Day 4 Beefsteak Pie and Baking Powder Biscuit

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.

BEEFSTEAK PIE
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.

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4 Responses to Day 4 Beefsteak Pie and Baking Powder Biscuit

  1. Cathy says:

    I have leftover roast beef. I think I will try this, thanks.
    Cathy

  2. michelle spencer says:

    Carolyn, I wonder if making biscuits was so common that it never occurred to her to include directions. The beefsteak pie sounds delicious, although we rarely have leftover beef.
    Michelle

  3. I suspect the spelling Briethaupt was an error in the cookbook but it appears the same in both recipes. In the 1911 census Lillian Breithaupt is 27 years old (born in May 1884) and is the unmarried daughter of Louis J. and Emma Breithaupt. There are two female servants in the household. The 1901 census has the family name spelled Brughapt.

  4. Carolyn, since we met yesterday I’m starting at the beginning! I love this blog so far. I’m sure for “gases” she means steam. My mum always puts steam slits in her pie crust.

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