A Meat Pie in the English Style

A Meat Pie in the English style.

This is something that would have been eaten during the Regency (although without the pyrex baking dish). Dashed good, if I say so myself.

Cut 2 lbs (1 kilo +-) of beef into 1 inch/ 2cm cubes.
Marinate overnight in:
1/2 bottle guiness stout
1 cup red wine
teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed.
2 bay leaves.

3-4 hours before eating:
cut up and saute:
2 onions
handful of mushrooms
2-3 carrots

when soft add the marinade, a teaspoon of bouillon paste (or about cup of stock) and reduce.

Meanwhile, flour the beef and brown it in a frying pan.

Once the marinade is reduced:
put the vegetables in the bottom of a baking dish, cover with the meat. Use the reduced marinade to deglaze the  pan the beef was browned in. (There will be flour that has stuck to the pan, this will dissolve it to thicken the gravy.) Add the deglazings to the baking dish. If the volume is correct, it will just cover the meat.

Bake in a cool oven (300F, 150C) for 3 hours. Use a covered baking dish. (important, you don’t want it to dry out.) The meat should be very tender by this time.

Remove from the oven, place a pie crust over the top (I used Type L biscuit mix here; my sister in law in the UK uses suet dumplings.)

Return to the oven and bake at 375F 180C for 45 minutes until the crust is done.

Sources for period slang.

Georg_Friedrich_Kersting_005
It’s sort of important to use the authentic language when writing historical fiction, or at least to try to be authentic. In reality, who knows what they really said. I’ve assembled a few resources that I use. 

http://www.regencyassemblypress.com/Regency_Lexicon.html
There are a couple of books of regency slang available on google books, and a number of sites that clone them. This site is one of my favorites. I have to watch the social class, because they mix thieve’s cant with upper class slang. Lady Dalrymple is too much of a “Gentry Mort” to attend a “Bowsing Ken” for her Ratafia. The company might give her the vapors and she’d need her vinegar. Rather unlikely that she’d even understand the words, much less use them.

http://www.etymonline.com this is one I use to make sure I’m not putting in modern slang. In combination with the google ngram viewer, you can catch most anachronisms.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=biscuit+breaks&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cbiscuit%20breaks%3B%2Cc0 This goes directly to the literature for usage counts. It can be surprising. I’ve occasionally found invented slang, such as the phrases Georgette Heyer put into her books to trap plagiarists and paraphrasers.

Welcome to my world.

I’m introducing myself, a computer scientist, an outdoors-person, a dashed good cook, and incidentally an author. Unlike my hiking, I definitely don’t want to “leave no trace.”

In any case here are a few pictures from my recent travels to whet your appetite.

IMGP0036 This isn’t too recent, but the Berkshire Royals broke into the theme from Blackadder one time when I was in Reading. (Reading UK, not Reading PA, although I’ve been there too).

DSC_0332 If you know what this is, at one time I’d have had to kill you. It’s a bombe! Visiting Bletchley park was something of a pilgrimage. I research in several areas related to this, and even teach an advanced graduate course where cryptography is a major topic. The gears were oiled and the guide pointed out that they had a timing adjustment – just the way old-fashioned cars did.

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This view is from the “Devil’s Kitchen” near Mt. Snowdon in Wales. Our car was parked down by that narrow lake in the distant haze. Nice climb, but hot (summer of ’14). I met a group of Royal Army trainees on their way down. Unused to the weather, they had nothing like the amount of water needed.

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This is from this summer, in Dartmoor on Hayter Tor. The track is hand-carved granite. None of that cheap iron stuff.

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I’m also a light-weight backpacker of no small skill. This shows my ‘trail-star’ pitched mid-winter on a scout campout. Huge inside and much less than one pound to carry. (about 400 grams in rational units.)