Director of Bookseller Relations Darin Sennett’s family took a page from Tolkien in planning their Christmas meal this year and prepared Samwise Gamgee’s Pork Pies. “We were going for a cozy hobbit-hole holiday, and Sam Gamgee’s steaming pork pies – and taters – were part of the ideal menu,” Darin said.
Prep time: 30-40 minutes (with additional time to grind the meat, if you’re not buying pre-ground).
Cook time: 35 minutes (Optionally, slow-cooking for richer flavor can take up to 2 hours – see below), plus 15 minutes to cool.
Leftovers: Absolutely! One of the articles I read about pork pies claimed that they were actually best eaten cold – link below. You can also freeze them before cooking – simply let them thaw, then cook as normal.
- 1/2 lb. ground pork (if grinding your own, use pork chops or tenderloin, with the fat cut off, and grind coarsely)
- 1/4 lb. ground sirloin beef
- 1 medium to large yellow onion, diced small
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic (optional)
- 1 tbsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/8 – 1/4 c. fresh sage leaves, chopped very fine
- 2 eggs
- 2 pie crusts – either pre-made, or use the following:
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 7/8 c. shortening
- 1/2 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsbp. vinegar
- 1/4 c. cold water
If making the pie crust from scratch, mix the flour, salt, and sugar, then with two knives, cut in the shortening until it’s mixed in in small pieces. Add the egg, vinegar, and water, and mix with a fork until it forms a uniformly consistent dough.
Grind the meat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and all but a couple pinches of the sage. Beat the eggs, then add them to the mix, setting aside a couple tablespoons of egg for a glaze later. Mix the meat mixture until it’s… well, um… mixed.
Roll out the pie crusts on a cutting board, lightly flouring the board as you go. Grease the inside of either a 6-cup muffin tin, or a 6″ pie plate (I used a muffin tin, to make individual serving sized pies), then cut dough from the crust to line the pan(s) accordingly – you will want a slight lip over the edge of each cup.
Preheat your oven to 350 or 375 degrees, depending on whether you wish to slow or fast-cook the pies.
Split the meat mix between the muffin tins, or add it all to the pie plate, and spread it evenly. Top the muffins/pie with the remaining crust, cutting a small hole in the top center. Traditionally, additional pieces of crust are added to the top, cut in diamonds or other shapes, as decoration. Use the remaining egg to glaze the tops, then sprinkle the remaining sage and a small amount of nutmeg on the tops.
Fast-cook: Cook for 35 minutes (40-45 for a larger pie) at 375 degrees, or until the tops are golden-brown.
Slow-cook: Cook for 2 hours at 350 degrees, checking the tops occasionally to ensure that they don’t burn.
Once finished, let cool for 10-15 minutes.
This article originally appeared on Zola Books.