Is crust a vegetable?

I’m about to enter a mild diabetic coma, so if you see a word start to trail off like thi…then maybe you should call the authorities. I’ve spent much of the morning pouring fondant over tiny petit fours, and had to eat a LOT of poured fondant to get the flavor right first. I had an appointment this morning, so I had to miss school anyway, so I’m now baking treats for the docs. I spent yesterday evening putting together about 50 lbs of lasagna (vegetarian and meat), and I still have to chop up a Caesar salad, make the dressing, pipe tiny flowers on top of the petit fours, and OHMOTHEROFASS *please hold*….

Okay, I’m back. Just realized that I also still have to make a couple dozen dinner rolls, and I hadn’t even started the dough, and I have to leave the house in an hour and a half. So I went with my superfast dinner roll recipe, and am hoping for the best. The dough is currently kneading.

Anywhore, I’ve been busy. And that’s why it’s acceptable that I told you a bald-faced lie the other day. I had promised that I’d post a recipe for meat pie, as well as a great story about eagle theft, and I failed to do so. Now I’m going to try and cram it in as quickly as I can, and it will likely be shoddy writing. But I really, really want you to have a meat pie to eat this weekend, so I’m taking one for the team.

This recipe is pretty white trash, honestly. And that makes sense, since my ex-boyfriend came from a fairly white trash family. He was a good person, ended up becoming a firefighter with a wife and kid, but his roots were questionable. It’s nice to see people rise beyond their circumstances to do something with their lives.

So I hadn’t spoken to him in God knows how long–at least five years–after we broke up. No animosity, it’s just that he was the high school boyfriend that I had taken with me to college, and on whom I’d wasted two additional years of good college time, which could have been better spent doing what the rest of my college classmates were doing; namely drinking, smoking, and attempting to contract minor STDs. When it was over, it was really time to move on.

There are two things I learned from this man-child. The first was how to write a final paper for the paramedic examinations. Because I wrote his when he was taking said exams. The thing about cute, muscle-bound, 19 year old boys who want to be firemen is that they’re usually semi-illiterate. Those of you who have been 19 year old girls at one point or another know that a lack of book-learnin’ is easily forgiven in a man who has more than six visible abdominal bricks. Obviously our priorities change as we get older, and we start demanding muscles AND brains. And many of us end up single well into our thirties.

The second thing I learned was how to make a meat pie. The meat pie is kind of like a simpler (arguably better) version of a meatloaf inside a double pie crust. There are only potatoes, onions, ground meat, and seasonings (and I add a single egg). The lack of things like breadcrumbs means that the fat and drippings from the meat are free to seep out to the crust and caramelize on and around it. The crust on a meat pie is probably the best crust you’ll ever eat, with its fatty chew and buttery flake. Mmmmmm.

It was a family specialty for them, and it was served on special occasions like Easter and Father’s Day. My yuppie “twist” on the recipe is that it takes about an hour and a half, and maybe $15 to make, so if I want to serve it on a Tuesday afternoon, I will. No special occasion required. The only stipulation that was made on handing me the recipe is that I had to agree to never share it, and also had to agree to always prick the letter “M” on the top of the pie crust to vent it. Their last name began with the letter “M.”

Naturally, I always pricked the letter “K” into the crust, because that’s MY first initial, and also because I’m spiteful. And now I’m sharing the recipe, only I added that egg, so if they ever find this it’s not totally illegal.

What IS illegal, though, is his father’s shenanigans. When I was searching the internets to see if this recipe had ever been posted, I found an article from a few months ago saying his shady-ass father had been arrested and convicted of stealing Indian artifacts from old Indian burial grounds. He was in possession of arrowheads, jewelry, a human skull, and was also convicted of “possessing and unlawful sale of a Golden Eagle.” Whatever that means. I wanted to think that he was just selling feathers that he had stolen from some ancient headdress, but then I saw an additional charge that said “unlawful sale of migratory birds.” The fuck? I mean, I know they had a terrier that could fetch his toys by name (“get your DUCK…Okay, now get your BEAR”) but I don’t picture him hauling around some scary crate of illegal birds. And also how the fuck did he catch them? And also, how the fuck did he SELL them? And to whom?

It was totally weird. And also completely proved my point that his dad was shady, and maybe I shouldn’t have gotten quite so yelled at every time I tried to point out that his dad was shady. It was a serious point of contention in our relationship. Possibly even more contentious than my insistence on putting the letter “K” ontop of a meat pie.

So here it is, enjoy it well. It’ll serve about 8 people if you make a side dish of some kind of green vegetable. Honestly, though, it’s pretty damned good if you just eat it as is, with warm ketchup on the side for dipping. After all, white trash is white trash, and they don’t take too kindly to green salads. So maybe it only serves 4-6. And it makes badass leftovers.

Meat Pie

2 lbs ground meat (I use grass-fed beef or buffalo or a mixture of both–don’t go too lean)
1 medium-sized russet potato, peeled and grated
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and grated
1 large egg
1 t garlic powder
1.5 t black pepper
2 t kosher salt
2 pie crusts (go ahead and use the pre-made Pillsbury crusts)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Mix together the meat, egg, seasonings, and grated potatoes and onions. Take a small patty of the mixture and heat in a frying pan to taste for salt. Add if needed.

Line a pie plate with one of the crusts, fill with the meat mixture, and cover with a second crust. Crimp the edges of the two crusts together to form a seal. Prick your initial into the top of the pie with a fork.

Place the pie plate ontop of a cookie sheet to catch any drips, and bake until the center of the pie reaches 180 F, and the juices are bubbling up and caramelizing on the top of the crust.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

If you ARE serving this on a special occasion, maybe it would be nice to make a centerpiece of a beautiful Indian vase filled with the feathers of golden eagles and dodo birds. You know, because of tradition and all.

10 thoughts on “Is crust a vegetable?”

  1. Yes. And also, will this ex-boyfriend of yours be making an appearance at our 10-year H.S. reunion? Because that would be awesome. I would pop popcorn and everything.

  2. That whole blog made me love Chris all the more. I heart respectability, especially for my pretty, extremely smart daughter. Please don't ever say ketchup in your blog again.

  3. you inspired me to have meat pie but, instead of this fine example, i made hand-held empanada-type pies filled with a bacon & ground beef mixture. fine eating!

  4. You're withholding information! The real sauce that goes with meat pie is not plain ketchup, it's ketchup that you make somehow more delicious with, like, two ingredients I can't remember now. So don't you worry, Momma — it's culinarily acceptable ketchup. Well, more acceptable.

  5. Ah it's nice to have a good tale to tell about a recipe! Although I won't eat meat pie since seeing "Titus" (movie adaptation of a freaky Shakespeare play), and "Sweeney Todd".


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