Monday, October 17, 2011

Beef and Leek Pie

(I just realized how many of our main dishes are in pie or pasta form!  Oh, well, they all taste different!)

As we have discussed, grass-fed beef can be significantly more expensive than corn-fed, CAFO-raised beef.  However, the expense is worth it to us for the increased nutritional value as well as the increased sustainability factor.  Grass-fed beef smells better (even raw), feels better in the hand, and tastes better, even to me (and I'm about 90% vegetarian). 

However, when you are paying $5 a pound for ground beef, you want to get the most out of it.  So, this weekend, we made beef and leek pie.  (Actually, we made two of them, since Mr. FC&G devoured the first one in two days.)  The recipe stretches the beef with the addition of pie crust, garden veggies, and some leftover beer.  It was so good, I had two pieces over the weekend, which probably hits my meat quota for the month!

Beef and Leek Pie

1 double pie crust
1 pound grass-fed beef
3 medium leeks, diced
5-6 small tomatoes, diced (I used yellow tomatoes, which accounts for the yellow tone of the pie above)
1 cup beer (We had some specialty beers, including one I received as a speaker's gift.  The more robust the beer, the more you taste it.)
1 T flour
1 t. dried thyme (optional)

Make your pie crust.

Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain (we don't need to, because the grass-fed beef we get is so un-fatty).  To the ground beef, add leeks and tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes until the leeks are wilted.  Add the beer and the thyme, and bring to a simmer to let some of the alcohol and liquid cook off.

Add the flour and cook until the broth thickens.  Put mixture in the pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until pie crust is done.

(Optional:  If you don't like leeks and/or don't have garden tomatoes left, you could use a pint of canned corn as your veggie.)

The Analysis

Fast:  Not the quickest meal we've ever made, but pretty do-able when both Mr. FC&G and I are cooking.

Cheap:  This relies on garden veggies and herbs to stretch the expensive meat.  If you are buying meat, beer, and crust ingredients, the whole thing would probably come in at about $8 to create an average sized pie.  To save yourself another buck or two, I highly recommend giving speeches at venues that pay in exotic alcohol!  (Right now, I'm on the "will speak for lunch and booze" tour.)

Good:  If you are a meat eater, this is a well-balanced meal and a yummy hearty option on a chilly fall day.  It was particularly welcome after we spent the day putting the garden to bed.

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