These Savory Chestnut Pork Pies are my take on British pub pies, with chestnuts, butternut squash, smoked elements and passion fruit drippings!
Fabulous buttery pastry, wrapped around a gazillion scrumptious savory ingredients and baked to perfection.
Pork pies seemed to be the most popular, even though England is a country with lots of sheep.
I was intrigued to try my hand at making a pork pie when I returned home.
Other Savory Meat Pot Pie Recipes
While most pot pies are wrapped in a pastry, like this London Beef Pie recipe, here in America we too have our favorite pot pie recipes.
A Man’s Pork Pie
While most American guys may look at a savory pie as dainty, delicate and not really for them, I set out to change that thinking!
Experimenting with everyday food, is something I find the greatest pleasure in doing. Butternut squash, pork, a buttery pastry to seal in some rather exotic flavors of heat and sweet, and a few surprises.
Chestnuts In A Savory Pie
I’m not sure why chestnuts aren’t as popular here in America as they are in Europe, because they are such a spectacular nut.
One of my most favorite Italian sauces, is not tomato, but rather a brown butter, chestnut and sage sauce.
Chestnuts have a beautiful moist texture, even after they are roasted, and are oh so meaty.
I added chestnuts and sage to this savory pork pie because they felt more European than an American meat pie.
This is a hearty dish with exotic flavors, and as my guest taster stated, “This is a MAN’S pie”!
Savory Pork Pies With Chestnuts
Making pub pies, or any dish encased in a pastry may, seem like a lot of work, but if you approach it through separated preparations, it goes fast.
The use of a store bought puff pastry crust, can certainly make the job fast, though can cost a bit more than a homemade crust.
Speaking of homemade pastries, chestnuts have become very much a part of my cooking throughout the year. Not just ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ season!
Like all nuts, they can be ground to a flour and used in numerous ways, or rough chopped and added to many savory dishes, as I have done here.
Let’s Wow Your Friends With Savory Pies
You are sure to present your friends and family with something very sophisticated looking.
So let’s approach this from four different (fast and easy) steps, and then put it all together, pop it in the oven, and sit back and listen to all the compliments!
Just so you know, and can be assured, these can also be assembled a day before and baked when needed.
- Filling – Prepare the filling – the onions are caramelized along with the butternut squash, spices and honey for a beautiful start to this filling.
- Meat – Cooking the meat separate and adding to filling after, gives the chance to drain off some of the excess pork fat and add other fats along with flavors cooked into the meat.
- Sauce – Preparing a sauce, that is both sweet and tart from passion fruit and a desired level of thickness from a homemade roux, allows attention to the sauce before adding it to the filling.
- Pastry – Roll out the crust for topping, store bought or homemade, placed on top and baked, a step that can be done in advance, even frozen, and placed on top just before baking.
- Butternut squash
- Coconut oil or butter
- Chestnuts or walnuts
- Smoked paprika
- Smoked salt
- Ground pork
- Hot sauce
- Wine, red or white
- Passionfruit juice, or pineapple
- Puff pastry – or homemade savory pie pastry
- Individual baking dishes – about 12-16 oz each or 1 large pie dish. These are my favorites to use. They look rustic to serve in and have a lid for unused portions.
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Saute pan
- Pastry cutter
- Rolling pin
- Garlic press
- Slotted spoon
- Baking sheet pan
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
Pork Pot Pie
- 4 Individual baking dishes 16 oz each
- Rolling Pin
- Basting brush
- Large Skillet with lid
- 2 cups Butternut squash cubed
- 1 1/2 cups Onion chopped
- 4 tbsp Coconut oil or butter
- 1/2 cup Chestnuts or walnuts, rough chopped
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1/4 cup Fresh Sage rough chopped
- 2 tsp Smoked paprika or homemade
- 1 1/2 tsp Smoked Salt
- 2 lbs Ground Pork
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tsp Hot Sauce to taste
- 1 cup Red Wine
- 3 cups Fresh Kale rough chopped
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 cup Passion fruit juice or pineapple
- 1/2 cup Water to adjust sauce
- 2 sheets Puff Pastry Package or homemade pie crust
- Flour for dusting
- 1 Egg for egg wash
- Course Salt
- Veggie Prep
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, caramelize the finely chopped onions in coconut oil (or butter). Add the cubed squash, chestnuts, honey, sage, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of smoked salt. Toss gently. Cover and cook until the squash is soft but not mushy.
- Meat Prep
- In a separate pan, over medium heat, cook the meat, stirring and breaking apart until pink is gone. Drain off fat. Add garlic and 1 teaspoon of hot sauce and stir. Set aside for a moment.
- Remove cooked squash mixture from its pan into a bowl. Over medium heat, deglaze those yummy bits from the pan with wine, stirring and scraping the pan to enfold its flavors into the wine.
- Add the cooked meat, to the pan with the wine, stir. Add the squash mixture on top of meat, and spread out. Lay kale on top of squash and place lid on quickly. Allow the kale to steam for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and gently fold ingredients together, being careful not to mash the squash. (This step can be done in advance, or even a day before and refrigerate until ready to complete the dish.)
- Sauce Prep
- In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, make a roux with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter, and flour, stirring quickly as they come together into a paste.Add the juice and stir quickly. Add salt and remaining hot sauce, and whisk into a sauce. Add water a little at a time to make the consistency of a gravy. Pour the sauce over the meat and squash mixture, gently folding it into the mixture.
- At this point you can prep the four baking dishes (16 oz. each), or one dish if you plan to make one large meat pie, by placing the filling in the baking dish/dishes.
- Roll out pastry on a floured surface. Using a bowl the same size as the baking dishes, press 4 circles. (Tip: I use parchment paper to roll the dough onto, and then cut the paper under the circles. It makes for an easy step when placing the pastry on top for baking)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Place each pastry circle on top of the prepared, filled baking dish/dishes.
- In a cup, the egg with a drizzle of water to make an egg wash . Generously baste the egg wash on top of the pastry (for a golden finish). Sprinkle a little course salt on top pastry.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until tops are golden.