Making meat or vegetable pies this week was a nice break from all the sweetness we’ve had over the last few weeks. I don’t think I had ever made a meat pie before. I guess I’m not a huge fan of working with pastry or really been equipped to make it, but I was up for the challenge!
I kind of didn’t know what type of pie to make. There was a lot of thought and a fair bit of googling to figure out what I wanted to do. But I had a thought to make pies using the pork ball recipe from the Healthy Food Guide.
The pork balls are a favourite of mine. They are delicious and really easy to make. And healthy to kick!
I had an added challenge this week as I went up to Hawke’s Bay to see my parents and pack up all my stuff ready for moving down to Wellington. Adding this to already not having an oven in our apartment… I had to make the pies at my parents’ place in Hawke’s Bay and then transport them back to Wellington. It worked out ok. Plus I had the use of a fully stocked kitchen.
So… with the idea of incorporating the pork balls into a pie (the idea to make a sort of burger, but with pastry) I needed to figure out what else I wanted to add as well as choose my regional ingredients! (There might have been some frustrated running around Hastings New World trying to find something that was made in Wellington and all I could find that resembled a sauce-type substance was pesto. Pork and Pesto Pies were formed!)
I made the pork balls up in the form of tiny patties and cut the cooking time short by five minutes to ensure they didn’t brown like they usually do or dry out when they were put back into the oven in pie form.
To assemble the pies I used savoury short pastry, Genoese pesto and Kapiti Pakari Aged Cheddar Cheese. I used a glass to cut out the circles for the pies. I placed one pork pattie on the base, a teaspoon of pesto and a slice of cheddar. I then placed the top piece of pastry on top and pushed down with a fork. I brushed the pies with an egg wash (1 egg and 1 tsp milk) to give a golden brown look.
I baked the pies at 200ºC for between 15 to 20 minutes. By this time the pastry was looking nice and golden.
They tasted delicious hot out of the oven, but as we had judging on the Monday and at work with no oven, we had to get inventive at the office. We used the sandwich presses in the kitchen, which heated up the pies well and browned mine up a bit more, which was great!
I came second, which has put me in first place overall… just! The winner this week were the Goulash-pretzel pies – both by colleague votes and popular vote.
Next week is Eclairs! Which I’m not really sure how I feel about making. I’ve never made any before, but they look easy enough. I’ve had a few ideas on how to make them a bit more than just a traditional eclair – pistachio, coffee or s’mores – I’m currently undecided which ones I want to make!