each one of the pies. Next, place the other piece of store-bought dough over the top of each pie. Crimp the edges of the pie. Using a small paring knife, vent the top. Brush both the pies with *egg wash. Place the pies onto sheet pans. and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before cutting. There you have it, my English Meat Pie.
*Blind Bake: The process where the bottom crust is baked before adding the filling.
*Dock is to prick a pie crust with a fork before baking. This technique is a simple way to poke holes in the pastry dough. This allows steam to escape so that the pie crust doesn’t puff up in the oven.
*Egg Wash: A mixture of beaten eggs and milk or water brushed over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.