Meat pies! Rarrr! In whatever form – samosas, pasties, empanadas – the combination of savory meat and vegetables encased in tender pastry is irresistible. To me. And apparently to John and Nathan too. Before I abandoned my family for the Commanderie dinner on Tuesday night, I played the good wife and mother and tried out a recipe I’d pulled from Gourmet magazine last year for Beef and Curry Pies. Nathan helped me roll out and cut dough so that in no time he and John had hot, crispy meat pies for dinner, while I was whisked off for downtown (smelling rather of curry, a strange combination with my beloved Le Parfum de Therese, to be sure) by Stu and Debbie. The recipe in theory serves 8, but there were no leftovers between the two of them, so… I’ll adjust the serving size accordingly (!) in the posted recipe (in comments, below).
If you’re not in the mood to roll and cut dough (which with frozen puff pastry really doesn’t take very long), I’d suggest empanadas from El Meson. Their empanadas are absolutely perfect. Tender, flaky crust filled with garlic-studded beef, with a hint of sweetness, dipped in fiery salsa… Shut. Up. I crave ’em, with cold beer, although I really only achieve them once a year. Perhaps tonight’s the night, I’ll have to think on that for a bit. What say ye, Johnny?
For lunch today I get to cash in on the efforts of yesterday, when I took the time to simmer a homemade chicken stock. (I use a couple of pounds of chicken thighs, brown them thoroughly in olive oil, then toss hunks of carrots, celery, garlic, and onion into the pot, with a handful of fresh herbs, water to cover, simmer partially covered- skimming often – for 2 hours. Strain carefully – discard solids – season liberally. If not using right away, cool to room temp, uncovered, then chill.) We had the hot stock as a sort of make-your-own-chicken-noodle-soup, with cooked egg noodles, sauteed veggies (asparagus tips, onion, mushrooms, carrots), grated gruyere, and chicken breast pieces (from a rotisserie chicken) as optional add-ins. With a loaf of crusty bread, it made a good, hot, filling meal on a ridiculously cold night. Even my nephew Cooper Cuteness had a few tastes of the rich broth! Coop de Loop does soup!