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Italian Veal Pie with Parmesan Crust

Serves 6

This veal pie, based on a Venetian recipe, is so good. Besides the delicious filling, the crust makes it special. As much as you might be tempted, do not substitute a regular or store-bought pie crust. The combination of the saucy veal with the cheese-flavored crust is perfect. For convenience, the dough can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated. If preferred, pork can be substituted for the veal. Soak it in milk for about thirty minutes, which will give it a softer, veal-like texture. Serve with a tossed green salad for a special family dinner or entertaining.


   Pastry    Filling

For the pastry, sift flour with garlic powder. Stir in oregano and cheese. Add butter and cut into flour mixture with pastry cutter or forks until it makes fine pieces. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons water into mixture and stir until dough holds together. Add the extra 1 tablespoon of water if needed. Roll out 2/3 of the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch circle. Place in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds. Place in the refrigerator until needed. (Can be prepared one day ahead and covered with plastic wrap.)

For the filling, coat the veal cubes with the seasoned flour. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown the veal. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the cheddar cheese slices. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F. Turn the cooled meat filling into the pie shell. Top with the grated cheese. Place the dough rounds on top of the cheese, overlapping the edges of the pie shell. Flute edges. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.