Saturday, May 26, 2007
I've been on a bit of a meat pie kick lately, 'cause nothing says spring like a heavy mix of meat and spices wrapped in dough. (I don't understand myself either.) To my defense, I will say that it was pretty cold a few weeks ago when I made these. As usual, I made too much of everything, so my single 9-inch pork pie became one big pork pie, and about a dozen individual-sized pies (they froze nicely, thank god). Since I can't seem to find mini pie plates anywhere, I used little heart-shaped pans my sister gave me for Christmas one year. For the vents, I used a pig cookie-cutter, so the final product was something of a Valentine to pork.
The filling was mostly roughly ground local pork (a Tamworth-Large Black cross). I browned the pork, removed it from the pan, added onions and diced potatoes, got those nice and brown, then added some diced apple and clove, allspice, and loads of white and black pepper, a splash of Calvados for flavor and moisture and a little bread crumb. I liked the filling. The pastry was less successful, mostly because I was out of lard and substituted beef fat - I had had such success with duck fat, but the beef fat wasn't firm enough. The pastry was flavorful, but a bit tough.
I don't have a picture of the second meat pie I made, which was a great big lamb pie with spices, mint and raisins (Epicurious recipe) for a potluck of food bloggers. I used filo for that, which gives a very different feel. But in general I am a big lover of the meat pie, and I don't quite understand why the only one you ever see in the States is the chicken pot pie. Odd.