Veal and Ham Pie

Author: Canadian Living

Veal and Ham Pie belongs to that special category of meat pies we associate more with French pat?than with the British antecedents of our Canadian cuisine. This splendid pie takes some time to put together, but is worth every minute. In the true tradition of a Canadian picnic, the responsibility for making the dishes should be shared by the group. It\'s advisable that this dish be prepared by a picnicker with a free afternoon one or two days before the outing.

  • Portion size 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 lb lean boneless stewing veal
  • 1/2 lb lean boneless ham
  • 1/2 lb sausage meat
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme (or 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 jar pickled onion
  • 1 jar baby cucumbers
Jellied Stock:
  • 1 1/2 lb veal bone
  • 3/4 lbs chicken backs and necks
  • 1 pig's foot quartered
  • 1 carrots sliced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed pepper
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves (or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk


Jellied Stock: In large soup kettle, combine all ingredients except salt. Bring to boil, skimming surface until clear; cover and simmer 3 hours. Strain through large sieve lined with several thicknesses of rinsed cheesecloth into large clean saucepan (press out all juices). Discard bones, vegetables and seasonings.

Bring stock to boil and boil vigorously, uncovered, until reduced to about 2 cups (500 mL). Taste and add salt if necessary. Set aside. (Stock may be prepared 1 or 2 days ahead and kept in fridge, or prepared weeks ahead and frozen. Reheat stock to finish pie.)

Filling: Chop veal and ham into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes, discarding any fat and connective tissue. In large bowl, combine cubed meat with sausage meat, parsley, thyme and lemon peel; cover. Peel eggs and store in fridge along with meat mixture.

Pastry: In large heatproof bowl, combine flour and salt. In saucepan, heat 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (200 mL) water and lard just to boiling. Pour over flour mixture and, with wooden spoon, start mixing ingredients together. Break egg over top and finish blending. Allow to cool just until it can be handled comfortably.

Break off a generous 2/3 of pastry and place in 6-cup (1.5 L) hinged pie mould. (Or substitute a loaf pan with a similar capacity, and line with sheet of heavy foil extending 2 inches/5 cm over narrow ends; this lining will help unmould pie. Because the hinged pie mould springs open, it does not require a lining.)

Using your hands, gently but firmly press pastry over bottom and up sides of mould, making sue there are no thin areas or cracks. Extend a lip of pastry about 1/2 inch (1 cm) over top. If pastry sags and collapses, let cool a few minutes and try again.

Fill mould with half the filling, pressing firmly into corners. Arrange whole hard-cooked eggs, end to end, lengthwise along centre of filling. Add remaining filling, first filling area around eggs, then mounding to top, mounding slightly higher in centre.

Roll out remaining pastry to fit generously over top. Prepare yolk wash by blending together egg yolk and 1 tsp (5 mL) water; brush a little over lip of pastry. With fork, press top pastry to lip firmly, but without flattening. Cut a hole, the size of a nickel, in centre of top and insert 3-inch (7 cm) foil funnel. Brush entire top of pie with more of yolk wash.

Using scraps of pastry, cut out Vs (for Victoria) or stars (for firecrackers) and arrange on top of mould. Brush cutouts with the remaining yolk wash.

Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 30 minutes; reduce heat to 325°F (160°C) and bake for 2 hours longer. To prevent pastry from overbrowning, loosely cover top with foil (shiny side up) after first hour of baking.

As soon as pie comes out of oven, warm stock and gradually pour it through funnel, a few spoonfuls at a time, until all spaces in pie are filled and stock reaches hole. As pie cools, check the level of the stock, pouring in more if necessary. (If there\'s any leftover stock, reserve for soups or sauces.) Remove funnel.

Refrigerate pie for 24 hours. Keep in cooler and remove from mould just before serving. Cut into 1-inch (2 cm) slices and garnish with sour pickled onions and baby cucumbers.

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Veal and Ham Pie