Savory pork and sausage pie — Home cooking rocks!
To cook the pork:
3 to 4 tbsps. of butter
1 k. of pork hock, bone-in and sliced (you can use other pork cuts but I really recommend a cut with bones)
1 celery stick (with the leaves)
1 large onion, halved
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. of peppercorns
To complete the filling:
another 6 tbsps. of butter
300 g. of potatoes
150 g. of carrot
1 large onion
150 g. of sausages (I used Italian garlic sausage)
about 2 and 1/2 c. of broth
about 3 tbsps. of flour
about 1/2 c. of cream
2 to 3 tbsps. of finely chopped parsley
For the crust:
double pie crust (see basic pie crust recipe)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Heat 3 to 4 tbsps. of butter in a pan. Lightly brown both sides of the pork hock slices. Pour in enough water to completely cover all the pork. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns and some salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, or until the pork is very tender. Do not be tempted to add more water as you want the broth to be highly concentrated in flavor. When the pork is done, turn off the heat and allow the pork to cool in the broth. The ideal time to boil the pork is the night before so that the pork can cool slowly overnight.
While the pork is simmering, you may also make the pie crust. Gather into a ball, wrap in cling film and keep the fridge until needed.
When the pork has cooled (ideally, after about ten hours), lift out the meat. Strain the broth (you will need about two and a half cups). Cut the meat into one-inch cubes. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes and carrots. Cut into cubes about the same size, or a bit smaller, than the pork. Cut the sausages similarly.
Peel and chop the onion.
Heat 3 tbsps. of butter in a pan. Add the potato and carrot cubes, and the sausages. Cook until the edges are lightly browned. Add the chopped onion and pork. Cook, stirring, until the onion bits soften a bit and the pork is heated through. Pour in half of the broth. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer until the vegetables are done, about five minutes.
To the remaining broth, stir in the flour. Pour into the pork and vegetable mixture and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Pour in the cream and add the remaining 3 tbsps. of butter. Stir. Cook just until bubbly. Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped parsley. Adjust the seasonings.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Spoon the prepared pork and sausage filling into ramekins. Leave enough space on top for the crust. Leave to cool a bit.
Make the pie crust if you haven’t already.
Measure the top of the ramekins so that you can cut the pie crust dough into pieces that would fit in snugly. I have this multi-size cutters and it’s just a matter of finding the one that fits perfectly. You can use something else though — the rim of a drinking glass or cup will do fine.
Roll out the pie crust dough and cut out circles to fit the ramekins.
Lay the crust on top of the filling.
A note here. Of course, you can always cut larger circles so that you can press the edges around the rim of the ramekins to totally seal the filling. If you opt to do that, the filling will have to be cooled completely; otherwise, air pockets will form between the filling and the crust. On the other hand, if the crust is loosely placed on top of the (still warm) filling, steam will escape along the edges of the crust and you don’t get hot air pockets.
Brush the tops of the piece crusts with the beaten egg. Using a thin pointed knife, poke holes on the crust to allow steam build up at the center to escape too. Just to be safe.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crusts are nicely browned and the filling is bubbling along the edges.
Serve the pies while hot.