A culinary ode to Sir Terry Pratchett: Meat Pie Floaters!

An avid reader of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels should recognize the term “meat pie floater.”  This culinary delicacy (that is, something so disgusting that none of the locals will eat it) comes from the mysterious continent of FourEcks, which certainly isn’t modeled after Australia at all.

Here’s the description from the book:

“It looked, in fact, like-
“Pea soup?” he asked.
“The leguminous vegetable?  Comes in pods?”
“I thought I’d better check that point.”
“No worries.”
Rincewind looked down at the knobbly green surface.  Was it just possible that someone had invented a regional specialty you could eat?
And then something rose out of the depths.  For a moment Rincewind thought it was a very small shark.  It bobbed to the surface and then settled back down, while the soup slopped over it.
“What was that?”
“Meat pie floater,” said the warder.  “Meat pie floating in pea soup.  Best bloody supper on earth, mate.”

Mmm.  Sounds absolutely delicious, doesn’t it?  Well, I thought so.  So I set out to make one!


For the meat pie floater:
  • Phyllo dough
  • Ground beef
  • Mincemeat
  • Spices; I went with seasoned salt and some pepper.
  • Olive oil
For the soup:
  • Peas, frozen or fresh.  I went with canned.  At least 4-5 cups’ worth
  • Other various vegetables.  I tossed in some white onion, garlic, and green bell pepper.
  • Chicken stock, four cups’ worth.
  • Not pictured: Sriracha.  That soup needs a kick!
  • Also not pictured: heavy cream.  Half & half works too.  It cuts the heat of the soup.

Instructions – the floater!

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius).
  2. I started by dicing up about a quarter of a package of mincemeat and threw it in a large saucepan on the stove, along with some water.  I mashed it up with a spatula to break up the larger chunks.
  3. Next up: ground beef.  Throw it into the same saucepan and cook it until browned.
  4. Taste and season until you can taste salt as well as sweet.  Mincemeat is mighty sweet so it may take a good bit of salt.
  5. Take it off the stove and let it cool once the meat is cooked. 
  6. Next, roll out your phyllo dough.  This stuff comes in a whole bunch of thin layers and is fragile stuff, so be careful.
  7. Cut the dough into squares, four or five inches on a side.  They don’t need to be perfect.
  8. Brush the corners of each square with olive oil, put a spoonful of the cooled meat mixture in the middle, and then fold the dough up around the meat to make a little package.  Use more olive oil to seal it shut.  It will probably take 3-4 layers of dough per floater to keep things from breaking apart.
  9. Place the folded little floaters on a nonstick baking sheet and brush them with some more olive oil.
  10. Put them in the oven for ~15 minutes.

Instructions – the soup!
  1. Grab a pot.  A big one.  Should hold at least six quarts.
  2. Add your peas, four cups of chicken stock, and all your diced vegetables.  There should be just enough liquid to cover all the vegetables.
  3. Throw in a squirt of Sriracha.
  4. Bring this all up to a boil, and boil for about a minute or so.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Carefully, use a stick blender to blend the whole soup up until it’s fairly smooth.  This shouldn’t take long.  Watch for splatters!
  7. Once the soup is blended, add a 1/2 cup of heavy cream (or half & half).  Stir this in.
  8. Taste the soup and decide how much more Sriracha it needs for some heat.  Add it.

Serve it!
Place a couple meat pie bites in a bowl, cover them with soup, and watch as they rise up to the surface!  They’re actually super tasty – the sweetness of the meat pie helps cut the heat of the soup.  Add a little dollop of tomato sauce on top if you want the true authentic FourEcks Dibbler Experience.

One thought on “A culinary ode to Sir Terry Pratchett: Meat Pie Floaters!

  1. Pingback: Poem / Poetry – “An Ode To The Late, Great, Magnificent, Terry Pratchett” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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