Yes, as in Pork Pie hat, you cheeky haberdashers. But this one is edible and you won’t want to wear it on your head. I made a few mistakes with this challenge (like sealing the thing…) but even when my pie was leaking onto the baking sheet (quelle horreur!) the lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow (our fearless leader) told me to chill it and all would be well. And she was right. She told me so.
My friend The Messy Epicure and I both seemed to have trouble with the crust and Jason had a good point- I think it calls for too much fat (a whole pound of lard and butter!) but Mrs. Wheelbarrow had more success when she chilled (again) the whole pie after sealing it. Next time I will have to try that method and chill the pie after all the important steps. So far the only challenge that hasn’t gone perfectly according to plan was the stuffing sausage one where halfway through the mixture broke and thus half the hotdogs were weird. This pie was tasty.
So, what is pork pie? Well, it’s kin to pâté gratineé and pâté campgane- it’s a ground pate. Which doesn’t explain much at all. This is essentially ground pork with spices in pastry. Unlike last month’s smooth and silky pate, this one has texture and lots of it. I opted to not add in diced smoked ham (I forgot to pick it up) and just did straight pork shoulder with seasonings. And it was still good. Also, unlike what one usually thinks of when considering pâté, this is a pie, encased in a crust. You’ll see pâté like this all over France as well as other countries, many of them simple and beautiful. Mine was the ugly duckling of pâté en croute–it tasted much better than it looked. I’ve been eating it paired with an heirloom tomato salad, but this fits right along with a good cheese plate or some pickles and mustard. If you’re in New Orleans, head over to St. James Cheese Company and get the Ploughman’s Lunch, their pork pie paired with cheese is heavenly.
Today, I head to Montreal for a long weekend of adventure, food and being confused by Québécois. Be prepared for a food recap. I am determined to eat ALL THE THINGS.
For now, I leave you with the lurkingest cat.