Hello my lovely readers,
In light of the holiday season I would like to share with you the story behind my Mom's Meat Pie recipe. This story was written by my mother, who instilled in me a reverence for the written word from a very young age. When I think of my mom I remember the sound of her voice as she read my brother and I a bedtime story and sound of her laughter as she taught us how to find our way around the kitchen. I hope you enjoy her tale.
Grandma Francios' Meat Pie
It is the connections; memories, moments that resonate a strong emotion, or cause you to reminisce on a special event with an important someone, that make a recipe cookbook worthy. In our family many meal conversations revolve around where we lived when we first had a meal, who shared the meal with us, or at what holiday or event we first experienced a particular food.
Meat Pie is a French recipe that has was brought to America with the Francios family in the late 1800’s. I am the 4th generation to carry on the tradition of making this recipe at Christmas in America. Some things have changed due to “food technology;” we no longer say lard, or go to the butcher to grind up a chuck roast. Instead we use Crisco, and the cut of meat is determined by percentage of fat (80% for more fat or 93% is equivalent to ground chuck).
Anyone who makes pies from scratch will agree the crust makes the pie. In this recipe the crust recipe was never included. The one I include is the best recipe I have ever encountered and was a gift from my dear friend Sue Klementz.
As a child my Christmas began with Midnight Mass, followed with opening our presents. While presents were being opened; Meat Pie was slowly baking in the kitchen. The warm scent of cloves would slowly permeate the living room and suddenly someone would comment “I can smell the Meat Pie.” As an adult my family opens presents on Christmas morning after reading the book of Luke. Yet, the meat pie still bakes while we open presents, and when the smell of cloves reaches my olfactory senses I immediately think of my Grandmother Emma Francois and this family tradition.
- Judy Klaus
The recipe can be found in Wolftree Magazine's ebook, "Five Pies and a Sugar Cookie," which can be purchased here. Also, please keep an eye out for more updates about a holiday series Anne, Molli, the Wolftree team, and myself collaborated on! The series will be published on Wolftree's website very soon and I am jazzed to share it with you!