Friday, 8 November 2013

Pork and 3 Mushroom Pie with Savoury Short Crust Pastry

A couple of days ago hubby was at work and someone bought in pies - oh no! Hubby was amazingly well controlled and managed to resist the temptation, but I did receive a message from him asking what the chances were there was such a thing as a clean pie, and did I think it would be possible to make one? Challenge on!! The message got me thinking and yesterday I decided to do a bit of experimentation. I knew the filling would be easy enough to clean up, but the pastry was always going to be a challenge. Obviously there really is no way of coming up with a puff pastry, but what I ended up with was a very successful short crust pastry which really held its shape and crispness. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and sugar-free, this pastry was really successful and got the big thumbs up from both hubby and the kids. I would also like to experiment with a coconut flour based recipe for those people who don't want to use nuts, so watch this space. 

As an aside, the pastry recipe also makes great crackers. Simple roll it out thinly and bake on a baking tray for about 15 minutes until golden brown, then break into crackers.

I haven't yet perfected the filling that I was wanting...because I wasn't entirely sure how the pastry would respond, I decided to keep the filling quite dry as I didn't want soggy pastry. However, I didn't have to worry. The pastry held really well, so next time I make it I will add a sauce to the mixture to give it a little more moisture. I also chose to make a pork and mushroom pie simply because I had a load of mushrooms that needed to be used, and we only just had beef the night before (did you catch the Beef Quesadillas recipe?) so decided we didn't need to do red meat 2 nights in a row. Next time I would like to try and imitate a kiwi classic - the mince and cheese pie! Keep an eye out for that experiment...

Below I have the recipes for the pastry and the filling. The filling was delicious in flavor but slightly on the dry side, so I would recommend adding a little more moisture - I think even just half a tin of tomatoes would solve the problem. I have another couple of idea, but will give them a try first and let you know how I get on. 

In the mean time, here is the fantastic pastry recipe, and the recipe for the filling that I used. Yum!! We were VERY late with dinner as we had a Growing Up In New Zealand interview which went a lot later than intended so the pie was served just with some steamed broccoli and a green salad, but you could be a lot more creative with serving ideas I'm sure :)

 Gorgeous crispy brown pastry - looks just like a bought one!

 The filling - pork, thyme, mushrooms and cabbage... wonderful flavours!

Very simple serving suggestion...

I also made a mini pie for the kids - my kids aren't really big fans of mushrooms, so when I was cooking the filling I removed about a cups worth after I had cooked the mince and added grated carrot and peas to their filling instead of the mushrooms.

 Mini kids pie...

...And the inside.

Savoury Short Crust Pastry

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

2 cups almond flour 
1/4 cup tapioca flour (split in 2 lots of 1/8th of a cup 
2 eggs
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. In a food processor, blend all ingredients (using one of the lots of tapioca) until a thick paste forms. Add the second lot of tapioca and blend until a clump forms. For some reason it works a lot better if you add the tapioca in 2 lots instead of all at once. It will still work if you add it all at once, but may just be a little more paste-like.
2. Once the lump has formed, remove the dough and wrap it up in gladwrap or put in an airtight container. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. You can use it straight away, it is just slightly easier to work with if you leave it to cool. 
3. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a pie dish (I used a quiche tin that was about 20cm in diameter). Cut 2/3 of the pastry from the lump and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until about 3-5 mm thick. remove the top layer of baking paper, then flip the bottom layer with the pastry on it over the prepared pie tin. remove the baking paper (which should now be on top with the pastry underneath). Press the pastry into sides of the tin. It may break a little, but it is very easy to just smoosh it back where it needs to go. You can eliminate the step of rolling the pastry altogether and just press the pastry into the tin, but I find by rolling it out you get a much thinner more even pastry shell.
4. Blind bake the pastry shell (line it with baking paper then fill with rice, dried beans or pie weights) for about 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden and the pastry is firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
5. Prepare you pie filling while the pastry is cooking. Add the filling then put the pastry top on. Repeat the same process as you used for the base. Using the remaining 1/3 of the pastry, roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper until about 3-5 mm thick, and large enough to cover the pie. Remove the top layer of paper, then tip the pastry over the pie. Remove the second piece of paper (which will be on top), then gently press the edges of the pastry to join them to the bottom crust. Using a fork, make a few little holes in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Pork and 3 Mushroom Pie Filling

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

500g Pork Mince
1 tsp coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced (I used portobello, button and needle)
1 cup cabbage, very finely shredded or grated
2 carrots, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or half tbsp dried if you don't have fresh)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper to season

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onions have softened
2. Add the mince and cook for about 5 minutes until browned 
3. Add the mushrooms, cabbage and carrots. Cook until vegetables start to soften
4. Add the tomato paste, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is cooked through.
5. Add to your pre-prepared pie shell and cook as per instructions above.

This filling is also delicious for use in other ways. You could use it for the base for lasagna, meatballs or any time you need a delicious mince mixture. You can't go wrong with pork, mushrooms and thyme - it's a winning combination!