It’s March 14! Which makes the date 3.14….Happy Pi Day! In honor of this fun and delicious day, Tales From a Southern Mom has teamed up with Wholly Wholesome to bring you an amazing recipe, and a tasty giveaway!
It seems that desserts are another one of those “there are two types of people in the world” categories: Cake People and Pie People. My husband is firmly a cake person. He really could go the rest of his days without ever eating pie again, but he would happily eat cake every day. So naturally, for Pi Day, when I was presented with the opportunity to make a delicious pie and share it with you wonderful readers, my mind first went to sweet treats. But then I thought again. And I asked myself, “self, what is YOUR favorite pie?” And the answer may come as no surprise to you- my favorite pie is French Chocolate Silk. But, a very close second would be pretty much the whole category of savory pies. And you know what? My take pie or leave it hubby absolutely adores savory pies too. And so do most people I know. I can’t name a single person that doesn’t list Chicken Pot Pie in their top 10 of comfort foods.
While contemplating my recipe choice, I also considered that in the years since World War II, people are spending less and less time in the kitchen preparing meals and relying more and more on premanufactured food items. So not only are health issues such as gluten sensitivity on the rise, but people are seeking products that closely replicate that feeling of love and security that comes from foods literally made with love. That’s where Wholly Gluten Free comes in. This is a line of gluten free products including pie shells, that are baked in a dedicated gluten free bakehouse to guarantee no risk of trace gluten. The mission of Wholly Gluten Free is to provide a product to cooks that are superior in taste, ingredients and production standards. They seek to create foods that are “wholicious” (wholesome and delicious), that are the best performing gluten free products available and with an ingredient list that consumers can trust as everything is declared and no labling law loopholes are at play. The pie shells used for this recipe contained no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or additives and no GMOs. The product is easy to work with and is interchangeable in most recipes with either a traditional homemade crust or a storebought crust. I personally found it to be most similar to the prerolled pie crust disks you can buy in 2-packs in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The oils in the shell do soften quickly at room temperature so if you are planning to do a lot of detailed decoration, I suggest you plan accordingly to add a bit of freezer cooling time into your prep. It was a little more oily to work with than a standard homemade recipe, probably due to the lack of trans fats. The final product is delicious, has a nice texture and not heavy. I also would compare it to most storebought, ready made pie crusts. Very easy to use, and you can stash an extra in the freezer for handy use.
Wholly Wholesome has teamed up with Tales From a Southern Mom in honor of Pi Day and their new Gluten Free product line and is offering one of our lucky readers the opportunity to try two free Wholly Wholesome or Wholly Gluten Free products! Be sure to enter the giveaway! ONLY VALID for 24 HOURS ENTER NOW!!
So in honor of this gastronomical revelation or revolution, if you can call it that, I bring you a recipe I created based on several savory meat pie recipes shared with me by a dear friend in England, where savory meat pies are a part of the every day cuisine. A new twist on two classic English pies, Steak and Ale pie and Steak and Bleu cheese pie, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is super versatile as well, it adapts well to any crusts and can be made in a pie pan, in a deep skillet and serve slices family style, or make into hand pies. Either way you choose, it’s delicious!
**Steak, Ale, Caramelized Onion and Bleu Cheese Pie**
*I used a pressure cooker to speed things along since I didn’t want to be in the kitchen over a hot stove any longer than necessary. But you can just as easily cook the meat in the gravy in a sauce pot for a couple hours on the stove.
You will need- 1 pie crust, top and bottom. I used this product from Wholly Gluten Free by Wholly Wholesome, which is a Gluten Free Pie Shell
1 lb stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 pint of ale, or one 12 oz bottle plus a couple of ounces of water
1 teaspoon beef base (you could probably substitute boullion here)
5 ounces bleu cheese (I actually recommend less. 2-3 ounces is perfect for this pie)
olive oil or butter
3 slices bacon
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
3 sweet onions
salt and pepper
Start by cutting the bacon into 1/3′” pieces with scissors and in a large pressure cooker or pot, render the fat, cooking til bacon is slightly crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Toss beef pieces in flour and brown quickly in the bacon fat, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Remove and add more beef too cook, in batches, until it’s all browned. Deglaze pan with bottle of ale, making sure to scrape up all the bits on the bottom. Add water, beef base, parsley, thyme, beef, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer (at this point you would continue to simmer for about 1.5 hours if not using a pressure cooker.) If using a pressure cooker, lock the lid and wait for the pressure to build and the cooker to whistle, then reduce heat and let cook for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and run cold water over cooker to release the steam pressure.
While the beef is cooking, you can caramelize your onions. you’ll need to slice them thin, and for that I use a mandolin slicer. Then I cook them in butter in a large pan, stirring frequently, until they are golden and delicious.
Once the beef is removed from the heat and the lid can be removed, add the caramelized onions and taste. Add additional Thyme, salt and pepper if needed.
Roll out your crust and line a 10-12″ skillet. Fill with the steak and onion mixture. Top with Bleu Cheese. Roll out your top crust, lay over the pie, roll the edges and vent and decorate however you see fit.
Bake at 400* for 35 minutes and enjoy!!