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Cook up something Irish this weekend

By C.J. Maxwell


PHOTO BY DAMON ROLOFF


Irish pork pies

We may not be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year in traditional fashion but you can still mark the day with some Irish food. If you’ve done the stew and soda bread route and want to try something new, these delicious little pies are just the ticket and can be adapted for the vegetarians in the family as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or veggie broth

  • 2 pounds ground pork (or substitute with Beyond Sausage)

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 large diced onion

  • ½ cup diced celery

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 24 miniature pastry shells – ready frozen or homemade

  • 1 package (or homemade) pastry dough to top the shells

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons 2% milk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. In a small saucepan, mix cornstarch and broth until blended; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

  • In a large skillet, sauté onions and celery in the olive oil. Add the minced garlic at the end, taking care to avoid burning it.

  • Add the pork (if using sausage, remove from casing), and seasonings and cook over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until pork is no longer pink, breaking it up into crumbles; drain. Add broth mixture; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly.

  • Prebake the pie shells for about 10 minutes until slightly golden. On a work surface, roll out pastry dough and cut circles (you can use a drinking glass) large enough to cover each shell, rerolling scraps as needed.

  • Fill each shell with the pork mixture. Place small circles over filling; press edges with a fork to seal. In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk; brush over tops. Cut slits in crust.

  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove pies to wire racks. Serve warm with a side of veggies of your choice and, of course, a glass of Guinness Stout. Enjoy!


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