The last time Larry had the smoker out, he smoked a whole bunch of meats, some of which was a pork loin that we shredded and put in the freezer. It was time to pull out the pork and since we had just had a bunch of Mexican and South of the Border type meals, I decided to do something different with it and made it into pork pot pies. I also added mushrooms, pumpkin and a red wine sauce. They came out very good. They were a perfect warm meal for a cool, chilly evening.
Meat pies of all sorts have been a part of our diets since the beginning of time, and some variety is found in just about every culture and every country around the world. Sometimes, in some places, meat pies are referred to as as coffins of coffyns because they were baked with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids, like the lid of a coffin. It’s a bit of stretch to me as well, but sometimes you learn the darnedest things when looking back in history. Originally meat was served in a pie crust as a way of preserving it. Ironically though, at first the “pie” part or the crust was not intended to be eaten. But as pie making and pastry techniques kept improving, the quality of the crusts themselves were also improving, and giving more flavor and character to the “pies” themselves, and are now enjoyed and eaten as a part of the meal. Meats were also cooked in pie form because most of the people did not have access to proper cooking utensils or baking pans, so they were cooked in a stand alone crust as the “pan”.
I started off by making my basic go-to dough for the crust that I use for just about everything. If you have a dough that you like using and are comfortable with, by all means, use that if you prefer. But this dough is so easy to make. Like I said, I use it for just about everything. I have learned that we prefer the crust just on the bottom and on the top of the ramekins, because it just gets too heavy other wise, but if you like a full crust, just make more dough.
1 1/2 2 cups flour
6 TBSP cold butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
5-6 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Mix the flour, salt and butter together in the food processor until it resembles a fine sand.
Add the egg and the cream and continue to mix together until it forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to using. Then roll it out and shape it however you like.
I started off with a basic idea of what I wanted to do, but ended up making it up as I went along, something very typical of me, as most of you already know. 🙂
1-2 lbs cooked and shredded pork
1/4 small pumpkin, diced fine
1 potato, diced fine
1-1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup dry red wine
1 TBSP garlic
1/2 onion, diced fine
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup milk
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp parsley
2-3 TBSP butter
egg wash for the topping.
Saute the pumpkin, potato, mushrooms, garlic and onion together in olive oil and butter for about 5-7 minutes, or until the pumpkin and potato are soft and the onions are translucent.
Add the pork and the seasonings and combine together well, then add the red wine. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
When most of the liquid from the red wine has evaporated, add the milk and additional butter and flour if you like your filling a little thicker. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Preheat the oven to about 375* F or about 190* C.
Spray individual ramekins with cooking spray.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Like I mentioned, I usually do not have the dough go up the sides of the pan, but that is just a personal preference for us. Line the ramekins how you like them with the dough, then start spooning in the pork mixture until the ramekins are filled.
Top the filling with the tops of the crust and make a tight seal. Score the top with a sharp serrated knife and brush with an egg wash. Bake until the crust is golden brown and light and flaky, about 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool for a bit, then dig in and enjoy. Just like any pot pie, these are delicious and best when eaten hot out of the oven.
Stay safe and stay well everyone. ‘Til next time.