Thursday, September 15, 2011

English Pork Pie

Its been a busy three weeks of pork.  I picked up a pig head from John Bledsoe at the Davis Farmers market 2 Saturdays ago.  I wanted to make some guanciale, but since I had the head, I made headcheese as well.

Then last Saturday a friend of mine was down from Eugene, OR.  At home he's not much into food, but he's always up for an adventure.  So we picked up a pork belly and some pork shoulder.  We ground the pork shoulder, mixed it with some ground chuck and stuffed some Kielbasa which we later hot smoked and ate for dinner.  I used the remaining pork shoulder to make rilletes.  Then I showed him how I cure pork belly for bacon.  The belly went into the fridge for a week.  My friend loved the Kielbasa, but couldn't believe how easy it was to make.  That pork belly could end up as slices of bacon surprised him, but he just couldn't wrap his head around the pork cheeks hanging in my wine fridge or the terrine of head cheese in the fridge.

To finish my two weeks of all things pig, I went to the Davis Food Co op for some more pork shoulder for this month's English Pork Pie Challenge.   I did an all butter pastry dough since all of my lard is covering the rilletes.  I've got to say that my success with pastry is a little hit or miss.  It's really hard now because it's so hot in Davis at this time of year.  I have to work really quickly when working with the dough to keep the fat from becoming too soft.  Then I'm never sure what the crust is going to do in the oven.  Will it puff up and brown nicely or leak all over the pan?

So how did the Pork Pie turn out?  Hit and miss.  One side of the pastry puffed up nicely while the other side leaked all over the pan.  Good though.