Meat pies for lunch
Let me talk to you about why I love meat pies for lunch.
I love a wholesome meal especially if it’s healthy. But I have a confession to make; this week, I betrayed my home-cooking for bought lunches and I didn’t even enjoy them. I usually spend a day in the weekend planning our meals for the week and I find it very relaxing even if I spent a whole day cooking. Last weekend though was socially busy (and fun I admit) – so hurray the takeaway.
I have a feeling we are all facing the same big-city dilemmas (shall I be a social butterfly or shall I cook a healthy meal instead?) and I thought I’d share with you one of my all time favourite ‘batch’ recipes, as I like to call them.
Cook a big meal on Sunday, choose something that will last for a whole week and it will also taste good every time you reheat it. If it freezes well too, it’s a bonus. My go-to batch recipe?
A pie – pies are big in Greek cuisine. I made this minced beef pie a month ago and it made my colleagues jealous for the whole week. I made my own pastry because I like it lighter and I added lots of caramelised onions and a mix of spices in the filling for flavour. What is magical about this recipe is that every day it tastes even better, the flavours mature together making it an absolute treat.
This portion makes 1 medium-sized pie and 5 smaller ones. But you can just make 1 big one. I don’t recommend making lots of smaller ones because it takes a lot of time and you’d probably want to go to the pub/park, don’t you?
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For the pastry
I used the same pastry I made for butternut squash pies and I just added caraway seeds.
For the filling
750g minced beef
3 large yellow onions
3 large carrots
1 tsp brown sugar
Olive oil (to cover the bottom of the pot)
80ml red wine
500ml chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
Prepare the pastry first.
Slice the onions and roughly chop the carrots. Heat the oil over in a big pot and add the onions and the brown sugar, while stirring. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes and then add the carrots. Stir for another 2 minutes and add the minced beef. Now you have to stir thoroughly till the meat is broken down and the colour turns white. Pour the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, spices salt and bay leaves. Add water if needed (you want the filling to cook for at least 40 minutes for all the flavours to come together). Stir and cover with the lid. Let it cook until most of the liquid is absorbed for about 40 minutes. Five minutes before it’s cooked, pour in the wine and let it evaporate. I like adding the wine last as I find it adds a richer flavour.
Oil your chosen tray and place carefully the pastry. (You will need two sheets one bigger for the bottom and one smaller for the top). Pour in the filling and spread evenly. Place the second sheet of pastry on top and cut the excess pastry with a knife. Now using your fingers or a fork seal the pie. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and cook in the oven at 180 for about 50 minutes.