Meat and potato pie is a comforting, economical dish made of ground beef, mashed potatoes and onions. It is perfect for a family meal.
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My Nana used to make these meat and potato pies and give them to family. They were such a treat! Many years ago I asked my Nana to show me how to make her meat and potato pie and we spent a day baking together.
Meat and Potato Pies are very popular in the United Kingdom. This one in particular is very economical - it calls for only ½ lb of ground beef! They are so comforting and perfect on a cold day. They also freeze very well.
- Ground Beef - you only need ½ lb for this recipe! Double the recipe to use the whole pound of ground beef and freeze one pie!
- Onion - Cooking onions are fine, but any kind would work here.
- Potatoes - you want to use russet potatoes because they mash well.
- Salt & Pepper
- Flour - all purpose flour is used here
- Shortening - The shortening needs to be chilled. Make sure to use it straight from the fridge.
- Milk and water
- Egg and water - to give the top of the pies an egg wash so it will get golden
How do I make meat and potato pies?
First, make the filling. Place ground beef, onions and potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water. You will cook this over medium heat until the meat has cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the meat mixture, reserving 2 cups of the water.
Use a potato masher to mash the filling ingredients together, pouring a bit of the reserved water in at a time until the mixture is moist. Season with salt and pepper and set this aside while you make the pastry.
How do I make pastry?
Pour ½ cup milk and ½ cup water into a cup and set that aside. Next, add flour, salt and the chilled shortening to a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour until the shortening is "pea" sized and it is incorporated into the flour. Add a bit of the milk/water mixture at a time, mixing with your hands until the dough has come together. You will not need to use the whole amount of liquid. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for an hour, or up to overnight.
Ready to assemble
When ready, cut the pastry in two pieces, with one half slightly larger then then other. The larger will be the bottom pastry, and the smaller, the top pastry. Roll out the bottom pastry onto a floured surface to about 1 cm thick, and place into a pie dish. Spoon the filling into the pie dish and then roll out the top pastry, 1 cm thick. Brush a bit of the leftover milk/water mixture over the edges of the bottom pastry and lay the top pastry over the top of the pie. Crimp the edges to make a seal and cut a vent in the center of the pie with scissors.
Chill the prepared pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven. Brush pastry with the egg wash and bake the pie for an hour, or until the top is nicely browned.
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Meat and Potato Pie
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 lbs russet potatoes approximately 6, cut into chunks
- water to cover ingredients
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup milk cold
- ½ cup water cold
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup shortening chilled
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Place ground beef, onions and potatoes in a stockpot. Fill with water to cover ingredients and cook over medium heat until ground beef has been cooked through and potatoes are fork soft.
- Drain the water, reserving 2 cups. Use a potato masher and mash ingredients together, adding a bit of the reserved water at a time until mixture is moist.
- Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Combine milk and water in a cup and place in freezer to get it very cold, about 10 minutes.
- Place flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Using a pastry cutter, cut shortening into the flour until the shortening pieces are about the size of peas.
- Pour a bit of the milk/water mixture, a tablespoon at a time, into the flour mixture and use your hands to knead the pastry together. Keep adding more liquid until pastry comes together.
- Cover pastry with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, up to overnight.
- When ready, cut the pastry in 2 pieces with one piece slightly larger than the other.
- On a floured surface roll out the larger pastry to 1 cm thickness. Line pastry in a buttered pie plate.
- Pour filling into the pie plate and brush milk/water mixture on the edge of the pastry.
- Roll out other pastry to 1 cm thickness and cover the top of the pie with it, crimping the edges all around to seal. Cut a vent into the top of pastry with scissors. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk egg with water. Brush this over pie crust. Bake for 1 hour or until pie crust has nicely browned.
- Pie will keep for 3 days in refrigerator. Leftovers can be frozen.
- You can double the recipe to make 2 pies and freeze the second one after baking.
- To heat a frozen pie, pull the pie out of the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. Warm in a 350°F for 30 - 45 minutes or until the center is hot.
- Make sure you use all cold ingredients to get a nice and flaky pastry.
- The pie will keep for 3 days refrigerated. After that, the pastry will loose it's flakiness.