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ESTHER’S FRENCH STYLE MEAT PIE

Adapted by Christopher Martin

Esther Dubois was born near Montreal, Quebec around 1896 and lived most of her 92 years in Putnam, Connecticut. According to her granddaughter-in-law, Dot Mathurine, she was a “stupendous cook.”

1 prepared pie dough to fit bottom and top of 9 inch pie dish*
3 pounds lean ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
3 or 4 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground clove
2 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning like Bell’s
1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water

Blend pork and ground beef together in large mixing bowl or food processor, cover and refrigerate until needed. (Food processor will result in finer ground meat for pie but do not over blend.) Place onions and garlic in large sauté pan with ¼ cup of ground meat over medium heat. Brown until the onion and garlic soften. Add remaining ground meat. Add 1 teaspoon of ground clove and 1 teaspoon ground allspice. Cook thoroughly, breaking up large lumps of meat, stirring frequently until there is no pink showing.

Drain excess liquid and return pan to medium heat. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour and cook additional 3 minutes while stirring to blend flour. Add remaining 1 teaspoon ground clove, 1 teaspoon allspice, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well to distribute the seasonings. Cool for 30 minutes. Taste after cooling and season to taste. (Flavors intensify when reheated and seasonings have permeated the meat.)

Preheat oven to 400º

In prepared pie dish, spread meat evenly in bottom pie shell. Using pastry brush, dampen rim of bottom crust with water. Cover with the top, trim excess and press rim with fork tines to seal the crusts. Cut four 1 inch vents in top of pie dough before baking. Brush top with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees until the crust just barely turns brown, approximately 10-12 minutes. Lower the heat to 375 degrees and cook until lightly brown, approximately 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Pie will be very hot. Allow to rest before serving.

*See pie dough recipe from Sakonnet River Pie from edible Rhody Fall 2007. For meat pie, reduce sugar to 1 teaspoon and for top, replace lattice crust with dough rolled to 10 inch round.


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