August 16, 2009

I feel pretty, oh so pretty. Well, my pie does, anyway.

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On Thursday, I decided last minute-ish to enter the Portland Pie-Off. I'm not really a baker and I do savory better than sweet. But I'm not above experimenting.

So I made two pies: a Greek savory pie (in honor of my upcoming vacation) and a Lemon Raspberry Cream Pie with Pistachio Brittle. Both were pretty good, but the Greek pie, which I named Stavros Pie (because it sounded more interesting than Greek Pie), I was most proud of. And it won an award! The Prettiest Pie Award! I got a ribbon and a gift card to New Seasons. Thank you, Portland Pie Commission!

Here's the recipe for the Greek Pie:
1 unbaked pie crust
2 lbs ground lamb
1/2 red onion, minced
1 T. olive oil
2 t. Kosher salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of anise seed
1 t. cumin
1/4 c. flour
2 T. lemon juice
8 oz. goat cheese + extra for garnish
1/4 c. bread crumbs
3 eggs
fresh oregano
1/2 c. minced kalamata olives
1 leek, cleaned and minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
olive oil

Add ground lamb to saucepan. Cook over medium high heat. While it is cooking, add the red onion and the cinnamon, cumin and anise seed, salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent and the lamb is completely cooked. Drain the meat/onion mixture to get rid of excess grease from the lamb. Add the mixture back into the saucepan. Add the olive oil and the flour. Stir until meat is coated and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

While meat is cooling, cut cherry tomatoes into halves, toss in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven on 450 for 15 minutes, until tomatoes are burst and starting to char. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a saute pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and the leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high until caramelized, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

When the meat is cooled, add the goat cheese, bread crumbs, a few leaves of fresh oregano, 1/4 cup of chopped olives and eggs. Mix together thoroughly.

To assemble the pie, add the meat mixture to the empty pie crust. Cover the top of the mixture with the caramelized leeks, remaining olives and roasted tomatoes. If desired, dot the top of the pie with goat cheese.

Bake in oven for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve warm.


Hey, It's Ansley said...

It was really good! And even the crowd-attacked 2 slices I saw after the hungry masses feasted were very pretty. Now go to sleep!

Anonymous said...

I was so sorry I didn't get to taste it - the most beautiful pie category was the hardest to judge. There were some classic fruit pies that looked good, several savory pies that were beautiful, and one blueberry pie (entered by a 9 yo boy) that was stunning.

But your pie had it going on - the colors were stunning.

Thanks for sharing the back story - this judge appreciates reading these stories!

Tifa said...

Got any more info on the pie crust? If I buy one, what kind should I get? I'm totally going to make this for dinner on Thursday! <3 <3 <3

Elizabeth said...

Hi Tifa -

I used a basic pie crust recipe: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, 1/2 cup water. Mix flour and salt, cut in butter (or use food processor) and add water. Form into a ball and chill for 2 hours before using.

Please let me know how it turns out! I would love to know if my cooking actually translates to recipes! :) Good luck!

canopenergirl said...

Hi, this is SUCH a great recipe, but I'm a pescetarian, aka I only eat seafood and vegies. Any suggestions for what to swap the lamb mince for?

Elizabeth said...

Hi canopenergirl - Hmmm. I was thinking you could try roasting eggplant with the seasonings and then maybe layering it with potatoes? I haven't tried it, but it might be worth a go. If you try it, let me know!

Karla said...

I wish I was still your roommate so I could eat your pies! Delicious memories!


canopenergirl said...

ooo interesting, I'll give it a shot. thanks again!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the “prettiest pie!” The recipe sounds extremely good too--no doubt it would have won a "tastiest pie" competition as well.