Contributed by Editor-in-Chief J. Townsend
Two foods come to mind when you udder the words, â€œmeat piesâ€. One is the out of the box microwave safe version of a pot pie that I hated as a kid and the other is a puff pastry meat pie which I has while in London. This is neitherâ€¦ These awesome little meat pies are inspired by the meat pies sold in the Southern United States. If you are looking to impress your guests during the Thanksgiving holiday and happen to have some ground venison in the freezer then I would highly recommend giving this dish a go.
There are a couple of steps which will make this recipe come off flawless so follow along and let your baking skills mesh with your sautÃ©ing skills. I took a different approach to the crust. I wanted to make a traditional pie crust but then I bought the wrong kind of butter (salted versus unsalted). I conducted a little bit of research and found that you can use salted butter for pie crustsâ€¦.who knew.
Yield: 12 pies
Sauce: 1 cup
2 Â¼ cups All Purpose Flour
16 tbsp (2 sticks) of SALTED butter
Â¼ cup cold water
So there are two ways to approach making your dough. 1) You can make it all in a bowl and cut in the butter with a knife. 2) I highly recommend just using a pastry board/large cutting board/or countertop and a pastry scraper or dough blender.
- I opted for #2. You pour your flour on the counter top
- Cut the 2 sticks of butter in half and then cut into approximately Â¼ inch slices.
- Place the butter slices on top of the flour.
- Flip the slices over so that both sides are covered in flour. (If using a bowl, cut the butter with a knife and skip to step 9)
- Wash and dry your hands (this is key)
- Use the palm of your hand and gently press the butter down into the flour. Pressing to aggressively will result in a face full of flour dust.
- Use you pastry scraper to scrape underneath the flour/butter mixture and flip over.
- Repeat this process until you have a doughy consistency.
- Make a flattened mound out of the dough
- Sprinkle the water over the top of the dough
- Quickly mix the water into the dough with your hands.
- Form the dough into a ball once all of the water appears to be absorbed.
- Tightly wrap the dough in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
- Time to make the filling
Sweet Potato and Wild Venison Filling
Â½ lbs Ground Venison
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
Â¼ Onion, minced
Â½ cup of Sweet Potatoes or Yams, finely diced
4 Mushrooms, finely diced
Â½ teaspoon Tarragon
Â¼ teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
Â½ teaspoon Thyme
Â½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste.
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add all of the ingredients into the pan and cook until the meat is browned.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cut the Crust
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- After 30 mins, remove the dough from the refrigerator.
- Flour your countertop/cutting board and rolling pin
- Roll out the dough into a long rectangle vertically in front of you (Not too wide and still thick)
- Mentally picture the dough folded into thirds.
- Fold the top of the dough towards the center.
- You should dust the excess flour off each time you fold.
- Fold the bottom towards the center.
- Flip the dough over and repeat approximately 5 times.
- Flour your rolling pin as needed
- It is easier to work with the dough in two sections so separate it out into two.
- Roll one dough ball out into a rectangular sheet of about Â¼ inch thick.
- Use a 5-6 inch bowl or cookie cutter to cut out your pie. (I used a knife to trace around the bowl)
- Set the pie aside and repeat until all of the dough is gone.
Fill the Pie!
- Lay out one pie crust flat in front of you.
- Brush a small amount of water around the outside edge of the top
- Place two heaping Tablespoons full of the filling in the center of the pie
- Fold the pie in half and use your fingers to seal the edge.
- Use a fork to make rippled indentions which help seal
- Repeat this process with all of the pie rounds
- Place the pies on a baking sheet and place in the oven
- Optional: You can make an egg wash out of 1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp of milk. You would then brush the top of the pies with this to help them brown.
- Cook 25-30 minutes or until brown.
Orange JalapeÃ±o Sauce
1 cup Orange Juice
2 JalapeÃ±os, de-seeded and diced
4 tsp Water
4 tsp Olive Oil
2 Scallions, finely minced
2 tsp Cornstarch
Salt, Black Pepper, and Ground Cayenne Pepper to taste
- Heat a small sautÃ© pot over medium heat
- Combine the Orange Juice, Water, Olive, Japalenos, Scallions, and seasonings in the pot
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 2-5 minutes
- Sprinkle and stir the cornstarch into the mixture
- Continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and serve with meat pie.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Harvesting Nature Team!!