Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ham Pie

Ham pie is a concept. To me the crust is unique. I am unsure of the traditional names for this. It's a meat and vegetable gravy topped by cheese biscuits and roasted in the oven until the tops of the biscuits are done and the undersides are fully cooked like well-prepared dumplings.

This particular version has cubes of a homemade amateur sort of prosciutto cotto made of pork loin with maple and hickory flavors, which was then smoked and then cooked later four hours at low heat in pork fat and pork gelatin. I recommend ham, though, as a rule.
This has been around the family for a while. My brother and I conduct mock skirmishes on its proper preparation, and our mother weighs in too. It is from a recipe she found and developed. It became a repeat item. So I decided to see what the internet has to offer, and I find there are two popular versions. One has broccoli and the other green bell peppers. This, using bell peppers, is the version we make.

Every time one makes it there are certain deviations, major or minor. Todays deviations are, I used a red bell plus two fresh poblano peppers instead of green bell peppers, a little extra celery, Swiss cheese biscuits, the homemade prosciutto, and too much thyme. I had run out of marjoram, one of my favorite comfort-food spices. Marjoram often loves a cream gravy.

Light roux, sauted ham cubes, onion, celery, diced green bell peppers; add chicken stock or boullon, milk, butter, garlic. Make the stocky gravy with everything in it. (Barbarians or anyone in a hurry add a can of cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup, even, to take the place of most of the gravy-making steps.)

Make a recipe of homemade biscuit dough, add grated cheese, usually aged cheddar. Or Swiss, etc. In a pan suitable for oven put everything and add the biscuits (I spoon them on) on top of the hot "everything and gravy."

As you see I made everything in a big iron skillet on the stove, then added the biscuit dough and placed the whole hot thing in the already hot oven.

I make my biscuits with butter. I grate the cold butter with my grater, then grate in whatever cheese I want in my cheese biscuits. Then I finish. (There are biscuit recipes somewhere on the internet but not in this article today!)

1 comment:

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