Dinner last night: Swedish Meat Pie

More experimental baking! We weren’t sure what to do for dinner last night with Julie coming over for Girl’s Night, so I looked around online until I found this recipe for Swedish Meat Pies on Allrecipes.com. I’d never made meat pies before and I’ve heard good yummy things about them, so I figured I’d give it a try! (Sorry, I know some of you are on diets that make this kind of food not an option — feel free to skip this post. I won’t talk about anything other than this recipe today.)

Spoiler: They were DELICIOUS.

These were not the easiest things to make. It took me about an hour and a half to get done. But I think they might be worth doing again anyway because they were just SO yummy. And it wasn’t exactly complicated. It just took time.

First, I melted some butter in my cast iron skillet. Have I mentioned yet today how much I love this skillet? LOVE! IT!

Then I added the ground beef and onion. I added spices to that, too. I didn’t have any ground allspice, so I had to skip that. Plus I used dried parsley instead of fresh, so I only put in 2 teaspoons instead of 2 tablespoons — I think I could have put in a full tablespoon and it would have been better.

And I didn’t feel like grating potatoes so I picked up a bag of uncooked hash brown potatoes and threw what looked like a good amount into the pan.

That all cooked up together until the meat was browned.

After that, I took it off the heat and threw in two cups of shredded cheddar cheese into the pan and stirred it up until that melted.

And then that got set aside while I worked on the crust.

That there, though? I would eat that with a spoon. Put some study noodles with it and serve it up as homemade hamburger helper. Maybe a little less cheese, since the cheese is what helps hold the meat together so it goes into the pies easier, but makes it really sticky and it’d be easier with noodles if it wasn’t quite as sticky. But DELICIOUS.

Anyway, moving on to the crust, this was crust not like normal crusts. I mean, sure, it’s got flour and salt and shortening, like normal. But instead of milk or water, the moisture comes from sour cream.

I mixed my flour and salt, cut in the shortening to make small pea-sized lumps. And then I added sour cream to the mix until it stuck together.

It was strange. But the results, once cooked, was a crust that was melt in your mouth flaky. AMAZING. Kind of sticky to roll, unfortunately, and it reminded me why I usually just buy crust when I’m making pies. But once I started taking my time and remembering the tricks I learned for rolling out pie dough (turn it a half-turn between every roll, flip it over every full turn, take the time to do it right the first time, stuff like that), then it turned out better.

In reading the recipe, I read a comment that said that there was more filling than could fit into the crusts, and because the recipe said it would make 4 pies, but I needed to have leftovers for the next night, I added half-again as much ingredients for the crust. So, instead of 2 cups of flour, I put in 3; the 6 tablespoons of sour cream became 9 tablespoons, etc.

Once the dough started sticking together, I kneaded it on the counter for a little bit to mix it all together a little more, and then divided it into 6 balls. Then I rolled those out to a size that seemed about right (it said to do 1/8 inch thick, but I’m bad at that, so I just looked for what seemed okay) and then put a heaping 1/2 cup of the filling into it. I wet the edges of the dough, folded it over, and pressed the edges together to seal them.

The first one didn’t go well. The crust fell apart on me and I failed to remember to put the filling off on one half of the crust instead of in the middle. The other ones went much better. And even with the additional dough, I still ended up with a least 1/2 cup of leftover filling.

After I had 4 of these on a pan (that’s all that would fit) I put them into the oven to cook at 400* for 20 minutes. At the end of that, they didn’t look quite done on top, so they went for another 10 after that. And then they still didn’t look quite done, but we were hungry, so they came out. (The last two cooked while we were eating dinner.)

We ate them paired with a salad and one pie was completely filling. Justin and Julie put some of the buttermilk ranch dressing on top and said that it was very good that way. They were very hot inside and stayed hot for a long time, so we had to be careful not to burn our mouths while wanting to put as much of this into our mouth as quickly as possible. It was YUMMY. And you can see, even in the photos, that the crust was nice and crumbly/flaky.

So, it took a while to all come together, but it was definitely worth it. We all have a pie left over for today and I’m looking forward to that for dinner! Julie just texted me to tell me that she ate hers for lunch and it held up well as leftovers. She warmed hers up in the oven at about 300* for maybe 5 or 6 minutes, cut in half to warm up the insides faster.