Pork Pie. Partial title of a famous New Zealand Film and a delicious meal in itself. This one is quietly sweet pulled pork and fennel. I did mine with Mediterranean roast veges tossed with fennel tips and orange zest, with a delicious curl of pork crackling. This is for those cold winter nights. Curl up in front of the TV with a slice of this pie. Warm yourself from the inside out.
For the Pie
600g Pork Shoulder, skin removed for crackling
2 Bulbs of Fennel, finely sliced, tips and an inch of the stalks set aside for the vegetables
4 Brown Onions, finely sliced
7 Cloves of Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Cup of White Wine
3 sheets of Pastry, or however much you need to line a pie tin.
1 Egg, beaten for brushing on the pastry.
Yoghurt to Serve
For the Vegetables
4 Yellow-flesh Potatoes, roughly diced
2 Green Capsicum, roughly chopped
4 Large Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Courgettes, halved lengthways, then chopped
2 Red Onions, roughly chopped
Fennel Tips roughly chopped, stalks finely sliced
Red Wine Vinegar
Zest of 1 Orange
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
In a pot with olive oil, brown the pork shoulder. Once browned, add the onions, garlic, fennel, oregano, white wine and then cover with water. Cook for four to four and half hours or until the meat is falling apart. Or, expedite the process in the pressure cooker. Seriously, get a pressure cooker.
At some stage while that is cooking, par-boil your potatoes and carrots. 4-5 minutes in rapidly boiling water should do the trick for the carrots, and 3-4 minutes for the potatoes. Set them aside to cool, then toss them in olive oil with the rest of the chopped vegetables, then salt. Put in a baking tray ready for roasting. On top, put a wire rack. Oil and salt both sides of the pork skin. Place it on the rack skin side up.
When the meat is falling of the bones, remove all the bones and encourage the meat to fall apart. Once it's all pulled porky and delicious, cook it down until it's thick, rich, delicious. Salt and pepper to taste.
Grease up a pie dish with butter (one with removable sides, preferably). Line it with pastry. Pour the filling in, cover it up with more pastry. Roll and press the edges to seal it all up. Brush with egg. Put it in the oven on the lowest rack. Cook for half an hour.
Ten minutes put the vegetables in above the pie and cook for the rest of the cook.
If you've got a pie dish that has removable sides, take them off to crisp up the sides after half an hour. Regardless, increase the heat to 195 C, for another 20 minutes to get the bottom nice and brown.
Check on the pork crackling. It's should be starting to bubble and get crackly by now. Flip it to render the fat on the other side.
When the pie is done, the crackling is crackly and the veges are cooked, pull it all out. Toss the vegetables in the orange zest, fennel tips and sliced fennel stalks while hot. Sprinkle with a bit of white wine vinegar, dust with more salt and some pepper.
Serve the pie with crackling, a little dollop of yoghurt and fresh oregano leaves.