Yuletide favourites: Christmas pork and leek pie

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By Debbie Yong

The Business Times

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013

  • Simple good food

    Stephan Zoisl
    Co-founder of My Private Chef and cooking school My Private Pantry on Tras Street

    "I grew up in a small town called Zirl in Austria, with a population of just 5,000. My family always celebrated Christmas the same way: we would meet at my aunt's house around 5pm on Christmas Eve and there would always be a huge spread of food.

    "Our Christmas feast actually changes every year, depending on what my uncle was feeling passionate about. One year, he came up with a four-course feast with onion soup, baked fish, beef Wellington and souffle, and another year, he served locally made cold cuts and cheese with boiled potatoes and cold butter. I come from a family of foodies so they always need to have something different to make every Christmas very special - but the one thing we were never really interested to eat was turkey. Austrian food is always hearty with little plating or garnishes - just simple, good food. The smell of pork, leek and pie crust always remind me of home.

    "In Singapore, I live with my wife, son and brother-in-law so our Christmas is more local now. We'll typically have a dinner at home with friends and family, but I'm usually the one behind the kitchen stove cooking for the others."

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  • (serves 6)
  • Large knob of butter
  • 3 leeks, washed and shredded
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • Small bunch of tarragon
  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 1kg minced pork
  • 10g of garlic, chopped
  • 2 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • One glass of white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 250ml fresh cream or cream fraiche
  • For the pie pastry
  • 600g strong white flour
  • 300g cold butter, diced (best to use 150g beef dripping, 150g cold butter, diced)
  • 2 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. To make the pastry, mix flour and cold butter until you have large breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and when the pastry has come together, roll it into a sausage. Cut into half and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper until it forms a layer that is 5mm in thickness. Do this with the second dough piece. Wrap it with cling film and leave it to chill for 30 minutes before using.
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add leeks, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft and sweet.
  • 3. Season pork with salt and pepper. In a separate pan on high heat, fry the bacon until crispy, then add the minced pork and fry till brown.
  • 4. Once the leeks are softened, stir in the flour, then add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the browned pork, chicken stock, bacon, and then add the creme fraiche. Stir thoroughly, then add the chopped tarragon. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.
  • 5. Remove the pastry sheets from the fridge and use one sheet to line the bottom of a pie dish. Fill with your cooled chicken and leek mixture, then lay the other sheet over the top.
  • 6. Use your fingers to crimp and pinch around the outside to seal the pie. If you like, make a little design with the off cuts. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.