Thursday, May 22, 2008
Slow cooked pork pie
On the cover of the March edition of the BBC's Good Food magazine, there is a photograph of an amazing looking, hearty winter dish, which I learned was a herby lamb cobbler. I bought the magazine on the strength of that photo, and set out to make the cover dish.
I was a bit shocked to read that the original dish contained 963 calories and 60g of fat per serving, so I modified it by substituting the butter rich "biscuit" top for reduced fat puff pastry - making mine a pie rather than a cobbler. I also used pork neck instead of lamb neck, because I bought a huge piece of it from the Queen Vic Market on spec. Hence, instead of a herby lamb cobbler, I ended up with a slow cooked pork pie!
I have to say that the meat filling of this dish is just devine - the filling is not thick, but it is rich and flavourful. I would definitely make this again, with or without the top.
If you fancy giving this a whirl, you will need:
1 tablespoon oil
200g bacon, cubed
900g pork neck, cubed
2 large onions, peeled and diced
3 carrots, sliced into chunks
350g button mushrooms
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 bay leaves
bunch of thyme
350ml red wine (I used a Lindemanns Shiraz)
350ml beef stock
salt and pepper
Reduced fat puff pastry sheets to cover the top of the pie
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large frypan, heat the oil and fry the bacon until crips. Add the pork and cook until brown. Remove the meat from the pan, then add the onions, carrots and mushrooms to the same pan with the meat juices in the bottom. Cook the vegetables over high heat until they strat to brown, then add the flour. Return the meat to the pan, add the bay leaves and thyme, and pour in the wine, stock and a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then place the mixture in a casserole dish in the oven and cook for one hour and and twenty minutes.
Once this time has expired, remove the casserole dish from the oven and top the meat with puff pastry, pushing it firmly onto the top of the meat. Brush the puff pastry with a beaten egg, then return the pie to the oven for a further 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, stand for around 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken, then serve. This pie is perfect for a cold winter's night (of which we have already experienced a few!), as it is rich and warming.