In Scott's Kitchen

Packing, #CharcutePalooza month 9

With traveling to Ohio for a wedding and other activities this month I was very happy to read that the new Charcutepalooza challenge could be completed in one day. I once again choose the challenge option that would more easily adapt to a two person household. It’s been a bit of an entertaining desert here of late, so a big old loaf of country paté might not work out well for us.

The English Pork Pie however, held out great promise. The recipe, which I now don’t believe, says it serves six. I had plans to divide it in two and freeze one for later use. This worked out very well, so far. I haven’t yet cooked the pie from the freezer, but my experience with freezing other pies makes me confident it will be fine.

The crust recipe used a mix of lard and butter, a method I’ve been using for about a year, with great results. You get flavor from the butter and flakiness from the lard. The only difference is that this dough also had an egg in it. I re-read the recipe just before starting: the meat filling is made by grinding pork shoulder with the spices adding in some cooked onions, using chicken stock to create a bind. Then you mix in some smoked ham. 
Oops. I didn’t have any ham in the house. I had just made andouille sausage, which is smoked so I chopped up a cup of that. That got me into this Cajun kind of thinking and I doctored up the spices and used more thyme, some dried basil, white pepper, cayenne pepper and some additional garlic.

Everything actually came together very easily. All those skills we’ve been building came in handy and my pie making of the last couple of years sure helped out too.

The pie is assembled in a way that seems strange to me, but it works. You basically make an open faced gallete and then put a lid on it, with a hole in the lid, brushing with egg wash along the way. I might be tempted next time to use a bigger circle of dough and leave it like a gallete to cook.

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We ate it warm for dinner and I went back for seconds. I rarely do that. It was delicious. Sort of like a pork meatloaf, but a fancy one. There was some left over which I have then tried at room temperature for lunch with some grainy mustard. It also was delicious. In fact, I think I liked it that way better. This seemed to be an easier way to make an approximation of Pâté de Campagne en croute. I have plans for the one in the freezer and will make the aspic for that one.

Next month is “stretching”. There are easy and harder options. After two months of taking the easier road, I should challenge myself to the harder one.

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Recipes in: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
By Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn.

These comments are from the previous commenting system. MARDI@EATLIVETRAVELWRITE

Your pork pie is spectacular!  Even though you thought it was the “easy” route. I made both this month and had some errr trouble with the pastry. But agree – was delicious!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011 – 05:03 AM

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