This afternoon I had some craving for something savory and I thought of meat pie. Its been years since I made this pie. What I love about this pie is its miniature form. Ofcourse you can make this in a bigger pie pan but I prefer the miniature form since I get to control how many I eat and it’s very handy. Another thing I love about the miniature form is I get to enjoy my pie with those flaky and crunchy crust enveloping the savory meat filling.
The first time I made this pie, it reminds me of Jamaican Patty. It’s a kind of flat flaky snack with different meat fillings to choose from. I used lard instead of butter but some recipes call for butter, others a fifty-fifty ratio of lard and butter. According to my research, using lard would make your pie flaky, the butter would make your pie flavorful but without that flaky goodness, and a fifty-fifty ratio of lard and butter would make your pie somewhat flaky and flavorful. However, I decided to stick with my pie crust recipe from Mrs. Maduro’s Meat Pie.
For the meat filling, I used my own recipe which is based on my liking. I used lots of cumin here since I really like how it complements well with pork and beef. I also added some chopped All Time Favorite New Yorker Hotdog from Virginia. I find their hotdog firm and has subtle taste compared with the regular hotdog which are soft and strong in flavor. I added some dried thyme and Italian seasoning, dried tomatoes in sunflower oil, tomato sauce and your most unexpected ingredient, unsweetened chocolate. Yup, you read it right. The chocolate gave this nice brown color and additional depth of flavor to this dish. To make my pie extra special, I added a slice of quick melt cheese for additional creamy flavor. So be careful with your salt. Wait until your sauce thickens a bit before adding salt.
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 cup Cold Lard (about 260 grams)
1 cup Ice Cold Water
1/2 kilo Regular Ground Pork
1/3 cup Water
3 pieces All Time Favorite New Yorker Hotdog by Virginia cut into pieces
8 cloves Garlic
1 Bulb Onion
2 pieces Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 piece Beef Bouillon Cube
1 1/2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoon Unsweetened Chocolate Bar
2/3 cup Water
salt to taste
Sliced Quick Melt Cheese
1 piece Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Sift together flour and salt. Cut in cold lard using pastry cutter or fork. I suggest to never use your hands as your body temperature will quickly melt the lard. When the mixture is almost crumby, add ice cold water and mix. At this phase, you can use your hand to slightly knead the dough. Take note to just slightly knead the dough. We just want to bring everything together. Divide the dough into two and wrap with a cling wrap and chill for atleast an hour.
In a pan, combine the ground pork and water and bring to a simmer. By doing this method, we are cooking the ground pork while extracting its fat. The natural fat of the ground pork will also serve as your oil in sauteing the garlic and onion so no extra cooking oil is needed. When the water evaporate and the fat from the ground pork oozes out, simply saute the pork until golden brown. Add in hotdogs and saute for another three minutes. Add in garlic and onion and saute until the aroma is that of cooked garlic and onion or until the onion turns translucent. Add in sun dried tomatoes, cumin, Italian seasoning, thyme and black pepper. Saute for another three minutes. Mix in cornstarch, bouillon cube, sugar, tomato sauce and chocolate bar. Saute until the chocolate bar melts. Add water and simmer. Reduce the sauce until it thickens. Add salt to taste.
Combine egg and water. This will be your egg wash.
Unwrap the chilled dough. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut a circle using a 3 inch round cookie cutter. Place on a 2.5 inch fluted tin molder. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of meat filling and place the cheese on top. Cover with another 3 inch round dough and pinch the sides with a fork or with your finger to seal. Brush with egg wash and poke three times with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes. Bring out of the oven and brush again with egg wash and bake for another 10 minutes.
Bring out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes before pulling out of the molder. Enjoy!