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Pork Pot Pie: Romancing the Leftovers

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Pork Pot Pie

Pork Pot Pie

Copyright 2011 Tristan Kenney
What do you do with leftover pork roast? Make a pork pot pie. At least that's what I did not long ago. I'd eaten the roast as a roast (it was seasoned with herbs and garlic) a couple of times. I'd made a sandwich and done a stir-fry, and I wanted something different to polish it off. Because I didn't have any pork stock, I did something I rarely do and bought some Goya pork bouillon cubes (I found them in the Hispanic food section at my supermarket). Feeling a bit lazy, I'd planned on topping the pies with frozen puff pastry but discovered I was out, so I made the Cook's Illustrated vodka pie crust for the topping. Larger image.) Serves 2.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry:
  • 1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 heaping tsp. table salt
  • 5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 Tbsp. cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. cold vodka*
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • Filling:
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, separated
  • 1/4 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1/4 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch rounds (1/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds (1/4 cup)
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cubes Goya pork bouillon
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. dry white wine or vermouth (optional)
  • 1/2 pound cooked pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup snap peas (can be frozen), cut in half
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Pastry:
1. Mix 3/4 cup flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined.

2. Add shortening and butter then process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour).

3. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula, redistribute evenly around the bowl, and add remaining cup flour. Pulse 6 times in quick bursts. Scoop into a bowl.

4. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula, pressing down on dough until it sticks together. Note: This will be much wetter than a standard pie crust.

5. Shape dough into a ball, place on a sheet of plastic wrap, and flatten. Wrap snugly and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Filling:
6. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

7. Heat a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Then add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to melt.

8. Add onion, celery, carrot, and herbs; sprinkle lightly with salt; and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until vegetables are fragrant. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scoop veggies into a bowl.

9. Heat 1 1/2 cups water in microwave on high for 1 minute. Completely dissolve bouillon cubes in water.

10. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking steadily, for 4 minutes.

11. Increase heat to medium and whisk in bouillon. Continue whisking until sauce begins to bubble and is quite thick (juices released from the other ingredients will thin it while cooking). Stir in wine and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cooked vegetables, snap peas, and pork. Spoon into two large oven-proof bowls or ramekins or a small casserole dish.

12. Roll out pie crust. You'll have to use your own judgment here depending on your baking vessel(s), but the pastry should be just over 1/8-inch thick.

13. Cover casserole/bowls with pastry, pierce with a knife to vent, and bake for about 40 minutes until crust is browned.

*Note: Water combines with the proteins in flour and can make a pie crust tough if you use too much water. Alcohol doesn't combine with the proteins and so you can use it to make a dough that is both tender and easier to work with.

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