This style of pot-pie was made more in our grandmother’s day than now, as most cooks consider that cooking crust so long destroys its spongy lightness, and renders it too hard and dry.
Take a pair of fine FOWLS, cut them up, wash the pieces, and season with pepper only. Make a light BISCUIT dough, and plenty of it, as it is always much liked by the eaters of pot-pie. Roll out the dough not very thin, and cut most of it into long squares. Butter the sides of a pot, and line them with dough nearly to the top. Lay slices of cold HAM at the bottom of the pot, and then the pieces of fowl, interspersed all through with squares of dough and potatoes, pared and quartered. Pour in a quart of water. Cover the whole with a lid of dough, having a slit in the centre, through which the gravy will bubble up. Boil it steadily for two hours. Half an hour before you take it up, put in through the hole in the centre of the crust some bits of butter rolled in flour, to thicken the gravy. When done, put the pie on a large dish, and pour the gravy over it.
You may intersperse it all through with cold HAM.
A pot-pie may be made of DUCKs, RABBITs, squirrels or VENISON. Also of BEEFsteak. A BEEFsteak, or some PORKsteaks (the lean only), greatly improve a CHICKEN pot-pie. If you use no HAM, season with salt.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)