Mistress Katherine Holford

This meat pie was developed for last minute preparation, using ingredients I am likely to find in my kitchen and that my family will eat. Maestra Francesca has become famous kingdom-wide for her version, which uses chopped chicken and her favorite spice combination. So feel free to adapt this to your tastes, or try different combinations each time. A mixture of pork and small birds was very common in period, though I'd advise removing bones, which was often not done.

Another of my favorite combinations is ground turkey, chopped apple, with ground fennel and marjoram as the predominant spices. Chopped fennel bulb would also be good in this, if you like it.

Double recipe pie crust (2-crust)

Use any or all of the following or substitute your favorite ingredients:

1/2 - 1 lb. ground beef, ground pork, lamb, chicken or turkey, or leftover cooked meat, chopped)
sausage or bacon, diced and browned with the ground meat
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 small apple
diced garlic, crushed
slivered almonds or other nuts, if no one's allergic
salt and pepper
mushrooms, chopped
3-4 T currants or raisins
grated parmesan or other hard cheese
1 egg, beaten (to help bind mixture, especially open faced pies
1 large white root vegetable (potato is good, but not period) such as parsnip or turnip. I usually use equal amounts of diced parsnip and carrots)
Brown ground beef and onion, garlic, apple (mushrooms, too, if you're using them). Drain grease and season to taste - salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. I usually use lots of marjoram and thyme, as well as grains of paradise when I have them, but there are infinite possibilities here.

Peel and dice the root vegetables and cook in water until barely soft. (This is a good time to use up any really old, dried-out raisins - just soak them for a few minutes in a little water or even red wine.) Drain, saving water and add vegetables to meat, which should still be in a big frying pan or wok. Add rest of ingredients. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of flour on top of meat mixture and add enough of the saved cooking liquid to make a thick gravy. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Make your meat pies. I usually make the hand-size turnover type, or use a 3-inch round tart maker, but if you're really in a hurry, just put it in a pie plate or a square pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes for small pies, 30-40 minutes for larger pies.

These are good hot or cold, and can be frozen either baked or unbaked. Frozen, unbaked meat pies are easily baked the morning of a tourney, and are then fresh and warm for lunch.

There are variations using minced chicken breast, and one I make for a change that's ground turkey and apple with fennel seasoning.

[Sometimes] I will make them using mini-muffin pans. With the ground meat fillings, you could only make the crust half-way up the muffin cups, then mound the filling in the cup, which would give a pastry base, but end up with more filling than crust.

Culinary arts and Sciences Collegium/Competition
Mistress Katherine Linnet Holford

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Additional Notes: This is endlessly adaptable. I often make open tarts using muffin tins (even mini-muffin tins for bite-sized tarts). Just press a small amount of dough into a lightly greased muffin cup, and fill, rounding filling nicely up in the cup. If the filling will be firm (when using ground meat with egg binder), you can make a half-crust in the muffin cup, so you have a large meat-ball with a pastry bottom.

Using dehydrated onion flakes seems to make these easier to digest than fresh onion, for some people.

This was part of a set of notes for the retinue during Artan VI and Aziza (2006)
More on food for Artan and Aziza

Other recipes on my site