Yes, I put cheeseburgers in a pie shell. Well, my aunt Thelma did it first; I’m just carrying on the family tradition. I spent the first eleven years of my life on a mill hill, in Greenville, South Carolina, the textile capital of the world, where we still had soda jerks and mom-and-pop stores with in-house charge accounts. After school I would cook with my nana or grandma or hang out at my papa’s store, listening to the old men tell fishing stories while drinking Coke out of glass bottles with peanuts in them. When those memories flood back, I think of the food we were making and this dish ranks right up there.
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, homemade or store-bought (I use Pillsbury)
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup diced green bell pepper
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Make the pie: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Fit the pie dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and flute the edges.
3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.
4. Drain off the fat from the meat and discard. Stir in the salt, black pepper, oregano, bread crumbs, tomato sauce, onion, bell pepper, steak seasoning, and granulated garlic. Scoop the mixture into the pastry-lined pie pan. Press it down evenly in the pan.
5. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, cheddar, salt, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread the topping over the filling.
6. Bake the pie until the cheese on top is bubbling and browned, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.