Beef and Pork Pie

From The City Tavern Cookbook: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine
© 2009 by Walter Staib

Making meat pies was actually a safety measure in colonial times. Since refrigeration was nonexistent back then, cooking leftover meat a second time in a pie eliminated any bacteria which might have developed since the first roasting. At the City Tavern, we serve this satisfying pie for lunch on a bed of Sweet and Sour Cabbage, drizzled with Demi-glace, and garnished with chopped parsley. You also can serve it with Cabbage Salad.

Overnight preparation required (for roasting meat)

Makes 8 large or 24 small triangles; Serves 8

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2- inch cubes
  • (see opposite page)
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 1/2- inch cubes
  • (see opposite page)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup red burgundy wine
  • 1 cup chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Demi-glace
  • 3 pounds Quick Puff Pastry or purchased puff pastry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  1. In a large skillet, sauté the precooked beef and pork cubes, onions, and garlic in the butter over high heat for 5 minutes, until the onions are golden brown.
  2. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the liquid has evaporated
  3. Stir in the Demi-glace and cook about 5 minutes more, until all liquid has evaporated again.
  4. Remove from the heat. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet and let it cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate the mixture about 1 hour to cool completely.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  6. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the Quick Puff Pastry to J-inch thickness. Cut out six 6- to 8-inch squares and brush the edges with the egg mixture.
  7. Place 1 cup of the meat mixture in the center of each square. Fold each square over diagonally to form a triangle and press the edges firmly to seal. Using a fork, gently prick the center of each triangle to allow steam to escape. Lightly brush the edges again with the egg mixture.
  8. Arrange the triangles 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.


Roasting Pork Shoulder and Beef Chuck

Makes 3 pounds of cooked meat

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the oil mixture over the meats.
  3. Roast the pork shoulder about 1 hour; roast the beef chuck about 1 1/2 hours, until a meat thermometer registers 170°F for each meat.
  4. Remove the meats from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate up to one day or until ready to use.

Chef’s Note
This recipe can be easily adapted into a tasty appetizer, by making individual pastry triangles—perfect finger food for a party.