This easy-to-make cold weather comfort food can be assembled up to two weeks in advance if you place it in an airtight container and freeze it.
- step-by-step directions
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
- 1 small carrot (finely chopped)
- 2 ounces prosciutto di Parma (about 5 slices, finely chopped)
- 1 3/4 pounds ground beef chuck
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces chicken livers (about 3, rinsed, cleaned and finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
- all-purpose flour (for dusting)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Buttery Pastry Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 1/2 pound cold, unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/3 cup ice water (plus more if needed)
- To make the filling, heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Add the prosciutto and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Crumble the beef into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the beef, for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is just cooked and no longer pink. Add the chicken livers and cook for about 2 minutes or until the livers are just cooked and no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and allspice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the tomato paste is well blended.
- Stir in the wine and cook for about 2 minutes or until it evaporates completely. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until the milk has reduced by three-fourths and the sauce is thick and creamy. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until well blended.
- Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-fourth. Season with salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside to cool (you should have about 4 1/2 cups of filling).
- To assemble and bake the pies, position a rack on the lowest rung of the oven and set a baking sheet on rack. Preheat oven to 400°F (being close to the source of heat will help the bottom crusts bake and brown properly).
- On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 6-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Line a 5-inch disposable aluminum pie pan with the dough. Repeat with 5 more dough balls and pie pans. Divide the filling among the pans using about 3/4 cup filling per pie.
- Roll out the remaining 6 dough pieces to 6-inch rounds and lay them over the filling. Trim the dough overhand to 1/2 inch. Pinch the bottom and top crusts together to seal and fold them under. Crimp the edges. Using your finger, make a hole in the center of each top crust.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream to blend. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the pies with the egg-cream mixture.
- Place the pies on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust begins to brown before the filling bubbles, tent the pies with foil. Let the pies cool on a wire rack until warm before serving.
- For the Buttery Pastry Dough: Makes enough for one 2-crust pie or 12 individual pies.
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times or until the butter is in pea-size pieces (do not over-process).
- While pulsing the processor, add 1/3 cup of the ice water, then pulse just until moist clumps of dough form adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it in half. Divide each piece of dough into 6 pieces and shape into disks. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- The pies can be assembled up to 2 weeks ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Do not thaw before baking, but add 10 minutes to the baking time (50 minutes total).
- The secret to homemade pastry dough is to avoid blitzing your butter to smithereens in the food processor. Leaving pea-size pieces of butter in the dough is key because they will melt in the oven and release water, which will become steam. The steam helps to puff up the dough and contribute to that melt-in-your-mouth texture. The dough can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Alternatively, it can be frozen up to 1 month.
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