Happy National Minced Meat Day!
Nothing about this sounds awesome.
According to all my googling and Pinterest searching, the only thing anyone uses minced meat for is pie. Fucking meat pie. I love pie – I even love chicken pot pie – but there should not be canned meat in my pie. That’s a crime against pie.
I also have A LOT of questions for the person (or persons) who went through all the trouble of having a day dedicated in honor of minced meat. Why would you want to eat a pie with canned meat!? Who created this food?! It’s probably from medieval times or something… but why, with all our modern technology and delicious food creations, would someone still want to eat this?! It just doesn’t make sense?! I’ve never had minced meat before but just the name sounds terrible!
I searched for a recipe for today that didn’t sound completely repulsive.. and came up with nothing. I also searched three grocery stores and Amazon for jars of minced meat – probably a vital ingredient for this day – and came up empty handed. No one in St Paul, MN is using this ingredient because it’s a can or jar of meat… and that’s gross.
So I opted to wing it and (loosely) use a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com for home made Minced Meat Pie filling. The first ingredient in the recipe was “diced, cooked beef” – stew meat is probably close enough, right?
Thank GOD Ryan was at D&D for this adventure – he has a long standing beef with stew meat. Actually, he has a long standing beef with me forgetting to trim some of the fat from the stew meat… then not stewing it long enough…. I also have a strong feeling that minced meat pie is not on his list of things he wants to eat for dinner. I’m like 99% on that one…
After I plopped the meat into the pan to cook it (literally… it came out of the package in one big meaty heap) – I started to panic at how large the pieces looked. Is diced the same as minced? Do I really want every other bite of my pie to have a giant cube of meat in it?! Why the hell am I making this?!?!?!?
So I picked the pieces out of the pan one at a time and cut them a little smaller (and trimmed some of the fat off while I was at it… Ryan is probably right about that being gross..)
I read the next 5 ingredients, decided they sounded like things that shouldn’t be combined with beef and skipped them.
- 4 cups chopped apples
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 large orange, peeled, sectioned, and cut into bite-size
The apples, orange or raisins maybe would have been okay… but sweet pickle juice and pineapple juice?!?! Who created this monstrosity!?!?!?
At this point, I made an executive decision that my pie would be a little more like a minced beef pot pie… which I’ve never made before and definitely don’t know how to make…. but I’ve made chicken pot pie before with mediocre results…
Following the chicken pot pie recipe that I have (vaguely) memorized, I added chicken broth, lactose free milk and mixed vegetables to the skillet. I’m experimenting with a new kind of plant-based milk that is supposedly made from “the highest quality yellow peas”. It sounds like bullshit and is probably just regular pea juice but it doesn’t seem to alter the flavor of things like soy, almond or coconut milk.
While that was simmering, I attempted to unroll the pre-made pie crust into the pie pan.
Then I read the instructions on the box that recommend taking the crusts out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before you’re going to use them so they soften…
After I sorted out the crust situation, I remembered that I didn’t use a roux to make the gravy for the pie and should probably add some cornstarch to the mix to thicken it. I even remembered to stir the cornstarch into cold water before adding it to the pan! See, I’m learning!
The seasoning from the recipe (the one I was actively ignoring….) called for cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg… all of which would taste delicious in a pumpkin pie, but not in my weird minced meat/pot pie hybrid. Instead, I used “Savory” seasoning from our ultra-cool spice rack.
I have to be honest, I have no fucking idea what is in “savory” seasoning or what makes it “savory”. I always assume it’s the more savory cousin to “Italian”, but I’ve never actually confirmed this… I tasted some before adding it to the skillet and it tasted neither gross nor delicious – it just existed in my mouth. So I went with it.
I also remembered that I had some mushrooms in the refrigerator so I threw those in too. Everything tastes better with mushrooms.
I was afraid of the mushrooms getting too mushy in the skillet so at this point I dumped the whole thing into the pie crust and hoped for the best. The gravy was still a little watery but it would probably thicken in the oven.. right? Is that a thing that happens?
Next came the only part of pie making that I’m confident I can do: adding the top crust and making a sweet design on top!
I got a little over excited while pressing the edges of the pie and oozed some gravy through.. but if you look past that, it’s a pretty decent looking pie. One might even think it’s delicious on the inside!
20 minutes and several Almond Joys later, it looked like a pie that someone might want to eat! It totally passed (on the outside) as a pot pie/minced meat pie type thing. Then I cut into it.
Gravy does not thicken in the oven.
I put my slice on a plate and spooned some of the gravy (let’s face it, it was seasoned meat juice) on top of the slice. And took a bite.
If you ignored the weird, kind of tough and, in hindsight, probably overcooked pieces of meat – it tasted okay! Neither gross nor super delicious – it just existed. I actually ate three slices!
Thanks savory seasoning!
*Fun fact: Maggie ate 0 slices.. because according to her “meat pie isn’t real pie.”
I agree Mag.