Thursday, November 8, 2012

Aunt Mary's / Great-Great-Grandma Plant's French Meat Pie

I am so incredibly excited to make this recipe! My Aunt Mary made it for me several years ago and I've been after her to get me the recipe ever since.

I'm planning to make it this weekend to try it out, then again for book club next Friday.

Here is some family history on this pie, which I found incredibly interesting:

Great Grandma Plant's French meat pie has potatoes, onions and pork sausage and of course spices. I never make it the same way twice, but will be happy to send along the recipe. I use either Gwaltney or Jimmy Dean, but whatever you like is fine. Nancy uses turkey sausage, but I have never tried that. Mom used to bake the pies about 20 minutes before freezing them. Aunt Marge taught me to put the cooked filling in the crusts and freeze them without baking them. That is what I do now too. Aunt Lorraine used the sausage mix as stuffing for turkey. It seems everyone does their own thing. I rarely make fewer than six at a time. It is wonderful to have them on hand for breakfast, lunch, supper and hostess gifts. Believe it or not, Grandma Grande made the pies and used her attic to store them. It was / is cold in Minnesota, but I sure would not trust that. I often wondered how she froze things because her ice box freezer only held about 2 trays of cubes and maybe a small steak. Now you have a little family history to talk about over the pies.

Love it! I'm pretty sure that I could have stored those pies in our house just a few years ago. There were days that you could see your breath inside. So happy all of that is over. :)

On to her recipe... once I make it, I will post my version.

The recipe for about 3 9" pies is as follows: 1 and 1/2 pounds lean pork sausage, 1 large chopped onion simmered with the pork for about 15 minutes, 6 medium potatoes or a little more, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp savory or poultry seasoning. Break up sausage in a frying pan and brown with the onion. Add the spices and chopped potatoes (my mother used to grind them, but I julienned or chop them in about 1/2 in chunks.) At this point you can cover the pan and cook everything together until the potatoes are done, but an easier way is to put the whole shabang into a roasting pan and bake it covered untill the potatoes are done, stirring once in awhile. You will probably need to add a cup of water to keep it from sticking before starting the baking process and more as you go if you note sticking. Bake at about 350 degrees. It takes about an hour. While the filling is baking set up your pie pans. I use Pillsbury ready mades, but your favorite will be fine. When the filling is done, let it cool a tad so it is easier to work with. Then divide it among the prepared pie shells, put on the top layer and flute. Let the pies cool at room temp unless you are serving them right away. If you are serving them right away, prick the top crusts, and bake them at 400 degrees until the crusts begin to get to the degree of done you want. It will pobably take about 30 minutes, but watch the edges. If you are going to freeze them, prick the crusts, and after they are cooled, cover each tightly with Saran wrap and then a sheet of foil. Place in freezer and they will keep a year or longer. To reheat, place in 400 degree oven for about and hour (cover the edges so they do not burn. Enjoy. 

This weekend I'll be making pie crusts and taking a trip to Cedar Run for their delicious sausage and whatever else I can get my hands on. I'm planning to make my own pie crusts with a combination of butter and rendered duck fat, we'll see how it goes. I'm hoping that the duck fat in the fridge is still good from the last time I cooked duck. If not, I found a place in Easton that sells it.

Looking forward to a tasty weekend! :)


  1. Well that sounds wonderful. Photos please :-)

  2. what a funny coincidence...i just emailed mary a couple weeks ago asking her for some egg recipes. she emailed me a history explaining eggs arnold, and how she tried to immitate a recipe that used to be served at the cocoa lane in ellicott city when connie vogelhut was head chef in the 70s. she also mailed me a packet of her favorite recipes that should arrive any day now. both her neices hitting her up for recipes all of a sudden, how fun :)

    my mom makes meat pies too! this sounds exactly like the way she makes them--she freezes them uncooked also. i haven't had a slice in over a decade but it's a nice familiar smell when she cooks don't get that meat/onion savory with cinnamon combo smell very often. i don't know if mary does this too but my mom always serves it with ketchup.

    have you ever had grandma grande's garbage soup? my mom used to make it often when i was a kid, especially in the winter. i'd almost forgotten about it, and then a couple weeks ago a friend of mine made some pumpkin/quinoa stew that (for no good reason at all) tasted a whole lot like GGGS. i'm going to consult my mom and then try making the original recipe one of these days. the only non-vegan ingredient is ground beef which is easily substituted with TVP.