Back in the 80s one of my Mum's meals on rotation was a sausage pie. She'd make her own pastry, fill the base with pork sausage meat, layer over slices of tomato and then top with a pastry crust. I'm pretty sure my Mum will forgive me for saying that any joy she had in cooking was eroded over the years by my type 1 diabetic father. Lovable as he was, he was prescriptive about what he'd eat and little variety made it on to our dinner table. Consequently cooking became a chore rather than an enjoyable past time for Mum, but her sausage pie was one of the more flavourful dishes I enjoyed.
I've wanted to include a sausage pie in this year's list of dishes, but have struggled to find a recipe that has really appealed. This recipe from Joanne Asala's Celtic Folklore Cooking book felt like a fitting vehicle for my parcel of organic pork mince, taking my pie in slightly different direction from Mum's. Firstly, this pie is topless and secondly, the meat filling is mixed with chopped dates, ginger, nutmeg and cardamon.
One of the things I've tried to do in 2020 is make my own pastry. I've previously rationalised grabbing a pack of ready rolled from the supermarket chiller by asking "who has time to make their own pastry, anyway?" It turns out I do. I surprised myself this evening with the ease by which I managed to whip up homemade pastry on a weekday night and still serve dinner before 7:30pm.
Diverting from the recipe instructions, I chose to blind bake my pie case for 15 minutes before adding the filling, to avoid the proverbial soggy bottom. To the adults around the table, the pie was delicious, but there was less enthusiasm from the kids who found the combination of pork meat, dates and sweet spices odd.
With lots left over, a slice of cold pork pie made for a delicious lunch served with a mixed salad during the week.