One of the culinary world's perfect marriages has to be pork with applesauce and this pie takes it to all to a higher plain. I've had my eye on several recipes that combined raw apples with pork in a savory pie so I tweaked the things a liked about a couple of them to come up with last night's dinner.
I mixed cubes of leftover pork loin roast with a little crisp bacon, sauteed onion and celery in a sauce made of chicken stock, apple cider and a touch of heavy cream to make the filling. Spiced with thyme, coarse ground pepper and applejack, this yummy filling was topped with two sliced Granny Smith apples and a touch of cinnamon before it was covered with a toothy hot water pastry. Baked for 50 minutes,it smelled absolutely incredible as it was in the oven and came out looking and tasting fabulous - at least the big guy thought it was. Of course I thought it was good but not perfect and I'll make a few changes the next time. Here's a few hints -
- For sure, if your pork has been brined, do not and I repeat do not add any more salt to the recipe;
- Thicken the sauce well because there'll be a lot of juices from the apples that will thin it out;
- Make your single crust pie in a shallow casserole or individual ramekins because it'll make it a lot easier to serve, never mind that in my opinion the pastry is what really makes the pie so the more's the better; and
- Serve it with some green ...peas, would be nice but of course that's not an option in this house. We had ours with some oven roasted parsnips and turnip, but the plate could have used a little color, ya think?
Pork and Apple Pie
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup boiling water
Sprinkle salt on top of shortening. Add boiling water and stir until shortening has melted and mixture is well blended. Cool to room temperature.
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cut in shortening mixture using a pastry blender or fork until a dough forms. Form it into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill thoroughly.
2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Coarse ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup apple cider
2 Tablespoons cream
2 Tablespoons apple jack (optional)
4 cups cubed cooked pork loin
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
In a large sauté pan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and add onion and celery. Sauté until vegetables are soft. Add thyme, sage and black pepper, mixing well. Add flour and cook, stirring well for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and apple cider and cook until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cream and apple jack. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 425. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and place pork cubes in the bottom. Top with cooled sauce mixture. Place apple slices on top and dust with cinnamon. Roll pastry out on a well floured board to fit top of casserole and decorate as you wish. Brush with egg yolk wash if desired. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and continue baking for 40 minutes or until pastry is well browned, casserole is bubbling and apples are cooked. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Download Pork and Apple Pie