The recipe I used for this pie called for Serrano ham, which I did not find.
It also called for saffron strands to be incorporated into the crust.
So, yeah. Saffron is expensive, and I just started a new business, so when I become super-profitable THEN I will include saffron. And go in search of Serrano ham.
Instead, I bought some free-range organic pork loin that came from a pig whose sire was a champion chess player.
In addition, there was chorizo sausage which was smuggled over the border in the dark of night.
The interwebz said that I could reasonably substitute a pinch of tumeric for the saffron, so substitute I did. (Why on earth I had an unopened container of tumeric I do not know, but I was grateful for it.)
First, you melt half a stick of butter in a French Oven (which is a Dutch Oven that was made in France). Next, you chop the following into tiny bits: two onions, green pepper, red pepper, hot red chili, parsley, one garlic clove. Add the onion to the butter and cook for 10 minutes at medium heat. Add the peppers and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Add the parsley, garlic and chili, season with salt and pepper.
Next, add 3 oz. of diced chorizo and half a pound of lean pork loin. My butcher said I could try pancetta (which I know is Italian, and this recipe is Cuban so – yay diversity!) instead of the ham, so after mixing the meat into the pepper mixture, I added a layer of pancetta.
This is a two-crust meat pie, using a rich butter and egg crust lining the bottom and with a crimped lid on top.
There was a seriously tense moment as the pie spilled over — all that pork puts out a fair amount of grease, as you can imagine. The grease hit the bottom of the oven and during a routine peek at the pie, a cloud of smoke billowed out and filled the kitchen.
It was time for a beer.
After that incident, I installed a drip pan and all was well.
I was really unsure about this pie; it was the first time I had made it, or anything close to it. In fact, a search online did not reveal many pies like it . . .
I’ll tell you though, (modestly, of course) this is one delicious pie. It took a long time to make (it bakes for 50 minutes at 350) and then had to sit for another good 30 minutes to settle. The wait was totally worth it. We’ll make this one again.