Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Recipe Inspired By...

More often than not, I don't follow a recipe to the letter. Many times I substitute ingredients I already have for something I don't have. Other times I decide that an herb or spice in my pantry will taste better to my family than the one called for in the recipe. Sometimes I make changes for the sake of convenience, cost or variety.

I consider recipes to be a starting point for the kitchen novice and simply a guideline for the experienced cook. I am not offended when someone makes changes to my recipes, whether they are my own concoctions or some I've found elsewhere. And of course, I don't hesitate to make changes myself.

Such is the case with the meat pies pictured here.

I found the recipe on the blog Full Bellies, Happy Kids and thought it looked good. But when I added it to my menu plan, I decided I didn't want to buy puff pastry, and would use the refrigerator roll recipe I've been using so often lately. I also decided to use cheddar cheese instead of Pepper Jack, because we already had some in the fridge. Then, yesterday, when it was time to make the pie, I decided I'd like a greater ratio of crust to filling, so I decided to make individual pies instead of the one large pie.

These were a hit with my family. Kat especially liked that they could be held in her hands.

In my opinion, once you know the basics of cooking, there are no hard and fast rules. Don't be afraid to alter recipes to suit your dietary needs, budget or taste. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. You may end up with something very similar to the original recipe or something very different.

Here is my version of meat pies; don't forget to check out Sandra's original version as well.

Annie's Meat Pies

1/4 of a batch of refrigerator dough (or your favorite bread dough)
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 envelope onion gravy mix (or brown gravy mix)
Thinly sliced ham (enough for 8 pies)
Shredded Cheddar cheese (approx. 1/2 cup)

Prepare gravy mix per package directions. Stir in cooked and drained ground beef.

Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each into a circle 7-8 inches in diameter.

Spoon 1/4 cup of beef/gravy mixture on rolled dough. Top with ham slices and a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese.

Fold dough in half over the filling. Pinch to seal. (I also roll the dough up and press with tines of a fork to make sure it is sealed.) Place pies on parchment covered cookie sheet. Using a fork, poke several holes in crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 350°F. for approximately 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 pies.


Leanne said...

Ooh they look good. I usually change something about a recipe too.

Annie Jones said...

They tasted really good, too. Even better the second night!

Sandra said...

Annie, yours came out looking great, next time I'll make mine this way and see how my family likes it :)

So glad you enjoy all my recipes :)