Savory Meat Pie


1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork or turkey Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup dried marsala wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 recipe pie dough, chilled
1 teaspoon sugar mixed with 1 egg yolk


Serves 8 to 12

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan set on medium heat. Add the crumbled sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. While the sausage is cooking use the back of a wooded spoon to break it into smaller pieces. Drain the fat from the pan and return to the heat. (to remove as much of the fat as possible from meat, I like to pour it into a strainer and press with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze the fat out)

Stir in the cumin, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and sugar, and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high, pour in the wine and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and tomato paste, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you are using pork sausage, stir in the peas, then transfer the mixture to a bowl. With the turkey sausage, which can sometimes be a little tougher, transfer th mixture to a food processor and pulse 15 times to lightly chop the meat. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the peas. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the filling until cold.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut 2/3 of the dough from the chilled pastry dough. Return the smaller piece to the refrigerator. Reshape the piece of dough into a flat, round disk with your hands and lightly flour both sides. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a circle large enough to fit an 8 inch wide, 1 inch deep fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and carefully unroll it over the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with the chilled meat filling. (it is very important that both the filling and the dough are well chilled or the filling will melt the butter in the pastry and cause it to be soggy). Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a round large enough to cover the filling, with a 1/2 to a 1 inch overhang. Lay the dough across the filling. Fold the edges of the dough back over the top of the meat pie and gently roll the rolling pin across the top of the pie to seal the edges. Poke a few holes in the top of the crust with a fork.


For a less elegant, more rustic method of assembling the pie, use a large baking sheet instead of a pie pan. Devide the dough in half. Roll half of it into a large circle (approximately 1/4 inch or 6 mm thick) and place on the baking sheet. Spoon the filling over the center, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all around. Roll out the remaining dough into a slightly larger circle and place it over the filling. Seal the pie by pinching together the overlapping edges. Bake according to the original instructions.