Tuesday, January 27, 2009

God, that's good

In the spirit of the song for which this blog is named, I'm making meat pies! Okay, technically, I'm making Goan Meat Tarts, which are Indian meat pies, as far as I understand it.

I decided to make these to go with all the vegetarian dishes (not everyone wants to abstain from meat all the time). They were nice. They're not the prettiest thing I've ever made, but pastry is hard and this was my first try. They still tasted good.

For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup vegetable shortening (or lard, if you have it - I didn't)
1 large egg
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 to 3 Tbs cold water, if needed
1 egg, for an egg wash (at the end, optional)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well. Cut in the shortening as if you were making a pie or tart crust (like I did here), until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the egg and the vinegar and pull the dough into a ball. If it doesn't form, add some water. Form the dough into two balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I know I don't have any pictures of this. I forgot. Check out my pie crust pictures, and you'll get the idea).

For the Filling:
8 dried red chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mace (I couldn't find this and I just skipped it)
2 Tbs coconut oil (or peanut/sesame oil, but I had coconut)
1 cup minced shallots
2 Tbs minced ginger
2/3 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar

1. Grind all the spices together in your mortar/pestle or spice grinder. Or just get some ground spices, mix them together and call it a day.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallots/ginger/spices and cook for five minutes, or until the shallots are soft.

3. Add the meat and salt, stirring to break up lumps. Add the pepper, vinegar and sugar. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally until the meat changes color.

For the tarts:

Roll out the dough and make little circles for the tarts. I used my Zabar's coffee cup instead of a cookie cutter, because I don't have any cookie cutters.

You're supposed to make 16 circles per disk of dough - I didn't quite get that many. But that's okay.

Put some filling in the center of a dough circle.

Brush some water around the edges, then put another dough circle on top.

Push down the edges and press with a fork, so you get cool little ridges. You're supposed to cut slits in the top, but mine all kinda broke while I was making them, so I figured that counted.

Put them on a baking stone (if you have one, if you don't, just use a cookie sheet), and bake in an oven (preheated to 375 degrees) for 20 minutes or until very golden.

Cool on a rack! That's it. In the words of Mr. Sondheim, "God, that's good! That is de-have-u-licious at the tasty smell such oh my god what's perfect more that pies such flavor God that's good!"


Meredith said...

Yum yum. You were totally supposed to give me one of those but we forgot. I may never forgive you.

Just kidding. I'll forgive you if you make me Indian food one of these days.

AHR said...

Those look amazing. Were they savory and sweet?

Maybe you can stage a production of Sweeney and use real pies on stage! Revolutionary!