Vegan Meat Pie | Celery and Beyond Beef | Queer Cooking | Queer Life | Clara & Cole

vegan meat pie, modernized with a sustainable twist, Clara and Cole. below is a picture of a lightly browned meat pie with meat juice brown and bubbling up in 8 slits in the top of the vegan meat pie pie crust. the vegan meat pie is in a aluminum pie tin.

Modern Twist on Old Favorite

Inspired by the Great British Baking Show and translated for the age of climate change and sustainable, healthy, living.

The state of the food system in the United States leaves much desired. I tried to look past the level of gross (and lack of ethics) for years, but the pandemic really pushed it beyond a tolerable point, for me. Meat officially freaks me out. The good stuff costs too much.

step 1 : prep ingredients. step 2 : sauté onions, garlic, beyond beef, pepper, and other spices. step 3: bake

Filling Ingredients

Clara read several traditional meat pie recipes before creating her version.

We try to purchase 2 pounds of beyond meat ground plant based meat like product, but can only find 1 pound. To make up the difference, I dice an entire heart of celery to add volume to the pie. 

While I dice celery, Clara starts cooking the below ingredients in a skillet over medium heat:

  • 16 oz beyond meat
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced and smashed with the back of a knife
  • 1 diced green chili pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice 
  • 1/16 teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon zhatar 

In prep, I remove the spine and seeds from the fresh green chili pepper to cut the heat. Seeds and spines can added significant spice, and I’m just not on that level, unfortunately.

Most recipes call for allspice, but we can’t find it in stores, and substitute pumpkin spice mix. Pumpkin spice mix contains many of the flavors allspice touches on, and serves to balance and flavor the dish in a similar way. 

Prices for dried and packaged sage (and other spices) have exponentially increased with inflation, so we decide to try drying our own. Clara hangs it from the stem for 24 hours before crushing and adding it to the spice mix for this pie. 

Lastly, in terms of ingredient prep, our recipe includes ½ cup mashed potatoes, best done in advance. I make a big batch, and save the extra for a side. 

Crust Ingredients

Clara and her Mom have a recipe for pie crust that never fails.

We have found through trial and error that blind baking ensures an enjoyable pie crust for both sweet and savory pies. 

In a large mixing bowl, Clara combines:

  • 2 cups flour
  • cup butter (substitute vegan butter or other alternative)
  • ½ cup iced water

First, Clara cuts together the butter and flour, until it reaches a coarse crumb. Next, she uses her hands and mixes just until the dough comes together, adding the ice water a little at a time. 

Sometimes there is extra ice water!

“Blind baking ensures an enjoyable pie crust.”

Then, she splits the dough in two and rolls each section between two layers of cling wrap until about ¼ inch thick. Then, Clara slides the pie crust onto a cookie sheet and into the refrigerator to cool.

After chilling, I remove the crust from the fridge and strip off the top layer of plastic film. Then, I fold the crust into quarters and flip it onto one of my hands. Then, I align the corner of the crust with the center of the pie tin and place the quartered crust into the tin. I unfold the crust and shape the corners to match the pattern of my tin. 

We save a bag of beans for blind baking, and grab them from their place of honor on the top shelf in our cabinet. 

After placing a piece of parchment paper on the crust in the tin, Clara puts the beans into the tin. Both go in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes.

If the edges start to go brown, we cover them with aluminum foil to help prevent burning. Sometimes we lower the oven temperature too.

Baking Instructions 

We go by color, texture, and time to determine the cook of the pie.

With the meat browned, I add the diced celery heart and mashed potatoes, and mix until just combined.  

At this point the crust is sufficiently baked. Clara removes the beans from atop the crust, and I fill the pie with the prepared meat filling. I then take the pie crust top and place it over the pie, using the same method I did for the pie bottom (see above diagram).

I prefer a simple top, with slits for venting.

“If the top browns too quickly, cover with foil.”

Back into the oven, this time at 425 F, for 35 - 45 minutes, until the top is brown and juices are bubbling from the vent slits on the top of the crust. 

Again, if the top browns too quickly, we cover it with foil. I consistently forget to egg wash my pie tops, but I’m sure it would be a nice touch and help deter any premature browning of the crust.  

Once done in the oven, we let it set out on the counter to rest for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, it could loose form while we serve it. 

Before cooking this recipe, meat pies intimidated me! I still feel wary at the thought of using ground meat, but to each their own.

Let us know if you try this recipe or if there are variation you prefer in the comments section below!

Clara and Cole: Queer couple living a block from the beach.  Planning the ultimate queer DIY wedding.  Alt-left, feminist atheists who think science is really cool.  Guardians to two majestic dogs, Ocean and Forest. We love homegrown adventures, beach days, queer gardening, and other shenanigans. We try new things. DIY projects, travel, etc.

Forest & Ocean Forest: 3 year old brindle Pit Bull and Chihuahua mix from Palo Alto, California. At 35 lbs, she makes her presence known despite her short stature.  Ocean: 8 month old American Staffordshire Terrier from Rhode Island. Also 35 lbs, she is almost double the height of her sister!

image description: a picture copy of the ingredients list.