The real meat pie from antiquity (You don’t eat the crust)
The real meat pie should consist of meat only, right? Ha, but we already created such a recipe! However, while writing the intro for our Keto Pies and Pizzas cookbook, I found an interesting fact about the history of pies. Ancient bakers in Athens, but also in the rest of the Mediterranean cultural basin, did not eat or care for the crust! It served only as the baking dish for the meat filling. This way they were working on the best ways to slow cook meat in its juices without worrying about washing the dishes! The crust was the dish that they would just throw away! Now, how ingenious was this?
What’s behind the project of a real meat pie?
Why do we use flour or cereals if we are a Keto-oriented website? Arent modern wheat and other grains the main reason many people face health issues? Yes! However, you will not be eating the crust, you’ll use it as a dish and that’s all! Furthermore, all ancient organic cereals are not as toxic as modern ones. And even if you don’t want to eat them, isn’t it fun to create this ancient pie? You would literally experience the meat pie ancient Greeks and Romans ate! I must warn you, this will be the tastiest stew-alike creation! There’s something in the slow cooking method. After all, culinary art is all about the recreation of ancient recipes!
It all started with meat pies…
The first pies known to humans were savoury meat pies where the crusts or pastry were used as a baking dish for meat sauce. Pretty much similar to what we call a meat pie today! The only difference is that the original crust was not edible. It was so thick and tough and it served as a baking dish. People were only eating the filling and throwing the crust away.
Did the Egyptians start the fame?
The foundations of pie creation can be drawn back to ancient Egypt too. The bakers who baked goods for pharaohs were adding nuts, honey and fruits to bread dough. This was a fundamental kind of baked pastry. Representations of this can be seen carved on the tomb walls of Ramses II, stationed in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
Europe and the Western world
Historians consider that the ancient Greeks introduced pie to the western world. Who else, you might say? Pies from the time of our ancestors featured flour-water paste encased around meat, which helped to cook the meat and keep it juicy. But, we need to remember that Ancient Greeks prefered emmer or barley over wheat!
The Romans tasted this delicacy and stole the recipes when they conquered Athens. According to records, the wealthy and sophisticated Romans used different types of meat in every dish. It was only natural that what we call the real meat pie was a popular dish. They even had meat for dessert! Ever heard about Secundae Mensae or in Greek επιδόρπιο (Epidorpio)? According to classical documents, seafood and meat were popular ingredients in Roman pies. The enjoyment of pie expanded throughout Europe, thanks to the Roman roads. But the Mediterranean countries kept some typical flavours and methods.
Shall we bake a real meat pie?
You can use any flour for your real meat pie crust that will serve as a dish. We like to be authentic and therefore we’ll use emmer! If you want to use Keto or Low-Carb flours opt for the cheaper Keto flours since you will not eat the crust. Ideally, you would use flaxseed or coconut flour since they are the most affordable ones. Naturally, you will have to add some psyllium to get the dough elasticity! Just be creative and explore the possibilities!