Rustic. Comforting. Relaxed. Those are the three words that come to mind when digging into a pot pie. Pot pies are not part of the Filipino culinary tradition, I certainly did not grow up with them but I feel such an affinity with pot pies. Where the affinity came from, I know not. If reincarnation were true, perhaps, I lived in Europe centuries ago.
Pot pies are so uncomplicated because there is no rule as to what can go into the filling. In fact, the tastiest pot pies are made with leftover stews that have sat in the fridge for a day or two so that the flavors have blended and mellowed.
The more challenging part is making the crust as that really requires a bit of skill and practice. But once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy. You can use a butter-based pastry dough crust or the less greasy shortbread crust. This recipe uses the flaky butter-based pastry crust. And, to simplify the procedure, I only used a top crust to cover the filling.
Top crust only? Yes. According to its strict definition, a pie has a completely encrusted filling. So, if there is only a top crust — a lid — is it still a pie? It might be worth considering that if the crust were at the bottom rather than the top, there seems to be no controversy. It would be a pie if it has a bottom crust with or without a top crust. Why not the other way around?
For my purposes, a filling covered and sealed by a top crust, even in the absence of a bottom crust, is a pie. That definition will have to work until I discover if there is a more proper name for such top crust-only concoctions.
For this recipe, you can use a small pie dish or two ramekins.
Pork and bacon pot pies
- 100 grams belly bacon chopped
- 100 grams ground pork
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- a pinch of dried oregano
- 1 potato cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 small carrot cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup sweet peas
- 1/8 cup meat broth
- 1/2 recipe of the basic pie crust dough
- 1 egg beaten
- Heat a non-stick pan. Cook the chopped bacon over high heat until about a tablespoonful of fat has been rendered. If the bacon does not render enough fat, drizzle in a little olive oil.
- Add the ground pork. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until the pork changes color.
- Add the garlic and onion. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion bits soften a bit.
- Add the potato, carrot, peas, tomato paste and oregano. Stir. Season with more salt and pepper.
- Pour in the broth and allow to boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the vegetables are done and the mixture is almost dry. Adjust the seasonings once more.
- Transfer the filling to a pie dish or divide equally between two ramekins. Leave to cool.
- When the filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Roll out the pie crust dough. Cut out circles about half an inch wider than the rim of the ramekins or pie dish that you want to use.
- Cover the pie pan or ramekins with the dough, pressing the edges along the sides. Fold, crimp or just leave plain — that’s up to you.
- Poke the crust with a fork to create steam vents then brush with the beaten egg.
- Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crusts are golden and the filling is bubbly.
- Serve the bork and bacon pot pies hot.