Thursday, September 15, 2011

Charcutepalooza September: Packing, English Pork Pie

Well, I'm back. I fell off the Charcutepalooza wagon last month, having zero interest in terrines and zero time to complete the task. You see, I'll be honest here. I have very little love for random parts of pig, or any other creature. I know, I know, you're all going to tell me how fabulous pig heads, feet, or organs are. You going to tell me that I *need* to fall in love with cow tongue. The list goes on and on.

I've tried it. I've tried it all. There's nothing I won't try at least once in several different ways of preparation. I have an issue with gelatinous dishes. They repulse me. Weirdly, I eat sushi. Go figure.

Granted, I don't hate all of it. I love fois gras. I love a pate in the right setting with the right pieces with it. There are just bits and pieces to things like terrines and headcheese, that turn me the wrong way.

If you love it, go on with your bad self. I'm sure there's things I love that repulse you, that's OK. Each to their own.

Why am I telling you this? I feel like this is my confessional. I don't have the love for all things charcuterie that most of the members of this challenge do. I love sausages, fresh or cured. I love bacon, and smoked just about anything. I hope you all still love me.

On that note, I was thrilled to see English Pork Pie. Pastry doesn't scare me, I love making it, although I'm not talented in shaping it or rolling it out. This meat pie reminds me of a blended Tourtiere, which is one of my favorite things in this world. Alas, my recipe for that Quebec meat pie is one of my husband's family and I'm not allowed to share.

I followed the recipe in Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie pretty much to the letter. I subbed more butter for lard, because frankly, I didn't want to go and get lard. This pie crust is no light matter. I think about four sticks of butter goes into it. I used some pork shoulder I had frozen from Kellie Brook Farm in Greenland, NH and grinded that on up.

Now my pork pie failed to have that nice high dome that others got. The filling spread out a bit before I got it all into the oven. No fear though, this is a fabulous treat. Perfect for a winter or fall Sunday meal, or a holiday. It's not hard to make, just a touch difficult to assemble and make pretty.

So this is it. I'm back. I'm not in the running any more, but that's OK. It's the community, the camaraderie, the challenge of Charcutepalooza that I love. And I hope I'm still allowed in the "Cool Kids Meat Club", even though headcheese makes me cry. I jest. Really. This pork pie, however, find a recipe and make it. It was lovely slathered in a good mustard, and served warm.

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9 comments: said...

Kimmie - thank you for confessing. I have so much in common with you -sometimes I feel I am not worthy of being in the Charcutepalooza challenge because I just don't love meat enough. I mean I like it and all but not unconditionally. I experienced major charcutefatigue this round but was pleased to see something I am really looking forward to next month. Your pork pie is wonderful! Welcome back!

Lynn said...

Your pork pie is beautiful - and how I wish I'd made one instead of pate! I am completely with you on loving much that i've learned and done as part of charcutepalooza, but still not being completely on the meat wagon. I should have skipped this month and just said pate is not for me!

Rachel Tayse said...

I didn't grow up with cold meat products of any sort so all the chilled dishes are taking a little getting used to.

Winnie Abramson said...

I am so with you Kimmy. I did not have my act together last month or this one- my heart just isn't really in it anymore I guess- though the pork pie does look great and I may still give it a go :)

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

I love the challenge, it's sometimes just hard to keep up with! Often, I find I don't feel like spending the money on quality ingredients (which I'll always use) for something I'm not thrilled with! The pork pie, I must say, was on the simpler side of all the challenges!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

We did deli meat as kids, but that's about it. I don't mind eating the finished products, but the task of making them, thinking about what's in them, it's been a challenge!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

Sometimes you've got to just stick to what you love. I finally told myself it was OK to give myself a break!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

((hugs)) you are more than worthy, my friend! I find it's certainly difficult to learn to give yourself a break from time to time!

Dan Clapson said...

Yum! It's kind of like a giant sausage roll! :)