When I was on my own years ago, I really didn’t cook for myself. It was too much effort. I’d get my cooking fix by having little parties for my friends. Needless to say when I moved in with my husband and had the instant family, I loved being able to cook full meals and share food. Just one of the many reasons I don’t miss the single life.
One dish I would occasionally make for myself would be mini meat pies. They lend well to leftovers so in one go I would have several meals ready. I haven’t made them for years, forgotten about them to be honest. These aren’t the traditional English meat pies with the hot water crust, though that is on my list to try soon. We’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off and we’re hooked.
I make up pastry equal to a 9 inch pie plate. Which would be 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of butter, pinch of salt, and cold water. I’ve started using butter instead of shortening as the flavour is much better. Cover and set aside while you make up the filling. If the room is warm put the pastry in the fridge.
Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and start browning about a pound of ground beef. Chop up half a red onion, a few cloves of garlic, and a couple of mushrooms. Add those to the skillet.
Chop up some fresh oregano and add that along with about 1/2 – 3/4 cup or so of crushed tomatoes. The trick here is not to let it get watery or too saucy. Also add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.
Let this simmer while you roll out the pastry and fill a tin with large muffin holes. I had to free hand this as I didn’t have a cutter or glass with a large enough aperture to give me a neat circle. So we got a bit rustic! Use a slotted spoon to fill the pastry to prevent it from getting too wet. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Italian cheeses. Bake at 400F/200C for 20 minutes.
I don’t know why it took me years to make this again. But I won’t wait long to do it again as it is great for lunches as well. And with tax season starting soon I’ll have to keep my energy up!