Pork pie

Pork pie, my kid’s favorite Serene food.

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The kid loves my pork pie. Especially when I put miso in the gravy. But then, it’s meat, potatoes (sometimes), gravy, and pie crust—how could that be bad? It’s her idea of comfort food, and it’s becoming the food that she didn’t get from her nana, but gets from me, so it’s a bonding thing.

Pork pie, whole, and a bowl of apples, and a bunch of test tubes of spices.

Lately, times have been rough for the kid. I won’t tell you her personal details here, but if I did, trust that you’d be crying for her, and wishing things were easier for us both.

I think I need to make her a pork pie soon, yes?

A slice of pork pie. In the background, a bowl of apples and a spice rack.

Pork Pie

Now, this is one of those recipes I just have to tell you, and you have to trust yourself with. Quantities really don’t matter, honest. It can be mostly potato and some meat. It can be meat and no potatoes. Don’t worry yourself about it.

We like this best with pork, but I’ve tried it with all kinds of meats, and it’s not only good every way, but it’s the most forgiving of recipes, in that you can change anything about it, and it still turns out great. This bakes for a half-hour or so, but the prep is minimal, so it’s a good weeknight dinner.

First, either make a two-crust pie crust from scratch, thaw frozen pie crust or some frozen puff pastry, or whatever else you would usually do for a savory pie. If you’re using the puff pastry, don’t do a bottom crust. You’ll get something that looks more like this…

…but you get my drift.

Next, cube some amount of pork (or other meat). If it’s already cooked, set it aside. We like the cubes kind of small, but do what’s comfortable for you.

Cube some potatoes and partially cook them (and the meat, if it’s raw) somehow: microwave, sautee pan, whatever. I tend to fry the meat and potatoes together in a little butter until they’re about half cooked, or more, if you prefer. If you had cooked meat set aside, mix everything together. Now look at the amount of filling you have: it should be enough to fill your pie vessel to almost overflowing, because stuff will settle, and a rounded-top pie is just more impressive than a flat one. If you’re low on bulk, add some leftover cooked veggies or more meat or whatever. Use your judgment.

For the gravy, you just want enough to moisten things, or it will make the crust soggy. If you have meat juices left in the pan you used, just thicken that with a cornstarch slurry (ask me how if you don’t know) and toss it with the filling. Otherwise, here are a few favorite gravies:

Chickpea gravy
Ginger-miso vegan “chicken” gravy
Basic white sauce

Preheat your oven to 450°F while you make the gravy. Or, if you have something else in the oven at a different temperature, so long as it’s 375°F or higher, just go with that, and be aware that the time will be different depending on the temperature. I find that pie crust suffers from a lower heat than 375°F.

Now remember, just enough gravy to moisten! You can always serve more gravy on the side, but nothing’s more disappointing at dinner than a soggy crust. Pile the bottom crust (if you’re using one) with moistened filling until you’re afraid you’ve gone too far, then top it with the top crust, crimp, toss it in the oven, and pull it out when it looks nice and browned. This will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-45 minutes, usually, but don’t worry if it’s more or less, since everything’s already cooked.

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

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