Yesterday, I tried a bit of an experiment.
I decided to make some little beef pies in muffin tins.
This is something I’ve made before – the first time, in Home Ec class! My experiment was with the dough. We’ve been trying to find ways to use less butter in our cooking. We don’t use margarine or shortening, so when it comes to cooking and baking, it’s either liquid oil or butter. With oil, it’s easy to have a variety. Not so much with solid fats.
So for the meat pie, I wanted to make a hot water dough (which is sturdier, for heavier fillings like meat), using oil instead of butter or shortening.
This is the finished result.
As you can tell, the muffin tins didn’t happen!
The dough simply would not hold together and was very difficult to roll out. I think I added too much flour, but the oil made it so slippery! In the end, I had to put half of the dough in the pie pan and roll it as thin as I could, right in the pan. After the filling was added, with about an inch and a half of space around the edges, I rolled out the other half of the dough as best I could, then brought it over, wrapped around the rolling pin, to cover the filling. Some repairs were needed, as the top was spread over and tucked around the filling. Then the edges of the bottom crust were pulled up to seal it more.
It actually turned our really delicious. I didn’t get the hand pies I was after, but that’s okay!
The filling was ground beef, browned (in butter, of course), adding onions and garlic early on, then cubed carrots half way through. The last thing added was the cubed potatoes, along with some beef stock. It was left to cook, covered, until the potatoes were just barely done, then uncovered and stirred until the liquid was all evaporated. A touch of flour was added to absorb any remaining liquid and thicken it. I ended up with more filling than fit in the pie, but it tastes good all on its own, too.
I have some hot water dough recipes that include things like egg that I might try. Maybe that will work better.
The good thing about experimenting like this is that, even when it doesn’t work, it still tastes good!