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Richard in Cincy

Comfort Food for the Cold: Silesian Heaven in a Pot Pie

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005

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Posted to Thread #27184 at 6:00 pm on Jan 9, 2015

I am still cleaning out the various leftover Christmas breads, stollens, cookies, candies, etc. and haven't started the dreaded diet yet, so I'm still cooking like my grandmother. The cupboards are slightly bare since I don't have the desire or energy to go to the grocery after the hedonistic frenzy just past, and I'm trying to use up all that stuff as well. So I threw this dish together using what I had on hand, and my other half cannot stop talking about it (this never happens, believe me). I was even told to "write it down" before I forget how I made it (which is a frequent occurrence at my house since I usually cook by just putting whatever I have on hand together to make things that never appear again on the table).

So this is me writing it down and I thought I'd share since I got such a rare raving reaction to it. Warning: It's not for the faint of heart.

I got the inspiration for this from an eastern German/Polish dish from Silesia called Schlesisches Himmelreich (Silesian Kingdom of Heaven): A homey potage of pork and dried fruits cooked into a gravy and served with potato dumplings. So here is my “Ohmygawd, what’s for dinner!?!?” play on it.

Schlesisches Himmelreich Kuchen (Silesian Heaven in a Pot Pie)

Sweet Mustard Crust:
3 cups flour, unbleached, all-purpose
2 tsp. salt
1 tbls. Dry yellow mustard powder
¼ cup sugar
Toss together, then cut in:
3/4 cup lard (yes, the white pork fat)

Pour in approximately ½-3/4 cup of ice cold water and toss with a spatula until combined. Turn out onto floured board, pat together and into the shape of your pan. Srinkle with flour, roll out slightly bigger than your baking dish. I try not to touch the pastry at all except for the patting out into shape. When I turn it out of the bowl it is a shaggy, slightly wet and sticky, mess. I use enough flour while rolling to keep it from sticking. And after the rolling, the pastry has taken in enough flour that it will hold together, you can fold and transfer it to the dish, and it remains very tender. However, it is a very fragile dough; but I think the extra care and trouble of this method results in an excellent, flaky, and very tender crust.

Filling:

2 lbs. bulk sausage (I used Bob Evans Sage and Original, 1lb. of each), cut into bite-sized chunks
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, diced
6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chunked
2 cups pitted prunes
Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine everything in a large pan and cook on the stove, covered and stirring, until sausage is done and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons flour over the filling and stir it in. Use more if the filling is runny. Set aside to cool.

Assembly.
Turn filling into 9x13 ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle:

2 cups frozen corn kernels

On top of filling.
(Note: this is a trick I do with all my pot pies. I sprinkle a layer of either frozen peas or corn on top of the filling, this is really good for the crust as the crust is going to rest on a frozen surface and you don't run the risk of the crust melting from a non-quite cool filling before it sets in the initial hot oven.)

Cover with:

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Fold up pastry, lay on the dish, unfold. Tuck ends under all around, and use your fingers to flute the edge. Cut vent slits in the crust.

Place in preheated 450F oven for 10 minutes. Turn heat to 350F and bake for another 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and the crust is a deep golden brown.

I have to say, it was pretty yummy!


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