Mrs. Maduro's Meat Pies
MAKES 3 DOZEN
During the holidays, the Maduro family makes and sells thousands of these pies.
FOR THE FILLING:
1 lb. lean ground chuck
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 pimiento-stuffed green olives, minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
3 tbsp. dry sherry
FOR THE DOUGH:
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups lard or vegetable shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1. For the filling: Combine meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, butter, vinegar, red pepper flakes, parsley, and thyme in a large skillet, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. Mix together flour, mustard, sherry, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; then add to meat, stirring until mixture thickens, 3–5 minutes. Set filling aside to cool.
2. For the dough: Sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in lard; then add up to 1 cup ice water, stirring with a fork until dough holds together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and shape into 2 balls. Roll out each ball until 1/4'' thick. Use a 3'' round cutter to cut 36 circles from each half of dough. Fit half the circles into 2 1/2'' round fluted tart tins. Fill each with 1 tbsp. filling, and cover each with remaining dough circles. Seal edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash, and prick top once.
3. Preheat oven to 400°. Set tins on a baking sheet, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.