Friday, October 17, 2014

You're tellin' Pork Pies

Look at that tender, flaky crust.
Well, I finally broke down and made an English-type Pork Pie yesterday and it was Wonderful! I always wanted to make one, granted I didn't make a tall, coffee-can-style, pie with all the gelatinous goo in it. I made a traditional pie-shaped meat-filled pastry to die for.

If you're into Cockney Rhyming Slang you'll know that "Pork Pies" means "Lies", but I'm not lying when I say this pie is amazing. You have to try this. Where did I get it, where did I get this recipe??? I STOLE it!!! Yes, I stole it from my own blog. I used my "Jamaican Me Patties Mon" recipe as a starting point. I adjusted a few seasonings and voila! I made a pork pie fit for a King, (who likes blackbirds anyway?)

OK, here it is. Most self-respecting Englishmen, I'm told, only ever eat pork pie cold. Up to you what you do in the confines of your home. It is good cold though, as well as hot out of the oven. Since there are hundreds of videos out there on how to roll out pastry and assemble a pie, I will not dwell to much on that process. Here you go with the goods.

Place the meat in the crust.
Pastry Crust

2 cups plain flour

½ stick of butter (very cold)

⅔ cup of shortening (or lard or bacon grease, or both)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp salt

⅓ cup of ice cold water
Opt * 1 tbs curry powder

Opt * ½ tsp turmeric

Pie Filling

1 lb ground pork (or any meat)

1 medium onion (diced small)

4 green onions (sliced very thin)

3 -4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbs dried, rubbed sage
2 tbs oil

¼ tsp cayenne

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt & pepper (each

½ cup breadcrumbs

2 tbs flour

½ cup of water
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tabasco sauce

1 egg + 1 tbs water for egg glaze

Glazed and ready for the oven.
In a mixing bowl sift together all the dry ingredients for the crust, once combined thoroughly, add your shortening and butter. I sometimes dice the butter in small cubes to help mix it easier. Using your pastry blender, have a go at the until it looks like coarse wet sand. Add the ice cold water and work it in. Dump pastry onto sheet of plastic wrap, roll it into a loaf-like shape and seal well with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least an hour, I like it to go over night.

Now for the meat filling, sauté the onions, green onions, and garlic in a pan in the 2 tbs of oil. When wilted, add the meat and stir and mash until meat is broken up. Add spices and cook until meat is done. Add breadcrumbs and sprinkle the 2 tbs of flour over the meat and stir it in. Now stir in ½ cup of warm water to help the binders thicken the meat. Let this cool and take out your pastry dough. Divide the pastry into 2 even pieces. Roll each piece out into a disc, one for the top and one for lining the inside of the pie pan.

Ready to enjoy!
Line the pan, then add all the meat, then the cover and crimp around the edge with the tines of a fork around the edge. Mix your beaten egg and water with a whisk, and brush a thin layer onto top of pie, neatly and completely. Take a sharp knife and make a few slits in the top crust to vent the steam. Pop into a 350º oven for 45 mins. The meat is done inside already so just watch for the egg-glaze to brown properly. Let cool and enjoy. This pie can be made from beef, chicken, lamb, or probably even some type of fish or seafood, Crab seems good to me.

I hope you enjoy this Pork pie as much my buddy Tucker McCandless did, he was nearly speechless, and that is a rare occasion!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Timmy's Tasty Homemade Granola

Howdy friends, recently I started making homemade yogurt, which was amazing BTW, and all my friends that tried it said, "I bet it'd be good with granola." So I scoured the internet looking for granola recipes. None suited me, so I combined several, added my own two cents, consulted my culinary genius neighbor Jessica, and made my own.

Wow, I can't believe how easy this was and how dang good it is. You'll have to make it daily because it disappears faster than David Copperfield.

1/3 cup dark Karo syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
 (out of shell)
3/4 cup coconut flakes

1/4 cup flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the Karo syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and coconut oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the coconut oil has melted.

Combine all of the oats, seeds, nuts, coconut, *raisins, (or dried cranberries), and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and combine well.

Pour the syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Once you have mixed thoroughly, pour mixture into a large sheetcake pan lined with parchment paper. Place in a 300° oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Be sure to take out and stir the granola well every 15 mins.

Remove from oven and give a really good stir to remove any clumps. Be sure to let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy possibly the best granola you have ever eaten in your life.

You can use any combination of nuts and seeds in this granola, my next batch I want to include pumpkin seeds and macadamia nuts.

*You might want to leave your raisins or cranberries out unit you've finished baking your granola. It makes them crunchy, although I like them crunchy.