This months edition of delicious. magazine included a short section on pies. As I flipped through the pages, a picture of mini-pork pies gave me the inspiration to not only use quail eggs again, but to also join in on this month's Waiter, there's something in my... pie.
It may be a little early for the event, but when something just feels right for the day - I just go ahead and make it. I bought a little pack of quail eggs during the week, and today - I was in the right frame of mind for a good pork pie.
The delicious. recipe used chilies, parsley and paprika which are not really traditional flavours for a pork pie, so after scouring Hugh's meat book I decided to use his mix with sage, thyme, mace, and cayenne. I didn't have any mace on hand, so used a sprinkling of grated nutmeg instead.
To make the pies, I made up a short-crust pastry which rested in the fridge until ready for use. I boiled the quail eggs for approximately 10 minutes and cooled them under a running tap. (This will prevent the yolk from going grey.) To 400 grams of minced pork, I added 4 rashers of chopped bacon. It may sound strange adding the bacon to pork, but it adds flavour and a little fat to the mix - which helps it all bind together. I mixed in a tablespoon each of sage and thyme, a sprinkling of cayenne, a good ground of nutmeg and salt and pepper. Into a muffin tin, I shaped the rolled out and cut dough. I spooned in a good helping of the meat and made a small well in the centre in which the egg could stand up. I covered over the egg with more pork mix and sealed the pies with more rounds of pastry. I brushed each pie with beaten egg and baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.
Next time I'm looking to make a pork pie, I would like to make a hot-water crust. I'm very intrigued to see how hard (easy) it really is! I love the egg as well - it adds texture and interest, colour and flavour. These pies are truly "gala pies".