A Meat Pie for Playoff Season

A meat pie for playoff season at The Pie Academy

Today – Saturday, December 12th – is the 115th meeting between the Army and Navy football teams, by nearly any measure the most spirited, enduring, and beloved rivalry in American sports.

The Super Bowl can’t hold a candle to the Army-Navy Game. For the vast majority of these young men the Army-Navy game is not a stepping stone into the pros or a prelude to mind-boggling rookie salaries.

Rather, it’s the pinnacle of their college football careers and a showcase of grit, determination, and raw emotion guided by true sportsmanship and discipline. A rivalry indeed, but one that comes with a knowingness that their opponent on the field may one day serve alongside them on the battlefield.

A meat pie for playoff season from The Pie Academy

As a young man I spent four years in the Seabees, the Navy’s construction wing. Later in life my wife and I lived in Annapolis – home of the Naval Academy – and in our twelve years there we rarely missed a home football game. It’s clear whom I’ll be routing for.

More than just Navy, however, I’ll be routing for all members of the military, for the sacrifices they make, and for the country they serve.

America is a great nation. But we could use a break from divisiveness right now, from the careless rhetoric that’s alienating many and giving little credence to the united in United States.

We are a big country with lofty ideals, opposing viewpoints, and difficult problems to tackle. Disagreements are expected. But let’s remember that in the end – as the Army-Navy football game always reminds us – we’re all on the same team.

A meat pie - tourtiere - for football playoff season from The Pie Academy

Of course, every great rivalry benefits from an equally great menu, whether you’re tailgating in the parking lot or laying out a spread in the TV room.

So as we enter this season of bowl games and playoffs, here’s one menu item that’ll make any matchup more fun to watch: meat pie, done my way.

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

If you’re familiar with the French Canadian tourtiére, you already know this dish. If you’re not, it’s something like meatloaf pie, but it’s less compact than meatloaf, a tad looser in consistency. As I say in my new book, Dinner Pies  where this recipe comes from – my rendition makes more liberal use of seasonings than traditional tourtiére recipes. For instance, I spice mine up with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. (Apologies to my northern neighbors if I’m playing too fast and loose with tradition here.)

A meat pie - tourtiere - for playoff season from The Pie Academy

My meat pie has both a top and a bottom crust; you may use a favorite butter or lard crust, if you like, though more often than not I’ll use a basic shortening crust. Once baked, you can serve the pie warm, though I actually like it best after it has cooled to room temperature and the texture firms up a bit. It’s great cold, too, so you really can’t go wrong.

I wish I could say I make a special sauce for the pie, but it doesn’t really need one. I do, however, like to put a little pile of Heinz chile sauce off the the side and dab it on at will. My little caveman indulgence.

I hope you like this one; I think you will. You’ll notice that I baked it in one of my favorite tart pans – which we’re running a very special sale on this week; see below – but any 9- or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan will do.

Enjoy the game!

Meat pie - tourtiere - from ThePieAcademy.com

Special Holiday Deal: Le Creuset 9-inch Tart Dishes

If you like to make dinner pies – quiche in particular – you need one of these. I reach for mine at least once a week. In the summer, I’ll use this dish for both double crust and crumb topped fruit pies. It’s so pretty, you wouldn’t think twice about bringing this rugged stoneware beauty to the table.

9-inch Le Creuset Tart Pan from The Pie Academy

To help celebrate the season, and the release of my new Dinner Pies book, we’re running a special on these dishes this weekend. We only have a few of each color left, so don’t delay if you see something you like. At this incredible price – $23.00 – these will fly out of here. (That’s $10 off our already discounted price.)

PLEASE NOTE: To get this special price, go to our store and read more about the dish, BUT DO NOT ORDER IT THERE. Instead, send us an email, using the contact tab above, and tell us what color or colors you would like. Please include your full mailing address and phone number. (We never share or sell private information.) We will reserve the dish and email you a PayPal invoice for the dish and shipping. Payment is due within 24 hours. We also accept checks, if you prefer. Let us know. 

We will update the following list as we receive orders.

-Kiwi Green – Sorry, sold out!

-Cobalt Blue – Sorry, sold out!

-Red – Sorry, sold out!

-Coastal Blue – Sorry, sold out!

-White – Sorry, sold out!

SPECIAL BUNDLE DEAL – Order an autographed copy of Dinner Pies with your tart dish, and your bundle price – for both book and tart dish – is $45.00

Dinner Pies by Ken Haedrich Dean of The Pie Academy

IF THIS IS A GIFT for someone, we will be happy to ship it to them directly. Let us know. We’ll gift wrap the book if you like. 

SHIPPING NOTE: Orders placed this weekend will go out on Monday and Tuesday so they’ll reach you in plenty of time for Christmas day. Sorry, but we only ship within the continental United States.


Pastry Note: For this meet pie, you will need enough pastry for a double crust pie. If you don’t have a favorite double crust recipe, try the basic recipe you’ll find at the end of this post using 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar instead of 2 tablespoons of the latter.

A Meat Pie for Playoff Season


  • Enough pastry for a double-crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped white mushroom caps
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup ketchup or Heinz chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze


  1. If you haven't already, prepare and refrigerate the pastry for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a large stovetop casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms; salt lightly. Saute 2 to 3 minutes more, then add the meats, crumbling them up as they go in the pan. Brown the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove the pot from the heat, tilt it, and spoon off and discard all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.
  3. Put the pot back on the heat and stir in the beef broth, potato, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. When the potatoes are good and soft, stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and oats. Take a potato masher and gently mash the mixture a bit; don't overdo it. Continue to simmer the mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until it's thick but still saucy. Transfer the filling to a shallow casserole, remove the bay leaf, and cool thoroughly.
  5. While the filling cools, roll the larger half of the pastry into a 12 1/2- to 13-inch circle on a floured work surface. Line a 9- to 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan or tart pan with it, letting the edge of the pastry drape over the sides; don't trim it yet. Refrigerate until the filling has cooled.
  6. When you're ready to assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 375°F and adjust the oven rack so it is one position below the middle. Taste the filling one more time and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, ketchup, herbs or spices as desired. Spread the filling in the shell and smooth the top with a spoon. Lightly moisten the edge of the pastry with a damp pastry brush.
  7. Roll the other half of the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a floured surface. Drape the pastry over the filling and press along the perimeter to seal. Sculpt the excess dough into an upstanding ridge and flute or crimp as desired. Brush the top of the pie lightly with the egg glaze.
  8. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then move the rack up to the center position and continue to bake until the crust is a rich golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving, longer if possible. Makes 8 to 10 servings.