Things are finally starting to melt here and the spring rain has begun to fall. It’s damp and grey but I am in no way complaining. Just a week ago, our corner of the world was awash with extreme cold weather warnings and black ice galore. I will gladly take a damp chill over an icy blast any day of the week. But although the weather is slowly improving, that doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch the comfort food and bust out the BBQ tongs. If only it were that simple. So, with the rainy season in mind, I bring you this Pork Stroganoff Pot Pie with Mustard Dill Pastry. It’s warm and comforting, sure, but the dill and lemon really brighten things up. Essentially it’s the promise of spring, encased in pastry…or some sort of poetic shit like that.Jump to Recipe
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
When the notion of an early-spring-appropriate pot pie popped into my head, I knew it had to have a very particular type of filling. It couldn’t be a heavy steak and kidney affair or a red-wine-soaked mushroom situation, it had to have a lightness to it. True, I wanted it to be comforting but still have a tang, an acidic high note, to hint at the sunshine at the end of this long, dark snow-ridden tunnel. Then it hit me – Stroganoff! It has all the hallmarks and comforts of a stew but the sour cream brings a brightness. And with a little extra
Now, I am aware that stroganoff is generally a beef and mushroom affair. Trust me when I say, I am a bit of a stroganoff expert. I have eaten many a stroganoff, whether they be classic, vegetarian or otherwise. I’ve eaten them served over rice, egg noodles, and mashed potatoes. And yes, you may wonder which is my favorite. Well, don’t take it as hyperbole when I say all of them. I have never met a stroganoff I didn’t like. Now, with my fervent devotion to all things stroganoff firmly established, let’s mess with it a little.
When I think of spring I tend to think of ham. I don’t particularly know why, but I think it has to do with the whole Easter ham cliche. So, when the weather starts to turn, I turn my mind to ham. But I am also aware I live in a two-person household with a cat that has never expressed even a fleeting interest in ham. In other words, buying a giant ham? Not the smartest thing. Thank goodness for the oft-forgotten pork hock. A humble shank cut that is dirt cheap and contains a manageable amount of meat. You can get it cured or au naturel. I went with the latter for this Pork Stroganoff Pot Pie.
Have you ever cooked with pork hocks? Well, there couldn’t be a more forgiving cut of meat out there or more flavorful. It is true that their appearance does make you painfully aware that this cut was once a body part, but personally, I think that the amount of shock value is important every now and then if one chooses to eat meat. You have to remember the source of your food, so you can appreciate your food. Which brings me to my next pork-hock-related pro: It is a cheap, underused cut. The underused part might not sound like an advantage because it is not. It actually highlights a real problem. But if you use it, you get to be part of the solution, which is a plus in my book and I’m going to assume your’s as well…unless you’re pure evil.
Whole animal butchery is the ideal for anyone hoping to practice a sustainability-conscious omnivore lifestyle. If you ask a whole animal butcher what cut they would prefer you to buy more of, they would tell you ground meat. Don’t believe me? Give this podcast a listen. If a butcher makes the commitment to buy a whole, ethically raised animal from an independent farmer they will only get so many steaks out of that one animal. But they will get an abundance of mince, which will (surprise, surprise) quickly spoil if they don’t move it.
Steaks, chops and other prime cuts are delicious
So, you’ve invested in some pork hocks because some crazy lady told you to, now what do you do? Easy! You braise ’em. For this Pork Stroganoff Pot Pie, I first braised the pork hocks in a herbaceous concoction of fresh thyme, sage, dill and a whack of white wine. I then shredded the meat, discarding the pork skin as well as the solids from the braising liquid. Then, I built my stroganoff sauce on the shoulders of the strained braising liquid and popped the whole mess under a pastry lid. Okay, so it requires a bit more effort than that, but that is the gist.
Now, let’s talk pastry. You may have noticed the soft green hue of the pastry and that is thanks to a whack of dill. Yes, I put dill in the pastry, you know, just in case you missed it in the filling. The long and short of it is, if you don’t like dill, do not pursue this recipe any further. It is dill-
So, that’s everything you need to know about this Pork Stroganoff Pot Pie with Mustard Dill Pastry. Spring isn’t far off now, so keep the faith and keep the comfort food until the sun shines again.
Pork Stroganoff Pot Pie with Mustard Dill Pastry
White Wine Braised Pork Hock
- 907 g (2 lbs) pork hocks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 sweet onion coarsely chopped
- 1/2 fennel blub coarsely chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh dill
- 4 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 lemon zested
- 8-10 black peppercorns
- 12-14 whole cloves
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion cut into quarter moons
- 1/2 fennel bulb coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 454 g (16 oz) cremini mushrooms sliced
- 340 g (12 oz) green beans tips removed, cut in half
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 batch White Wine Braised Pork Hock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard heaping
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh dill finely chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- salt to taste
Mustard Dill Pastry
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup fresh dill tightly packed
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard heaping
- 1/4 cup cold water
White Wine Braised Pork Hock
- Preheat the oven 350°F.
- Season the pork hocks liberally with kosher salt on all sides. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large braiser or deep, oven-safe skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the hocks to the oil and sear on all sides until deep amber in color. Transfer the hocks to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrots, and fennel to the braiser along with a healthy pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Place the pork hocks back into the braiser and add the sage, dill, thyme, lemon zest, peppercorns, and cloves. Pour in the wine and cover the pot. Transfer to the oven and let braise for 2 hours, turning the hocks once.
- Take the hocks out of the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred the meat on the hocks and discard the bones and skin. Strain the braising liquid using a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids.
- Wipe out the braiser and heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and fennel to the pot along with a healthy pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the vegetables until the onions are just translucent. Stir in the garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
- Next, add the mushrooms and saute until well-browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the green beans and the reserved pork and cook briefly until warmed through. Transfer the veg and pork to a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the braiser until frothy. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the reserved braising liquid followed by the milk. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a low simmer. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Take the sauce off of the heat and stir in sour cream, dill and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt accordingly. Add the veg and pork back to the braiser and stir to coat. Spoon the filling into an 8×11″ casserole dish. Set aside to cool completely.
Dill Mustard Pastry
- Place the flour, salt, and fresh dill in a large food processor and blitz on low until combined.
- With the food processor running, feed the butter into the machine, one cube at a time. Add the mustard and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Set the food processor to low and stream in the cold water. Blizt until a dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and form into a ball. Press the ball into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Place the chilled dough on a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Leave the dough to thaw for 15 minutes. Roll the dough out and place it on top of the cooled filling. You can do a lattice pattern or simply place the pastry on top, just make sure to cut a vent in the center.
- Transfer the finished pie to the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes. While the pie is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Once the oven is up, whisk an egg and 1 tbsp of water together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the pie with the egg mixture and place it in the oven. Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.