Today I’m using the beef left from yesterday’s dish to make Beefsteak Pie from a recipe submitted by Miss Lillian Briethaupt (p. 50) for the Berlin Cook Book. I chose to use her Baking Powder Biscuit recipe (p. 51) to cover the pie rather than pastry. I find it interesting that the beefsteak pie recipe is quite detailed (except for the baking time) while I’m left to guess how to mix and bake the biscuits.
I wasn’t able to find turnips this week in my grocery store although they were available last week. I used rutabaga instead. I do not have a pudding dish so I used a casserole dish. I parboiled the vegetables as the recipe asked and then put them in the casserole. I decided to make the biscuit dough rather than pastry and added the ingredients in the order listed. I seem to remember other biscuit directions saying “cut in the shortening” so I cut it a bit before adding the water and mixing. It worked well. I wasn’t sure how to apply the biscuit dough to the top. I chose to spread the biscuit dough on top rather than roll it out. I wonder what “gases” were going to be released if I used pastry? It went into a 475 degree F. oven and, based on the colour of the biscuit topping, I took it out after 30 minutes. It was done! The potatoes and carrots were nicely cooked without being soggy but I think I should have cut my rutabaga in smaller pieces as they were still a bit hard. I should have added a bit more salt and pepper. A modern cook would probably want to add some additional seasoning.
This is a good meal to leave in the oven while performing other household chores and is a complete dinner in one dish. In 1912 this would be an inexpensive winter recipe. It would be a good way to stretch ingredients too. I will likely make the beefsteak pie again and the biscuit recipe was very easy. I had forgotten how quick it is to make biscuits. Who needs those commercial packages? A few ordinary ingredients mixed together and you have biscuits to go with a meal.
Cut remnants of cold broiled steak or roast beef in 1 inch cubes, covering with boiling water, add 1 small onion, and cook slowly one hour. Remove onion, thicken gravy with flour diluted with cold water, and season with salt and pepper, add 4 potatoes cut in 1/4 inch slices, 1/2 cup turnip cut in dice and 3/4 cup carrot cut in dice, which have been parboiled eight minutes in boiling water. Put in a buttered pudding dish, cool, cover with baking powder biscuit mixture or pie crust, bake in a hot oven. If covered with pie crust make several incisions in crust that gases may escape.
BAKING POWDER BISCUIT
2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup shortening 2/3 cup water.