You’ll be forgiven if you can’t remember the mention of the Beef and Bacon Pie Reeder refers to here, when Castle Black-bounded Jon Snow reminisces about his favourite dish back in Winterfell. Especially since the Game of Thrones TV series has given us such memorable scenes with other pies: the pigeon pie that poisoned Joffrey, the Frey pie studded with fingers that Arya fed her uncle Walder, and even kidney pie, the making of which Hot Pie expounded on to Brienne of Tarth at the Inn at the Crossroads. Still, it’s hard to argue with Jon that beef and bacon pie makes for a great comfort food of choice, and Reeder’s version here is warm and hearty enough. Those looking for a more flaky pie crust are recommended to fold the dough.
The only beef I had with this recipe is that after an hour braising, almost all the beef stew gravy had been soaked up by the meat. Sure, the beef was juicy and flavourful after that, but you’d do well to increase the amount of beef stock and red wine added to keep things nice and moist. As Hot Pie had so kindly instructed Brienne, “You cannot give up on the gravy. No gravy, no pie.”
Serves 6-8 | Level: EASY | Total time: 3 hours
double-crust pie dough
2½ cups (310 g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks, or 240 g) unsalted butter, chilled
6 tbsp ice water
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Slice the butter into the processor and pulse everything until it forms crumbs. Blend in enough ice water to create moist clumps, but not so it is all stuck together.
- Gather the dough into a ball with your hands. If you’re making double crust, divide the dough in half and form into 2 balls. Flatten into disc(s), wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
beef and bacon pie
1 pound (450 g) stew beef, cubed
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
10 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup (235 ml) red wine
1 cup (235 ml) beef broth
1 cup (150 g) raisins
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp ground allspice
1 double-crust pie dough
1 tbsp flour, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C) and season the beef with salt and pepper.
- In a Dutch oven, brown the beef in the olive oil until it’s got some good color on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add the bacon to the Dutch oven and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set the bacon aside, leaving the fat behind.
- Add the carrots to the bacon fat and sauté until they are softened, then add the onion. Keep cooking until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize.
- Add back the beef, along with the red wine, beef broth, raisins, herbs, and spices. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits sticking to the pot and incorporate them with the broth and wine.
- Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and stick it in the oven to braise for 1–2 hours or until the beef is tender enough that it can be mashed with a fork.
- Break the beef up into smaller pieces—this will help incorporate the gravy. Once done, stir in the bacon.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and roll out the pie dough on a lightly fl oured surface. Grease and line two 12 ounce ramekins with pie dough, keeping in mind that there should be enough dough left over to top them as well. Trim away the excess.
- Spoon the beef mixture into each dough-lined ramekin, rationing it evenly between the pies.
- Roll out the dough again and top each of the ramekins with a layer of dough, cutting off any excess and rerolling as necessary. Crimp the edges of the pie to seal and cut vents into the center.
- Bake the pie for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown color.
The Geeky Chef Strikes Back is published by Race Point Publishing. ©2017 Cassandra Reeder
For SALT’s full review, download our December 2017 issue here! Meanwhile, here are the other dishes from the book that we tested: Jawa Juice from Star Wars, White Dragon Noodles from Blade Runner, Gunslinger Burritos from The Dark Tower, and Norma’s Cherry Pie from Twin Peaks.