Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pork Pies {Party Like a Lannister}

When looking at different recipes and menus for a Game of Thrones themed luncheon for Brian, I came across photos for Jon Snow's Pork Pies. I didn't delve too far into what made them special; I just decided to make some fennel scented meat pies with an absinthe crust. Yum!

Absinthe Pâte Brisée
2-1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 C finely ground blanched cashews or cashew flour
1/2 t fennel pollen
1 C butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 T ice water
3-4 T abinsthe
fleur de sel

Place the flour, ground cashews, fennel pollen, and cold butter in a large bowl. Use the patry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 T at a time, alternating with the absinthe, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Pork Filling
olive oil
1 lb organic, ground pork
2 T minced garlic
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 C chard, chiffonaded
1 T fennel seeds
1/2 t fennel pollen
splash of abinsthe

In a large, flat-bottom pan brown the garlic in a splash of olive oil. Cook the pork until it's cooked through. Stir in the celery, carrots, and chard. Cook until the chard is wilted and the carrots are fork tender. Stir in the fennel seeds, fennel pollen, and absinthe. Set aside.

To Assemble
Roll out the Pâte Brisée between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut to the size of your tart pans. I did several individual sized parts. Cut top crusts, place atop the filled tarts, and pinch the edges to seal. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the pork pies for 50 minutes - or until the tarts are golden on top.

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