The Good Housewife’s Jewell
To make a veale pie.
Let your Veale boyle a good while, and
when it is boyled, mince it by it selfe,
and the white, by it selfe, and season it with
salt and pepper, cinamon and ginger, and
suger, and cloues and mace, and you muste
haue prunes and raisons, dates & currantes
on the top.
I used a prefab pie crust. There. I said it. I used a prefab, came in a box, frozen crust, leftover from my Mom’s thanksgiving baking, and I won’t do it again. It was a false expediency and unpleasant to work with.
That aside, the rest of the pie was pretty lovely.
We scored a nice ceramic pie pan from a clearance rack, and a breast of veal from a confused vendor, and the rest of the goods we had in stock. (I had the thought of tracking how long my staples last, but because we are feeding so few, I don’t think it would help anyone.)
The breast of veal went into a pot of water which seethed for about 30 minutes on low.
After the pink of it faded and it stopped looking raw around the bones, I allowed it to cool while I prepared the pie crust.
I opted not to blind-bake this crust, though I normally would. To blind bake, prepare a crust, place it in the pan, and bake til brown. Sometimes weights such as beans (cannot be reused for anything else) or specially made ceramic balls are needed to keep the shell from blistering or pulling away from the pan.
While this was happening, my dried fruits, which are very very dry, were soaking up some wine. I sliced the dates the long way to ensure they had no pits, as well.
I received a lovely new mortar and pestle, which made much shorter work of my whole spices than anything prior. The shape of the pestle is very aggressive. I actually achieved fully powdered whole cloves for the first time!
Then I began to prepare the meat. I boned the breast of veal as best I could, and rather than putting the meat into a grinder, I took two knives and whacked it methodically til it was fully minced. This process took about 10 minutes, mostly because I took my time and was very careful.
Unfortunately, my veal had very little fat. It’s so hard to get, and so expensive, that there was no way to source veal fat without some serious gymnastics.
I had to get some form of binder, carrier, and moistener into the dish without use of the fat which naturally would have come with a more appropriate cut, and chose egg whites. Therefore this recipe is a more distant adaptation.
1 breast of veal, about 2.5 lbs w bones
2 egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
3 leaves of mace
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ cup gewurtztraminer (or what is on hand)
1 TBS currants
1 pie crust
Heat oven to 350*
Place dried fruit in wine. Set aside.
Roll the pie crust into the pan. Cover with a dampened linen towel or plastic wrap.
Place meat in poaching vessel, almost cover with water. Simmer, turning as needed, til it no longer shows evidence of having rawness.
Remove from heat, allow to cool. (return bones to liquid to make broth after boning meat out, for another dish)
When the meat is cool, mince it or grind it.
Measure spices, grind or crush if needed, place in a bowl.
Add the egg whites to the same bowl, and whip until the spices are evenly incorporated.
Fold the eggs into the meat until evenly incorporated.
Place the meat mixture into the pie crust, and decorate with the soaked dried fruits. Feel the fruits as you go for pits.
Bake at 350* until your meat thermometer gives a 140* reading.
We had this pie with the pear dish posted last week, which was a nice match. (Good Housewife’s Jewell has an iteration called To Preserve Wardens.)
It held overnight in the fridge very well, and reheated admirably.
This is an excellent picnic dish.