Thursday, September 6, 2012

In the Kitchen with Gram...Pork and Apple Shepherd's Pie!

Technically, I believe the title of this delicious recipe that my Gram received from a friend is "Pork and Apple Pie"...but when you add the word "pork" before and in conjunction with "apple pie", well...it makes people look at you funny.


Especially those of the children variety. And, I believe they also said something like, "EWWWWW...pork AND apple pie?!!"...they were righteously grodied out, but I talked them into trying it and most of them gobbled up.


So, anyway, I added "Shepherd's" to the title since, really, it's a spin on shepherd's pie!

First up, a rough chop on your onion.


Next up, cubing your pork into nice, bite sized pieces...no knives needed for this recipe, so make 'em small! (Think of this dish as a "hot dish"...that's finally how I got my kiddos to try it, btw..."Fer dang sake! It's just a hot dish!" and then they started eating.)


To your cubed up pork (oh, hint from Gram here: cut your meat when it's still slightly frozen...so much easier!), add: 

Salt:


Pepper:


Sage:


And cracker crumbs:


Then, time to get dirty. Dig in there with your hands and toss it all around until everything is coated and singing in perfect melody.


Then, in preparation for the assembly, butter yourself a CASSEROLE. (Casserole = vessel in which you cook your HOT DISH.)


And, put your pork mixture into your buttered casserole.


 Next, dice up some apples approximately the same size as your pork pieces. It will be a marriage of beautifully bite-sized deliciousness.


Find your nearest little helper, and see if she'll help you out with adding a little flour to the apples.


And, this is where a good, organized, totally together food blogger would have a photo of lemon juice being squeezed onto the apples. But, since apparently I do not fit that profile, we left that photo out.

Moving on...give the apples a good stir to coat the apples well,


And then plop them on top of your pork.


After this step, we added a can of cream of chicken soup (with a bit of water...chicken broth would probably be good, too) because we wanted it "gravier" (more gravy-ish?) and it was pretty dry. If you prefer, you can just cover the dish while baking to have a drier pie.

Then, it's time to bake it...take a coupla hours, so be patient!

Now, here's where we went wrong...not horribly wrong, because you can't go wrong with this next step, really, just...well...you'll see.

After it's baked, mash up some potatoes (recipe here and via link below) and spread them on top of your "pie". Gram and I figured (post-consumption) a good inch of potatoes would suffice...because, we should've stopped here:


Or, even here:


But instead, we filled up that casserole with so many mashed potatoes it was obscene. Illegal. I'm surprised the cops didn't show up. 

One inch, my friends, one inch. Then dot the top with butter and broil it just until it's golden brown.


Like this:

Oh dear Mother of sweet baby Jesus was this incredible.


Here, wanna bite?


Enjoy!

Gram's Pork and Apple Shepherd's Pie
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 pounds of pork, cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 c onion, rough dice
1 1/2 tsp sage (we went light on the sage...personal preference)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Onion cracker crumbs
2 tart (Granny Smith) apples, cut into bite sized pieces
2 T flour
2 T lemon juice
1 can Cream of chicken soup (optional for more gravy)
4-6 potatoes, mashed per this recipe

Preheat oven to 350*, butter casserole dish. Combine first 5 ingredients, mix well. Place pork mixture in buttered casserole. Combine next 3 ingredients. If desired, mix a bit of water with the soup and pour over all ingredients in casserole. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and spread top with mashed potatoes, dot potatoes with butter and broil until potatoes are golden brown.




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