Saturday, June 21, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Corned Beef Pie, Maltese Style


The recipe for Tourtiere Pie reminded me of another of Ma’s meat pie recipes.
Ma served Corned Beef Pie a few times year, usually at the end of the month.
Ma said it was created when fresh food was hard to get during WW II.
That’s why the recipe uses canned corned beef.
When Ma made it we knew it was time to get a History lesson along with dinner.

If you’re thinking of using fresh corned beef… don’t.
At least not if you’re about to serve it to someone Maltese whose Ma made it.
For someone who grew up with the original recipe, using fresh corned beef instead of canned makes a really huge difference.

Don’t believe substituting fresh ingredients can make that big a difference?
Let me give you an example.
Are you familiar with the old TV program The King of Queens?
On one episode Doug’s Mom, who had retired and moved out of Queens, brought her homemade lemon bars when she visited Doug and Carrie.
At first Doug was really happy to have an old favourite dessert.
But Mrs. Heffernan used lemon juice from her own lemons instead of the bottled stuff Doug had had all his life.
Mrs. H thought Doug would be thrilled at having the fresh juice.
He wasn’t.
Learn from that.

This pie is great hot.
But you can also chill it and pack it for a picnic.
Ma did that, too, so I know it’s okay.
She also chilled and packed timpana for picnics.
They're way better than sandwiches.


Hints:

You can also add 2 slices bacon, diced, when you fry the onion.
Some people prefer a can of peas and carrots, drained, instead of just peas.
Ma used plain peas, and so do I.
It just doesn’t seem right to see carrots in it.


                        Corned Beef Pie

In a dutch oven place
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
Fry the onion over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until soft.
Add
1 can corned beef, chopped
1 can sweet peas, drained
1 potato, diced
1 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Continue cooking, stirring to combine the ingredients, about 5 minutes. 

When the meat is almost done cooking, preheat oven to 400º F

Roll out
400 g flaky or puff pastry
Line the bottom and sides of a baking dish with 3/4 of the pastry.
Pour in the meat mixture.
Cover the top with the remaining pastry.
Brush the top of the pastry with
1 beaten egg (or milk)
Prick the top pastry with a fork so steam can escape. 
Bake for 40 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

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