Friday, 18 November 2011

Leek And Pig Pie

It would seem from the titles of pages I brought up whilst seeking the above image that there are many people who don't know what to do with leeks.  Have never tried them.  Never realised they liked them.  They aren't the most staple vegetable in the world - being a little more expensive than broccoli (to take a staple veg at random) does not help them.  But they are well worth the extra few pence a pound.  There's nothing like that smooth, onion-ish greenery sweet taste.

I always knew I liked them, or rather was going to be brought up to like them, because a favourite dish of Dear Mama's was leek and bacon pie.  It's a classic, just as good cold as hot, a lunchbox standby when buttering sandwiches was too much to bear.  I used to get strange looks pulling a corner slice out at school but who cares.  With the man away on holiday again, I can eat whatever I damn well want, and as he doesn't like leeks (!) I rustled up the following just to spite him.

Leek and Pig Pie
You Will Need: Rectangular pie dish, ovenproof and about 25cm x 15cm; scales; rolling pin; large bowl; dinner knife; chopping board; sharp knife; small saucepan; small bowl.
Plain flour
Semi-skimmed milk
about 400g thin-cut lean pork, or pack of bacon, or mixture
One large or two small leeks
Three or four eggs
Cheddar cheese

1) Make the pastry (YES YOU CAN don't be a wuss).  Measure out 4oz flour and 2 oz butter.  Cut the butter into lots of little slices.  In the large bowl, rub the flour and fat together with your bare hands until you have a fine breadcrumby mess.  Hot tip - take your rings off first and put them somewhere safe, pastry is hard to get out of gem fittings.  Add a large pinch of salt and a slosh of milk.  Stir about with the dinner knife until it looks solid enough to get a handle on.  Handle it into a ball.  Wrap said ball in clingfilm and jam it in the fridge until needed.  SEE WAS THAT SO HARD**
2) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (as usual).  Chop the leeks into 1cm circles, and push the middles so that they fall apart into rings.  'Sweat' these with a little more butter in the saucepan, by melting the butter, adding leeks and putting the lid on over a low-medium heat.  Toss the pan (with lid on) occasionally to stop them sticking. Do until softened.
3) Set the leeks aside in the bowl.  Cut the pig into small pieces.  Brown the meat in the same pan, until all browned.  Drain off any watery fatty liquid (this will only sog the pie).  Mix the leeks back in off the heat.
4) Scatter flour on your worksurface.  Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it into a rectangle about 3mm thick.  Shuffle into the pie dish.  Trim the edges; if there are places where the pastry reaches over and under the edge, cut the overs off and press them into the unders.  Scatter the pig/leek mix into the pastry case.
5) Beat together a few eggs, enough to mostly cover the meat.  Pour over.  If you think you'll be short of egg, beat in some milk to make it go further.
6) Cut slices of cheese and lay them over the surface.  Bake for half an hour until golden brown at the edges. 

**Note for pastry virgins: I was one of you once.  Never again.  But- if you feel I have been unduly harsh here, I may do a proper 'pastry 101' post soon.

1 comment:

  1. Motherdearest has been known to shed tears over her inability to make pastry (before your esteemed blogger was born). Nice to see all my best domestic tricks being passed on.