Happy Halloween! Since we can’t go to parties or see family this year, I think a lot of us have been looking for ways to feel more festive. So, for the month of October, my family has been doing our own 31 days of Halloween movie nights to help us get in the spirit (since nothing else will be happening this year). This last week has been filled with all of the classics: Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and (one of our favorites) Sweeney Todd.
Since I love a themed dinner, I decided to make my version of Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies for our viewing this past Wednesday. Unlike the movie, these are delicious, with a flaky crust and savory filling. And they use leftover steak (not cats or humans), which is super convenient if you have some in your fridge.
I decided to make a double crust, but I’ve seen these made with just crust on top. If you don’t like that much crust, just halve the crust recipe. You can also use one big pie pan if you prefer, however, I like making personal pies for everyone (plus, using ramekins is really easy and they’re so cute!). The filling is super customizable, so you can just add whatever you have in your fridge or freezer. You could also adapt this recipe to make a chicken pot pie version. Just change out the steak with chicken, use chicken stock instead of beef stock, and maybe add some cream.
My brother and (soon to be) sister-in-law helped me decorate the tops of these pies. This crust recipe makes enough dough to make all kinds of decorations, so don’t worry about not having enough. To get the color on top, I mixed some red food coloring with a beaten egg. For the black, I used a little bit of black sesame paste. We used a small brush to paint on the details and a sharp knife to score them. The decorations actually help because they can act as vents for your pies!
I actually got the idea to do this creepy face from Portlandia Pie Lady. She tells you how to achieve this design in this post. If you decide to not decorate these like we did (and I’d understand since they’re super creepy to eat), just make sure that you’re brushing the tops with egg wash and cutting vents into them anyway.
These are so delicious and definitely a crowd pleaser. This recently became my go-to pie crust recipe, it just always comes out buttery and flaky and perfect. A perfect warm meal for the colder months coming up. Enjoy!
Halloween Steak Meat Pies
For the crust:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 30 tbsps cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (about 3 3/4 sticks)
- a little under 1/2 tsp salt
- a little under 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg
For the filling:
- 1 cup onion
- 12 tbsp butter (about 1 1/2 sticks)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 12 oz. cooked steaks (cubed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup green peas frozen)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
Make the crust:
- Combine flour, butter, salt, and sugar in a food processor.
- Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and butter is broken into small pieces (slightly smaller than a pea).
- Pour ice water into the mixture and pulse a couple more times. Make sure it's evenly moist, but do not overmix. If too dry, add another tablespoon of water.
- Place dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a large disk and wrap in more plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Dough can be made in advance, up to 2 days)
Make the filling:
- In a large pot, cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter until onions and mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in flour, stirring constantly. Cook for a couple minutes.
- Slowly and gradually stir in beef broth. Keep stirring until thick and bubbly.
- Add steak, heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Pour into a large container (I used a cake pan) and cool to room temperature.
Assemble your pies:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- While your filling cools, generously cover a surface in flour and roll out 1/2 of your crust dough. Using a bowl, cut out your bottom crusts (use the pie pan if making one large pie or cut out smaller rounds if using ramekins). Press dough into your ramekins or pie pan. Use your index knuckle to press dough into all edges/corners, getting rid of all air pockets.
- Fill your pies with the meat filling. Pour a handful of peas on top.
- Roll out the other half of your dough. Cut out into slightly smaller rounds.
- Carefully place a round of dough over the meat filling. Crimp edges with your fingers or press with a fork.
- Beat an egg in a small bowl. With the leftover dough, make decorations to go on top! Brush egg wash on decorations to make them stick.
- Cut a couple of slits in the top to let the steam escape. Brush the entire surface with egg wash.
- Cook for 30-45 minutes, until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through vents.
- Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Pies will be very hot, so be careful.