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Billie’s marvelous meat pie

May 1, 2011

“This community is so great in supporting anybody in trouble.” Billie Hines

Billie's Venison Pie

Our small town on the North Oregon Coast has a great love of pie. This has been made perfectly clear by the fact that we supported a bakery for 3 years that was all about pie, the “Nehalem Bay Pie Company.”  The owners, Billie and Terry Schrum have baked their way into all of our hearts and tummies. The community was simply bereaved when the pie company closed its door this fall.

This happened not because of lack of support but because Billie had this overwhelming urge to get them health insurance. “I just knew we need health insurance and soon.” Billie said. But the Schrums fall into that crack that 45 million other Americans are in, the uninsurable. “Both Terry and I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure so we don’t qualify for health insurance being self employed.” She said.

Around Memorial Day weekend of 2010, Terry started feeling sick. “He never complains so I take it seriously when he does.” Billie stated. She went by US Bank and talked to Kelly Benson and asked her to let her know if a teller position opened up. Billie said “Kelly called me with a job when Terry was in the emergency room at St. Vincent’s getting checked out.”

It was heaven sent. Terry was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on October 4th right after their health insurance from the bank kicked in. As Terry battled for his life Billie worked at the bank trying to keep them afloat. Then in late December Billie was diagnosed with a form of aggressive of breast cancer and things went from bad to worse.

Billie had to step down from her position at the bank to fight for her life next to her husband. As you can imagine, this was a horrible blow to the Schrums, both health wise and financially.  The good news is that Terry has responded favorably to treatment and is on the mend. Billie is still in chemo but keeping her chin up and healing. And they need our help.

The Manzanita Business Alliance has decided to hold a fund raiser for the Schrums. It will be on May 1st at the Pine Grove in Manzanita from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. It is going to be a fantastic event. There will be live music from Shy Jazz, hors d’œuvre provided by “The Big Wave,” and the bar provided by the “San Dune Pub.” There will be many wonderful silent auction items including a beautiful mandolin that the Schrums have donated.

“The event is free but we have a $20 suggested donation at the door.” Billie Hines of the Manzanita Business Alliance said. “These people are incredible and should be supported.” she continued. “Billie and Terry are two people that will do anything for anybody at anytime.” So come on down to the Pine Grove on May 1st to do what this community does best, support each other.

Billie’s magnificent meat pie

This meat pie can be made with beef but Billie likes to make it with venison. The butter crust is simply divine on it.

4 tablespoons of flour

2 ½ pounds of chuck or round steak

OR elk or deer roast

¼ cup of unsalted butter

2 large onions sliced

1 tablespoon of dried thyme

OR 2 tablespoons fresh thyme

2 cups of sliced mushrooms, preferably cremini

1 ¼ cup of red wine

1 ¼ cup of beef stock, preferably low sodium

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the flour and 1 teaspoon of black pepper in a large zip lock bag. Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes and drop into the bag and shake it real good till the meat is well coated.

Meanwhile back at the stove, heat up half of the butter in a large oven proof skillet and sauté the onions over medium high heat till they are soft but not browned. Add the meat to the skillet and cook quickly till the meat is browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. If you have any left over flour toss this in the skillet. Put in the mushrooms, and thyme next and sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in the wine, stock, and Worcestershire sauce and mix till well blended. Bring to a boil then turn off the burner, cover the skillet and tuck in the oven to bake for 1 ½ hours.

Take out of the oven at 1 ½ hours and check out what is making the house smell so good! If the sauce isn’t as thick as you would like it, remove the lid and bake for another 30 minutes or so till the desired consistency. (I had to stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in few tablespoons of water at this point, but I think I got a little carried away with the wine. Hiccup)

Toward the end of the baking, pick a beautiful casserole dish to prepare this feast in. Take out your butter crust and roll between two sheets of wax paper till about 1/8 inch thick, to fit the dish. Pull the filling out of the oven and kick the temperature up to 400 degrees. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the succulent filling into the chosen dish. Remove one side of the wax paper and lay the crust, crust side down, on the filling. Peel the top side of the wax paper off and cut the crust to fit the dish. Flute the edges and cut holes in the crust.

Pop the meat pie back into the oven and bake for another 30 – 35 minutes until the crust is golden and all the neighbors are standing on the porch drooling. Let cool for 5 minutes or so before partaking. Bon appétit!

Butter pie crust

1 cup of cold unsalted butter

2 ½ cups of unbleached flour

½ teaspoon of salt

5 -6 tablespoons of ice water

Whisk together the salt and four. Grate the butter on the largest hole into the flour. Cut in the butter into the flour with either your fingers or a pastry cutter till it is a fine meal. (I cheat and do this in the food processor)  Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time till you have the perfect texture of pie crust. Flatten it out into a big pancake, wrap in plastic and set in the fridge till time to layer on to the pie or at least 30 minutes.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2011 9:40 am

    Wow -what a great recipe. It makes me wanting just reading about it. I especially want to get the neighbors out on their porches drueling. 😀

    I may offer to bake this with a friend later this afternoon. She is also getting chemo for cancer, has been for many months, and lives alone. She seldom has energy to cook or eat, and even then, never well enough for proper healing, and I think this would get her through a few meals. Plus we may make a nice potato-ham soup as well. It’s best to stock up and have a freezer well prepared to feed you when you haven’t the energy for meal making. I’m glad you’re promoting this nice event, and hopefully your locals come out and dig down deep in the giving well for these people who need it so much. That kind of support for neighbors really defines the quality of a community, don’t you think?

  2. May 8, 2011 5:45 pm

    I actually smelled this as I was reading the recipe! Can you say “suggestible”? What smelled even sweeter was the love of others you inserted into your blog.

  3. May 15, 2011 1:51 am

    Wow, Dana, what a heart melting post. Although I wasn’t on the coast for the event, I am sending a wave of positive thoughts to the Schrums tonight. Manzanita is a very special community because of folks like you. And the pie, it looks amazing. Best…Susan

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