It’s recipe swap time again!
For those of you who are unfamiliar, I am part of a group of bloggers that reinterprets recipes from an old cookbook called “All Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground”. CM at Burwell General Store started the recipe swap this past December, and for the very first swap it was just Christianna and I, making our best persimmon creations. And here we are, just a few swaps later (this is our 4th recipe swap), the group has grown to 13 members! If you’d like to see a full story of how the swap began, a full list of recipe swap participants, as well each participant’s recipe swap creation please visit CM’s dedicated Recipe Swap Page (It’ll be worth it, I promise. SO MANY AMAZING BLOGS!).
For this particular recipe swap, Christianna asked us to recreated “Grandma’s Chicken Pie with Drop Biscuits“. I was really excited when I heard that she had picked this recipe, as the last couple of recipes we’ve reinterpreted were originally sweet dishes. I was ready to take on a savory challenge. I’m a sucker for a good pot pie, and with all the wretched weather we’ve had lately, this dish sounded like the answer to all of my winter woes.
I’ve made a few different pot pies over the years, and they never fail me. Pot pie is always delicious. Always! So with my reinterpretation of “Grandma’s pot pie”, I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original recipe. I wanted the flavors to be simple and classic. I wanted the dish to be warm, hearty, and comforting. After gazing at various recipes online and searching my own brain for inspiration I finally settled on this: Pork and Apple Mini Pot Pies with Rosemary Gruyere Biscuits.
Here’s the thing with this dish: it sounds fancy and complicated, but it really isn’t. The ingredient list is simple and made up of mostly pantry staples. The flavors are classic and familiar (Nich actually said that it “tasted like Thanksgiving”). Quite frankly, the only thing you need for this recipe is a bit of time and planning. This is the perfect lazy Sunday dish, as you can pop it in the oven and let the pork slowly braise while you accomplish other things (or laze on the couch and watch a No Reservations marathon. It happens.)
As always, I had a great time participating in the recipe swap. Yet again, I was forced to be creative and think outside of the box…and I loved the results! I loved the biscuit topping so much, that I’ve already made the biscuits again on their own (they can be slightly modified with more flour to be rolled out and cut into traditional biscuits). I’m quite sure this pot pie will find a place in our winter meal rotation.
Please do scroll down to see my recipe and tips on making this delicious dish. And check out the gorgeous dishes my fellow swappers created!
The recipe swap currently includes: CM @ Burwell General Store, Boulder Locavore, The Tomato Tart, Chef Dennis @ More than a Mountful, Spicy Living, The Unexpected Harvest, The Adventuresome Kitchen, The Cake Dutchess, Good Food Week, Fat and Happy, The Herbed Kitchen, and Cindy @ Tyro Tidbits
Mini Pork & Apple Pot Pies with Rosemary Gruyere Biscuit Topping
(Pork filling adapted from Bitchin Camero)
For the pork & apple filling
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 lbs of pork shoulder, divided into 6 equal pieces
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground pepper
2 yellow onions, diced
2 cups chicken stock
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
Dash of cayenne pepper
For biscuit topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 stick (8 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup finely grated gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
First, trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder pieces. Sprinkle all sides of the pork with salt and pepper.
Using a dutch oven (or other oven-proof pot), heat olive oil over medium heat (on the stovetop). Once the oil is hot, add in the pork (if the pan is too crowded you may have to cook in batches). Brown the pork shoulder pieces until nicely browned on each side (a few minutes per side). Remove the pork to a plate.
Add the diced onions to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in rosemary and thyme, stir, and cook for one minute more. Place the pork shoulder pieces back in the pot and add the stock, bay leaf, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Once the stock comes to a rapid simmer, transfer pot to preheated oven. Cook for 1 – 2 hours, turning pieces occasionally, or until the pork is fork-tender. (My pork took 2+ hours to reach desired tenderness)
Once the pork is fork-tender, remove from pot and transfer to a plate. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart into large chunks. Once the pork is “pulled” to your liking, add the apples and a bit more fresh thyme to the pot and cook on the stovetop over medium high heat. (Meanwhile: turn your oven heat up to 350) Allow this mixture to simmer until most of the cooking liquid has reduced (about 10 minutes). Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. *Note: be careful not to overcook the apples, as you will bake these mini pot pies in the oven and the apples will continue to soften. For now, just cook until the apples are starting to become tender.
Scoop the contents of pot into individual ramekins (I had enough for 4 sizeable ramekins with a little meat leftover for snacking).
Now, to make the biscuit topping.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Blend in the chilled butter cubes with a pastry cutter, 2 knives, or your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (I always find that using my fingers works best). Add in cheese and rosemary, mix to combine. Then, add in the buttermilk and stir until just combined.
Drop a large dollop of the biscuit mixture on top of each ramekin, and spread to make sure the pork mixture is covered by the biscuit dough. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. When the biscuits are done, remove from oven and allow pot pies to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Warning: they will be VERY hot!