Sunday, January 31, 2010

Paris Pie

Medieval cooks did not boil or simmer.
They "seethed" things.
What a great verbal image!
I seem to recall that medieval/early modern London
had a "Seething Lane"
(and may still for all I know),
doubtless the place where meats and pottages and so on
were cooked.
Anyway, I "seethed" my ground beef
in broth,
and then drained it,
reserving the liquid:

The Pleyn Delit book recommended that the liquid be chilled enough to skim the fat off. It took awhile to cool down. I had time to make the pastry crust while I did it. Being out of white flour, I used fresh-ground whole wheat flour, which works well for medieval cooking anyway. It was the first time I had used wheat flour in the Joy of Cooking pate brisee recipe (which is the only kind of pie crust I can manage to make work- basically using chilled butter and a food processor), and it worked just fine. In fact it was delicious.
The chilling process was taking so long, that's when I decided to use my extra pie crust scraps to make the Chicken Pasties Lombard (which weren't originally on the menu, but hey, I had chicken breast tenders in the fridge and turkey bacon in the freezer and even Real Lemon concentrate in the fridge too, so I was all set for ingredients.)

Speaking of ingredients, here's back to the ingredients
for the Paris pie:

Basically, "seethed" hamburger,
beaten eggs,
(one white reserved to brush on the pastry)
and chopped raisins/spices ready to add to the liquid.
Once de-fatted, I reheated the liquid, added the other stuff,
and cooked for a few minutes.
It was supposed to thicken a bit.
Mine did not thicken appreciably
(maybe it was because I was just using hamburger
instead of a mixture of meats??)
Anyway, I added 1 slice of bread crumbled fine
to bulk it out a bit
(like a meatloaf)
before putting the filling in the pie shell:

I brushed the top with egg white
and baked it for an hour at 350F.

The butter pie crust tends to sag at the edges
and puff in the pastry
but, as I noted, it tastes very delicious
(pretty nearly anything with butter is delicious).
The pie was good,
but still quite a mess.
Think "sloppy joes" in a pie shell.
I wonder if I need more egg binder--
or maybe less liquid--
when I try it again.

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