While it was very easy figuring out what my sweet pie was going to be for the final week, I had no idea what to do for my savory pie. I was not particularly fond of my twist on an English Pork Pie when I first tried making savory pies. I remember it was incredibly time consuming and I did not even like how it ended up taking.
As I was pondering what I should make, I came across a friend, Williams own Scott Wieman who gave me a great idea. He said (more or less) “why not make a lumberjack pie”? Although I forgot how exactly my bearded friend envisioned this pie, I remember it involved apples, cheddar cheese, a meat of sorts, and some maple syrup. When it came time to decide on what pie to make, I knew this was the one for me. I figured it would only be fitting to end class eschewing the recipe books in favor of a Robbie Feder original.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. In practice it seemed like it would not be too time consuming, as was the case with the pork pie. Furthermore, unlike with the pork pie, I figured by creating the recipe, I could ensure that all the ingredients were ones I liked and not things, such as mace, that have the potential to completely throw things off. Lastly, I figured I would cook my meat beforehand to ensure everything was up to health standards and so I wouldn’t need to bake the pie as long.
As I went about this process, everything came to me on the fly. In turn, as I describe this recipe, it is similar to something my Great Grandma Mimi would do “with a pinch of this or a splash of that.” I will try to be as exact as possible though!
I started out by cutting up my meat and an onion. In thinking about what a lumberjack would eat, I figured it would be very hearty. In turn I cut up some pork shoulder, ham, and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon! I wanted to mix in some onion flavor, hence cutting up the onion.
I began by caramelizing the onions which I had chopped finely in a pan with olive oil. I added a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a little bit of water to help sweat the onion. Then when the vegetable in question got golden brown, I proceeded to add my meat. I’m sure the order does not matter but I did bacon, ham, and then pork shoulder. I should also mentioned that I sprinkled the meat with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
As I kept on stirring, the fat from the meat mixed with the onions and created a really nice flavor. I’m sure that mixture would be delicious on its own, but remember this is a lumberjack pie. So as the meat was beginning to gain color, I added a couple of splashes of maple syrup. Between the bacon fat, sugary maple syrup, and onion juices an intoxicating scent began to emerge. I also added a couple of table spoons of the bourbon sauce from my chocolate pecan bourbon pie recipe to reinforce how this is a sweet savory pie.
In retrospect I realized that between the sugar in the maple syrup and the bourbon sauce, I did something that the fellas on epic meal time would do: I candied bacon! (as well as the other meats). For as I continued to stir my meat, it developed a beautiful dark red color that when I tried was sinfully good.
While I put my candied meats in a bowl I proceeded to start on my 4 granny smith apples. While I am sure I could have cut up my apples and put them in the pie as is, I wanted to keep going with the elaborate nature of this pie. In turn, I stewed my apples in apple cider (which I have done for other recipes and is terrific) and added some more maple syrup!
With my main components done, I began to assemble my pie. After putting the pie crust in the tin, I grated sharp cheddar cheese on the bottom. I really enjoy Cabot, but any sharp cheddar is fine. On top of that fluffy mound of grated cheese I put my candied meat. I then covered this layer in another blanket of cheddar cheese with a little drizzle of more maple syrup. Then atop that layer of cheese I added the stewed apple mixture to which I shockingly drizzled a little bit more maple syrup.
I then covered my pie with its top crust, washed it with egg folk so it could achieve a golden brown, made a decorative pattern, and put a small amount of cheddar cheese on top. I put a great deal more cheddar on the top of the pie, but only 10 minutes before the pie was actually done, since the cheese cooks quickly and can burn. That little bit I added at the beginning of cooking was more for fun and you can totally do without it if you would like, since as mentioned, there will be a lot more grated cheese towards the end. But hey, I’m a glutton and believe there is no such thing as too much cheese!
I put my pie in for 45 minutes at 350. While the edges were golden brown, the middle was not. In turn I stuck my pie in for another 10 minutes. Then, I grated more cheddar cheese on the top of the pie, put it back in the oven, and waited another 15 minutes. The finished product looked great! I also got it nestled next to its buddy and my sweet pie, the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. While this pie is by no means healthy, I certainly hope it tastes good!
- 8 oz pork shoulder
- 10 oz bacon
- 8 oz of ham
- 1 onion
- 4 granny smith apples
- 1 small jug of maple syrup
- 2 blocks of sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1/2 cup of apple cider
- Prepare your pie crust.
- Chop Up the meat and the onion.
- Saute the onion in a pan, adding a little bit of water (roughly a tablespoon) and a pinch or two or salt and sugar as the onions begin to caramelize.
- Add in the bacon, then the ham, and then the pork shoulder. Stir the meat together with the onion until it begins to brown.
- Add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and continue to stir the meat together.
- If you would like, add 1 tablespoon of some sort of caramel sauce to help with the candying process.
- When the meat turns a dark red rue, drain out the liquids and store in a bowl.
- Cut up four granny smith apples. Saute them in a pan with apple cider and add a splash or two of maple syrup. When the apples are soft, drawn the liquid and put in a separate bowl.
- In assembling the pie, start by placing a layer of flour on the bottom so that the juices from the meat do not drip through.
- On top of the protective layer of flour grate a layer of cheddar cheese until the bottom of the pie is completely covered.
- On top of the cheese place the meat mixture, sprinkling in some more maple syrup and covering that up as well with another layer of cheddar cheese.
- On top of the second layer of cheese, place the stewed apples and add a sprinkle of maple syrup again.
- Place the top crust over the top, brush with egg yolk, and decorate as one pleases.
- Cook at 350 F for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pie, grate a thick layer of cheddar cheese, and then put back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.