"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Minced (Deer) Meat Pie

Nakatikim ka na ba ng usa? Si Pareng Joe of NJ, nakatikim na. We are going to exchange packages (he has just sent me a package of goodies from a Filipino store, and I will send him BBP pickles and empanadang minced deer meat.) But this post is not about tapa.

In this state hunting is one of the activities many people engage in, but they have to get a specific (as in turkey, doe, buck) license for that, aside from the license for carrying guns. My friend also told me that they do lottery for hunting.

My husband is fond of collecting guns, but hunting has never been appealing to him. His brother and his wife, though, like the outdoors, that the couple usually fish and hunt during the seasons.

Recently, my BIL shot a buck at the neck. They cleaned and slaughtered it and I had my supply of deer heart (which I cooked using Sassy's barbecued gizzard recipe. 'Twas good!) and liver.

My MIL cooked the neck for five hours, then patiently separated the meat from the bones and ground it, ending up with 7 quarts of deer meat, which she cooked to make "minced meat". I was invited to witness how to do it, the message being carried to my by my dear hubby (and I noted a hint of excitement while he was asking me whether I wanted to see how his mom does that). I told hubby I knew what mincing was, but was minced meat something that referred to a process of some sort? Yes it was, he said. Of course I was eager to see what minced meat was. I am just too eager to discover more about foods that my hubby enjoys.


The proportions will all depend on how much ground meat you have.

ground previously cooked deer meat

apples (we used Cortland)


molasses (They said that in the grocery stores is no good. They get theirs at Agway here, which sells molasses dispensed from a bucket. One has to bring his own jar. $2/qt.)


ground cinnamon

ground cloves

ground allspice

cider (Hubby said apple juice is cider minus the pectin content.)


Measure the meat.

Peel and slice the apples. It should be double the amount of minced meat.

For every quart of meat, measure 1/2 of 15-oz box of raisins. Ground 3/4 of this and leave the rest whole.

Combining them altogether, add the spices as follows: For every 8 qts of the meat-apple-raisin mixture, add 1 cup molasses, and 1 tsp each of salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.

Cook everything together in a stockpot over low heat, intermittently stirring for even cooking and to avoid scorching.

Add cider from time to time to keep the mixture moist.Continue simmering (and stirring) for about 2 hours (personally I think it can be done in one hour, as soon as the fruits are cooked and the flavors have mingled.)

MIL processed the quarts in a boiling-water canner for 40 minutes (My MIL let me go home, thanks to her! ) then told me to just have my hubby pick up some of them, because I told her I wanted to try to make the minced meat pie as soon as it was done.

So I did. According to her, she puts pieces of butter on top of the minced meat before putting the top pie crust.

Learning more about making fancier edges, I pressed the overhangs (I left about an inch from the edge) of the two pie crusts together, tucked them under, then using my fingers, created waves like so. Then I made slits on the top using a knife, wiggling the knife while still through the slits to make them wider, so that they would not appose again (In my first attempts at slits I was too hesitant with them, then they almost closed off!)

As usual, I brushed the top with my egg-sugar combination for that golden crust. However, maybe my sides were too elevated (especially against the not so high pile of the minced meat) that they got too browned (I have none of those aluminum pie edge covers, and I was too lazy to improvise with the use of ordinary aluminum foil. I was thinking that nobody in the family really cares about the edges. They only like the filling and the thin crust. I am the only one who really cares for the crust, more for that than the filling.) So here you can see almost-burnt edges. (I remember a time when I tried to make the edges lower than that of the pie plate because I had not enough filling; during the initial stages of baking, when the fat melted, the dough slid off the sides! I stopped it immediately and saved the filling then made another pie crust. It was for a pie version of leche flan. I was experimenting to make an egg pie of some sort.)

This was what was left when I remembered to take a photo of the sliced pie. The warm pie was runny. This one is cold already, so don't be fooled. We like the pie served warm with vanilla ice cream.

I prepared this pie the next day for supper, after having told my hubby about my plan. Then when I called him to the table with the pie and the ice cream there, he asked me. "What's for supper?"

I was puzzled. I said "That," pointing to the pie.

"Oh, you're not serving anything else? Because we eat Minced Meat Pie as dessert."

I said (I felt I was blushing), "I didn't know that...to us Filipinos, that could already count as a complete meal by itself, or a very heavy snack."

He shrugged, and savored it anyway, saying later that my pie crust is the best (despite the burnt edge! Haha!), and that the pie was indeed filling and delicious! (of course the credit for the filling goes to his mom).

My personal opinion on Minced Meat Pie: While it was good to discover new recipes traditionally prepared by my in-laws' family, and discovering a meat-fruit combination that my hubby actually likes (surprise! surprise!), I still prefer the chicken empanada. Maybe it's just because that's what I grew up with (and what he grew up with).

We're gonna have this on Thanksgiving, to be held at my SIL's house. But my MIL will be the one to prepare the pie. Walang nakatoka sa akin. Pero lagot ako sa Christmas. Dito naman kami sa bahay namin. Ngi! Posted by Hello


  1. I love reading your recipes, Manang.

    My husband would probably LOVE if all I served was pie and ice cream for dinner :)

  2. Hi Manang!

    I've never tasted usa ever..baka will never (but never say 'never' sabi nga nila) naaalala ko si BAMBI eh, ha ha!
    I'm sure masarap ito. Siguro kung kapitbahay lang kita tapos nagbebenta ka ng luto mo, suki na ako. Pag ikaw nagluto ng usa, magtitiwala ako kainin!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Manang K...

  4. I've tried usa pero yung tapa siya. My father used to take home a few kilos for us whenever he goes to his hometown.

  5. hi manang!

    i know this is slightly off-topic, but there's a girl i know named "dear heart" but i always think of it as "deer heart"--after reading this post, i won't think of her in the same way again :-)


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