No, I love pie. But I'm going to disappoint my North American readers. When I think/talk about pie, I mean meat pie.
I grew up on meat pies. England is known for them of course. You can buy them in fish and chips shops, frozen, in a can (yes, a can), or fresh and ready to eat (or re-heat). There are even stores that specialize in them.
My favourite is steak & kidney. It's world famous, I think, and often cited as a weird English food, but I can't help that, I love it. If you don't like kidney, you can have just steak, or steak and mushroom. (Can I just add at this point that if you call it "Kidney Pie" as I've heard a number of North Americans do, you look foolish).
Unfortunately in Canada there is no such thing as edible ready-made pies, commercially. You can buy frozen pies, but they are:
a) ABSOLUTELY BLOODY REVOLTING, and
b) They always have vegetables in.
Not that I have anything fundamentally against a meat-and-vegetable-pie, but for pity's sake, it should be optional.
Anyway, the only way to buy a pre-made steak and kidney pie in Canada is from a small European specialist baker or market seller, or online - yep, the canned ones. Canned pies are not as bad as they sound. They are infinitely better than the frozen supermarket ones, at least. Well, anything is.
But, take my advice, bake one yourself. It's good, hearty peasant food. And you can make the filling anything you damn well please.
Pastry is not an arcane art. Seriously. If I can do it anyone can. Use lard, and follow this recipe:
(This is straight off the Tenderflake tub)
5 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 1/3 cups lard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup water
(The following instructions are MINE)
Rub dry ingredients/lard in together, until fine. Use your hands. Forget any silly idea about forks, knives, or dough hooks. Add wet ingredients (mixed together), gather together and roll out on a well floured surface. Don't knead it. I shouldn't have to say that but I will just in case.
Better yet, teach your kids to do it. I taught Tom. He makes fantastic pastry.
This is enough for 4 pies (8" round, tops and bottoms). If you only need 1 or 2, freeze the other pie cases ready for next time.
For steak(+), sauté cubes of meat* and diced onion in a little oil until meat is browned and onion soft. Add black pepper, thyme, parsley, and anything else you like, and enough beef stock to cover**. Simmer until tender. Thicken with flour at the end, to make gravy.
For chicken, you can use a similar method, so that the filling is a type of chicken stew, but I don't like stewed chicken, AND this is a good use of pre-cooked leftovers, so I simply sauté diced roast chicken with onion, and create the gravy immediately.
*Mushrooms can be added along with the onion. If you want to add other veggies, add them at the appropriate point, i.e. if they need sautéeing first, add them with the onion, if not, add them with the stock, or if you are adding fast cooking veggies, add them later.
Fill pie case, add and seal top, brush with egg and bake at 200C/400F until golden. Serve with mashed or baked potatoes, or fries, and cooked veggies such as peas, carrots, corn, green beans etc.
**I also recommend making more gravy than you need for the pie so that some can be served separately. It is possible to buy a brand of acceptable instant gravy in Canada (Bisto granules) but it's really NOT as good as home-made, it's expensive, and it's really not necessary when you are making real gravy anyway. I am told that Americans can buy good ready-made gravy commercially. Lucky them.