Meat Pie Advice

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by ricksnewman, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. ricksnewman


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    I'm glad to have found this resource. I'm a young-ish owner/operator with some culinary school, lots of book learnin' and, I'm finding, obviously insufficient experience.

    I run a medium sized pub in Toronto. One of my favorite menu items is our Steak and Ale Pie. I'd be happy to post the complete recipe as it stands, but suffice it to say that it costs way too much and takes way too much work. That's not even the problem. I can handle the prep work and swallow one low margin item on the menu, but I'm having a lot of trouble managing stock.

    We've tried timing fresh baked and held-hot pies for meal service, holding the stew warm, holding the stew cold, pre-baking bottom crusts, abandoning bottom crusts, broiling a top crust to order, and warming a seperate prebaked top crust (like they do in a lot of british pubs). None of these methods seem to produce a consistent product served quickly. Which leads me to my question:

    How the heck do you serve a pie, pot pie style or otherwise in a restaurant? It is time to break down and buy a microwave?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. apprentichef


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    Line Cook
    Never ever put in a microwave in your kitchen, it encourages too many corner cutting methods and will seriously degrade your product quality. Besides, a microwave is only going to make your crust mushy, essentially steaming the water in the crust.

    Use small crocks or ramekins. Filling kept warm on a back burnder. Roll out the dough, and cut the top crust with the opening of the vessel, or cut around it for a more rustic appearance. Ladle in filling, top with crust and toss into the oven. Just be careful with the filling. Kept overlong the beef can get gummy, stringy and tasteless so heat in batches instead of a massive pot of the stuff.

    If that method works for you, then you owe me one on the house next time I'm down from Montreal. :p