Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Make a Cheshire Pork-Pie

So this recipe is a little older than the 19th Century, but I still wanted to try it. Besides, meat pies are timeless! After searching the books & finding many, many pies I still had not found one that I really wanted to try. Sure there were ones that looked good, and I have an idea for my next one, but this one sounded super good. I found the recipe on the Colonial Williamsburg Colonial Foodways page. The cool thing about the CWCF page is that they have already done the hard work for you! They give a period recipe, and the modern conversion for you, super easy!
 On to the pie! Today's recipe comes from "The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy", 1784.

So in the original recipe we need pork, pippins (apples), crust, seasonings & white wine. Luckily, we can still get all of these things today with ease!

Pork & Apples Layered in crust
I chose a thin cut pork chop, a little over a pound ended up being six pork chops. I seared them in the skillet as recommended by CW to ensure that the meat was fully cooked.  Don't forget to season them with salt, pepper, & nutmeg!! While the pork was cooking I started the crust. I chose to make the No. 1 Common Paste from The Practical Cook Book as made in the Apple Pie.  However, for this crust I only added about 3 cups of flour, and it was greatly improved!

So with the crust done & the pork seared, the apples pealed & sliced. Now time for assembly  I was using a deeper pie dish, about 8" wide and 3 or 4" deep to make sure I had enough layering room.

The bottom crust was already in the plate, and had been in the fridge while peeling & cutting apples.
 The dish was then layered with pork (3 chops on bottom) then apples & sugar, and the other 3 chops, followed by the rest of the apples.  When the layers are all in the plate, you add the wine.  I was able to find a "Rhine Wine" as CW called for, I had never heard of it, though I am not a wine person. I added a little over half a cup since I had a deep dish pie. Top crust added & closed.

Into the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. It was a waiting game for this one, I was so ready to eat it, as was DH!  So as soon as I pulled it out of the oven he was ready to eat it. We did let it cool for a few minutes before I cut into it.  One thing I have noticed is that this crust does not really brown, so it looks almost the same coming out of the oven as it does going in! I did rub a little butter on the top crust when it was right out of the oven this time.  It smelled wonderful!  It was wonderful! The spices & wine & apples all work together to give a great sweet, but not too sweet taste. "These pork chops are amazing" So I had a pleased husband.
Dished out & ready to eat!
What I learned from this pie, next time cut the pork into smaller chucks rather than leaving the pork chop whole, it would really help the serving& eating of the pie. Maybe less apples, I used four, and it did seem a little apple heavy. And maybe a little less wine. The pie was very liquid-y, and that could have been from the apples, but since I used about 3/4 cup of wine, next time maybe only a half?
Over all, this was one of the tastiest  things tried so far!

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