Beef & Bacon Pie
This is a dramatically improved version of the beef pie I originally found in "A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook".
In the original recipe, the mixture calls for a saffron-infused crust and the filling comes out like soup, which doesn't work well for a pie filling. I've removed the use of the saffron crust; while I enjoy saffron, using it the crust is a waste and the flavor never comes out well. I also have changed most of the filling, starting it with a roux, so the result is something that only slightly resembles the original recipe.
So here's my version:
- 1 pie crust (you can make this, but honestly, ones from the grocer work)
- 1 package (12 strips) of bacon (avoid use of thick cut, it won't crisp in the same way)
- 1 stick of butter
- 2-4 tablespoons of flour
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, cubed
- 1 small potato, cubed
- 1 pound of meat (steak tips or lamb shoulder preferred, but this is a stew so you can use chuck, stew meat, or even regular ground beef), cut into 0.5-1" cubes
- 1/2 cup low/reduced-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 3 bulbs of garlic, minced
Prepare the bacon
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Form a lattice from the bacon, weaving the strips together into a square
- Roast bacon on a cooling rack set inside a half-sheet pan for 15-20 minutes, until just starting to become crispy
- Remove from oven, allow to cool
Prepare the crust
- Place pie crust into a pie dish. One with higher edges preferred over the most classic dessert pie dish. Ensure the pie crust goes up to the edge of the dish.
- Blind-bake the pie crust per directions, usually requires baking for 15 minutes at 425F.
Prepare the filling
- Reserve 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- Melt the rest of the butter over low-medium heat.
- Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the flour, mixing constantly, until flour if fully incorporated. You may need the additional flour. We're trying to make a roux, no lumps of the flour should remain. Once all desired flour is added, continue to stir the roux and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes. It'll darken slightly, this allows the flour to fully incorporate and is important to remove any floury taste.
- Add the vegetable stock. Continue to mix to incorporate.
- Turn temp down to low.
- Allow mixture to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken as the stock incorporates.
- In a separate pan, add reserved butter and then cook the onions until they start to become translucent.
- Add carrots and potatoes to onions, continue to cook until onions have browned, potatoes and carrots are softened.
- Once onion, carrot, potato mixture is cooked, add mixture to the gravy-like filling mixture along with any juices and remaining butter from pan.
- Add some bacon grease from the tray you baked the bacon on to pan.
- Brown your meat in the pan, strain, then add meat back to pan.
- Sprinkle meat with herbs, toss.
- Once meat is mostly cooked, reduce heat and add minced garlic to meat.
- Allow meat to cook until just before desired doneness, do not allow garlic to burn.
- Add meat to the filling.
- Allow the filling to cook, to fully incorporate flavors, on low, for at least another 10 minutes and up to two hours, stirring occasionally. Using more time hear allows flavors to really develop. The mixture will continue to thicken and reduce as steam escapes.
- Taste the filling, adding salt, pepper, or more seasoning as desired.
Prepare the pie
- Add filling to blind-baked pie crust.
- Place the crispy bacon lattice atop pie, this acts as the top pie crust.
- Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, allowing the filling to fully set and solidify (made possible thanks to the roux).
- Removed from oven and allow mixture to cool slightly, 10 minutes at least, before cutting; otherwise the filling may still splatter out.