She would put gravy and spices into her meat - since it was already cooked, without the gravy the pie would have been very dry otherwise. In the end, I suppose "pie" is a bit of a misnomer since it's not really a "meat pie", but it is a one-dish meal. Today, most of us use fresh ground meats to make this dish, but you still can (if you prefer) use leftover meats.
Although this isn't difficult to make, it is time consuming. Depending on how fast you are in the kitchen, it can take an hour of preparation time. If you use fresh veggies and potato, they'll need to be cooked and prepared before you put the dish together (you can replace fresh potato with instant if you really want but ...)
Because this is a fairly large dish when compiled, it might be a good recipe if you prepare meals for shut-ins, or the elderly (for things like Meals on Wheels). I make this in one large pan, but you can buy small individual sized foil pans with cardboard lids. Once the ingredients are prepared, instead of putting it into one dish to bake, separate the ingredients equally into individual foil dishes for baking (you will probably need to adjust the baking time since they are smaller portions). Once baked, cover with the cardboard or plastic lid and freeze ... or deliver to the less fortunate. You can make this ahead and bake in two smaller sized pans to freeze for your own family as well.
|Before adding the potato.|
I usually get all my ingredients pre-prepared and set into dishes, making it easier to compile the dish. Measure out the spices and other additions into dishes. Mash the tomatoes to the consistency of chunky sauce (or you can use canned crushed tomatoes). Prepare and cook the veggies (unless you're using tinned ones). Slice the mushrooms and set them aside. Mix the spiced bread crumbs (bread crumbs and spices) in a bowl (by the way - this bread crumb mix can be used for other foods, like breaded chicken, fish, smelts, sliced fried tomato and zucchini - oh, that's another recipe of my mom's).
|The baked dish.|
Serve with caesar or italian salad, a hot crusty bread or buns and you're ready to roll. And ... my dinner is served (yep, that's mine before I ate it.) And no, it's not particularly health-conscious, nor low calorie, but it is "real food" definitely yummy!