s PORK PIE **** s   

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10-29-08 this was excellent, much better than I thought it would be
Pork pie is perfect for a potluck
By JIM ROMANOFF, The Associated Press

Preparing an entire Thanksgiving feast can require some serious
kitchen gymnastics to get everything to the table at once. But with
skyrocketing food costs, juggling the hit on your food budget might be
an even bigger challenge this year.

Thankfully, the Turkey Day meal is perfect for potluck. The most
practical way to do this is for the host to prepare the turkey, while
each guest brings a hot or cold side or dessert.

Just be sure to ask guests ahead of time what they plan to bring so
you donĂt end up with eight varieties of cranberry sauce. And in some
cases, it will be easier to simply assign a side to each guest
(leaving the particulars of the recipe to their discretion).

As you coordinate with your guests, keep in mind which dishes will
need to be heated in the oven or on the stovetop so you donĂt end up
with a traffic jam in the kitchen.

If youĂll be a guest at a potluck Thanksgiving, think portable when
you consider what to make. ItĂs always best to bring something that
fits into a single box or container and doesnĂt require a lot of
assembly or additional cooking.

This Pork and Apple Tourtiere, or savory pie, costs just $1 per
serving. ItĂs based on the sumptuous meat pies served during the
holidays in Quebec.

The filling is made with inexpensive ground pork and seasoned with
sauteed onions, bacon and ground nutmeg. Diced apples provide a tart,
sweetness to balance the savory flavors of the other ingredients.

The pie, which travels well, calls for a ready-made pie crust. If you
like, you can cut costs a bit more by making a crust from scratch. If
you do buy the crust, look for store brands, which are as good as name
brands and usually cost less.

You can make the pie the day of the gathering and reheat it just
before serving. To make the pie in advance, follow the recipe but
donĂt bake the pie. Instead, store it, wrapped in plastic, in the
refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to two
months. When ready to bake and serve, unwrap the pie and cook as
indicated in the recipe, adding 10 minutes to the cooking time if the
pie was refrigerated or 25 to 30 minutes if frozen.


Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes (25 minutes active).
Servings: 8.

15-ounce package refrigerated ready-made pie crusts (2 crusts)
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1+ cups finely chopped onion
1 pound lean ground pork
2 large apples, peeled, cored and finely diced (about 2 cups)
+ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
+ teaspoon salt
+ teaspoon ground black pepper
+ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Remove the crusts from the box, and let sit at room temperature.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it begins to
brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, and saute until tender and
golden, about 10 minutes.

Add the ground pork. As it cooks, break it up with a spatula or wooden
spoon, cooking until no traces of pink remain, about 5 minutes. Stir
in the apples, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Transfer the pork mixture to a shallow bowl, cover and refrigerate
until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with 1 of the crusts. Add the
cooled pork and apple filling, spreading it in an even layer. Place
the remaining crust on top, then pinch and crimp the edges together.
Make several small slits in the top crust for venting.

Bake the pie for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and
the filling is bubbling.

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