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Aug 01, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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By the Book: Edward Lee’s Curry Pork Pies

August 6th 12:08pm, 2013

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Edward Lee is the Brooklyn-bred son of Korean immigrants who has grown to become an acclaimed chef. He’s a three-time James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: Southeast, an alum of Top Chef: Texas and the chef-owner of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, Ky. His debut cookbook, Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen, is a must-have for adventurous cooks, Top Chef junkies and anyone who wants insight into the mind of a chef whose creativity is redefining American food. (Lee will be in St. Louis Aug. 13 to discuss the book at the next Sauce Celebrity Chef Series event. Details and ticket information can be found here.)

There are so many dishes in Smoke & Pickles that showcase his ability to seamlessly tie together Korean and southern cuisines. I wavered between cooking up southern fried rice and a meatloaf sandwich made with bourbon and Coke. Then I spotted his recipe for curry pork pies. Who can resist a handheld savory meat pie?

The ingredients list may be a bit long, but none of the items are out of the ordinary. If you have a well-stocked kitchen, the goods are probably already in your fridge and pantry. Nor is the technique tough. For the pie filling, all you’ve got to do is saute meat and veggies – along with fresh ginger and garlic – then spike it with flavor using chicken stock, curry powder, soy sauce and a bit of S&P. While the filling is tasty as-is, I love ginger so much that next time I plan on doubling the prescribed 1 ½ tablespoons. Ditto for the 2 teaspoons of curry powder.

 

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There are home cooks who can boast about their pie crust-making skills, and those who take the storebought route because they view it as faster and fail-safe. I will never claim “perfect crust” status, but I still make my own because homemade always tastes fresher, and I love the Zen moment when my hands massage flour, butter and shortening into a cornmeal-like texture.

 

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My biscuit cutter has gone AWOL. But I think Lee would have given a slow, southern nod of approval if he’d been present when I used a screw cap from a Mason jar to punch out the rounds.

 

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The hardest part of this entire recipe is the waiting. Those mini-pies bake for 15 long minutes and are supposed to cool for 10 even longer minutes. Leave the house. Take a walk. Burn off some calories. When you come back, you’re going to finish every last one.

 

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Curry Pork Pies
12 Servings

Filling:
½ cup bacon, chopped
¾ lb. ground pork
¾ cup onions, chopped
¼ green bell pepper, diced
¼ cup carrots, diced
1 ½ Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup chicken stock
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Pie crust:
10 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cubed, plus softened butter to grease muffin tin
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
8 to 10 Tbsp. ice water
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. whole milk

• To make the filling: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3 minutes, until the bacon is lightly crisped and some of the fat has rendered out.
• Add the ground pork, onions, bell pepper, carrots, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have started to soften and the pork is cooked through.
• Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and pork and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, curry powder, soy sauce, salt and pepper, stir well, and cook for about 2 minutes. Has the liquid cooked off but the filling still looks moist? Good. Transfer it to a bowl and let cool in the refrigerator while you make the crust.
• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with a little soft butter. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.
• To make the pie crust, measure the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the shortening and butter and, using a fork or your fingers, work them into the flour until you have a granular texture (like cornmeal). If the butter starts to soften, stop and chill the mixture in the refrigerator. Add the water gradually and work it in just until the mixture clumps together to form wet dough; don’t overwork the dough. Dust with a little extra flour and divide the dough in half. Shape into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
• Remove one disk of dough from the fridge and put it on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 15-by-20-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass jar, punch out 12 5-inch rounds of dough, rerolling scraps if necessary.
• Line the prepared muffin tin with the dough rounds. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with the oil and milk in a small bowl. Brush the inside of each crust with some of the egg wash to seal it, reserving the remaining egg wash for the top crusts.
• Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling into each pie crust.
• Roll out the second disk of dough on the floured surface about 1/8-inch thick. Using a slightly smaller biscuit cutter or a 3-inch ring mold, cut out 12 rounds. Drape a round over each pie and use your fingers to crimp the edges together.
• Brush the top with the reserved egg wash. Use a fork to poke holes, or a sharp paring knife to cut an X, in the top of each pie.
• Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pies are puffed and golden; you should see a little bit of the juices bubbling up through the holes. This will make you hungry, so take them out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins to prevent them form crumbling. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permissions from Artisan Publishers

Which local chef would you nominate to go on Top Chef and why? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Ben, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won a copy of Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers. Ben, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

By Ligaya Figueras

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9 Responses to “By the Book: Edward Lee’s Curry Pork Pies”

  1. Joe Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    So many options but I would nominate Ben Poremba. He is charismatic, his food is delicious and unique, and I think the producers would love his accent!

  2. Katie Says:
    August 8th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Tom Coghill! Can you even imagine?!?

  3. Minnie Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Josh Galliano- Endless creative ideas- Huge range of skills from humble to haute. Passionate and illuminating. No end to deliciousness.

  4. Blake Kaplan Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I’d go with Tom Coghill. He’s the best.

  5. Luke Johnson Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Elizabeth Schuster of Tenacious Eats- I’ve had many different cuisines that she’s prepared and they were all fantastic. Super versatile and super delicious.

  6. Ben King Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I’m not sure you can ignore Gerard Craft in this conversation. What he has done at Niche is amazing. I’m sure everyone here can agree. As a local St. Louis foodie I love all of the people listed above, however can you ignore food and wine magazines best new chef award winner (2008).

  7. Matt Wever Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    David Choi from Seoul Taco. They need a truck chef on that show in a big way!

  8. Victoria Kelley Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I would say Josh Galliano. Such a great chef with incredible ideas about how to make food exciting!

  9. Theresa Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Brian Hardesty who works for the Guerrilla Street Food, a Filipino food truck. He is updating the food just enough to be current and relative but also keeps it traditional and delicious!

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