Monday, November 29, 2010

Let's Eat Pie and Pigs

The turkeys, ducks, and chickens have been processed for the winter.  The farm is quiet except for the pigs fighting over the pumpkins.  Thanksgiving has come and gone but left us with a few extra rolls around the waist from eating too much pie.  But really, except for the added calories, how can anyone eat too much pie?  Hungry? Eat Pie. Depressed? Eat Pie. Bored? Eat Pie. Stressed? Eat Pie. Angry? Eat Pie. Ecstactic? Eat Pie. Lonely? Eat Pie.  Feeling Svelt and Beautiful? Eat Two Pies.

WIOX Radio in Roxbury's Farm Chatter features me and Tara Collins the first Wednesday of every month at 1 pm. On December 1 we will be chatting about pigs and pie and local and seasonal holiday gift ideas.

Farmer Tom Warren will be the guest this week to talk about how pigs get to be pork on a platter. He will chat about raising pigs and feeding pigs alternative crops such as pumpkins. He spends way too much time watching the pigs chasing pumpkins in the fields.  You can imagine what a riot it is watch big fat pigs frolicking after giant orange marbles rolling about the field.

I will talk about Colonial Minced Meat Pie.  This is a pie filling recipe from an old colonial Willambsburg recipe book that I used in my Perfectly Pie Gift baskets.  The gift basket included filling for minced meat pie, cherry pie, apple and cranberry pie, ready made crusts (just add water) and pie plates and servers.  Two of my favorite relatives are getting this for Christmas.   This recipe is sweet and savory and conjures up memories of fireside cooking and cozy Colonial suppers.

Colonial Minced Meat (real) Pie

1 1/4 pounds of beef round or leftover roast
1/4 pound suet
1 1/2 pounds apples
1 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups cider or apple juice

Double recipe for Pie Crust

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

1. If uncooked meat is used, simmer beef 2-3 hours or until very tender, adding suet for last 1/2 hour of cooking.

2. When cooked, chop beef and suet very fine, into about 1/4-inch pieces. 3. Pare, core, and chop apples to make 3 cups. 4. Mix beef, suet, apples, raisins or currants, white and brown sugars, spices, brandy and cider or apple juice.

5. Prepare pie crust.

6. Line pie plates with pastry, fill each with half of meat mixture. Cover with top crusts, seal edges, slit holes on top for steam to escape. If desired, spread a thick layer of butter on pastry for flaky upper crust.

7. Bake 3/4 hour in 400°-425° oven.

Yield: Two 9-inch pies

These pies are available from Fable's Kitchen in our farm store and the Callicoon Farmer's Market on Sundays.

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