When I first moved to Europe, I was very excited about the new culinary experiences I was going to have. But after a few years of grazing my way across the continent, I began to really crave the foods of my homeland—classic American comfort foods. I began to look up recipes for things I could make, things I’d never made before but had taken a sudden interest in. I called my mother to get recipes I remembered from my childhood, and I tweaked them to adapt to the ingredients I was able to get.
I’ve come up with many recipes in the last few years, but this one maybe captures most the essence of the foods I had come to crave. This pie is beefy and cheesy and really, really delicious. It makes me think of a housewife in the ’50s, calling her family to the table for a big slice of cheeseburger pie. Pie that—if this imaginary family is anything like mine—won’t be around for long.
(This recipe was originally published here on 11/21/2013)
Check out these kitchen essentials helpful in making this recipe:
- pie crust - 1 standard
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- onion - 1, chopped
- red pepper - 1, chopped
- garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- ground beef - 1 pound
- tomato sauce - 1 cup
- oregano - 1 tsp
- salt - 1 tsp
- pepper - 1/2 tsp
- bread crumbs - 1/2 cup, dry
- egg - 1
- milk - 1/4 cup
- salt - 1/2 tsp
- dijon mustard - 1/2 tsp
- cheddar cheese - 2 cups, grated
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Line a 9" pie pan with the crust and prick all over with a fork. Cover with aluminum foil and pastry weights and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, then bake for about 5 to 10 more minutes, until browned.
While the crust is baking you can prepare the filling.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet, then cook the onion and pepper until they begin to soften--about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two, then add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up often.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, the oregano, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs, and remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg and milk then whisk in the salt, mustard, and cheese, and set aside.
- Spoon the beef evenly into the pie crust, then spread the cheese mixture over the top, all the way to the edges.
- Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the cheese topping is golden brown. (Keep an eye on the edges of the crust--if they begin to get too browned, make a foil ring and cover them up for the last 10 minutes of baking.)