Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cold Weather, Hot Meat Pie

As the wind blows hard and the temperature drops to 38 degrees here in sunny Las Vegas, I can't help but think of comfort food. The cold blustery weather reminds me of my trip to London last Spring. Although we did not run into a plethora of gourmet British food, a good old meat pie was very easy to enjoy. We found our pie in a cute pub just off of Trafalgar Square. After meandering up a narrow spiral staircase, we ordered our pub food at the bar, and then found a cushy little table by a stained glass window.

After downing the delicious meat pie, I wondered how long the British had been eating these tasty little things. I soon found out that they date back to at least Medieval England. Back then, however, meat pies were filled with bite size pieces of venison, rabbit, pheasant, or pork as well as figs, and root vegetables. King Henry VI of England was supposedly served meat pie made of peacock when he was coordinated.

When I got home, I tried several recipes for the meat pie. I like left over roast, potatoes, and carrots the best. The pastry part is actually easy to make. Here is my favorite recipe for the dough.


Meat Pie Pastry Dough
(makes 2 pie tops)

8 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup cream
1 1/2 cups, plus 2 T flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a food processor blend butter, cream cheese, and cream together until smooth. Add the flour and salt. Pulse until mixed. Divide the dough into two discs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch. Place on top of the meat pie and seal to the baking dish. Cut a few slits in the dough to create vents for the steam. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 oven.

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