It may be too late in the year to say, “Winter is coming,” but something great still looms on the horizon: season four of Game of Thrones!
I’m a total nerd for A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series on which the Game of Thrones TV show is based, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the premiere. Fantasy never intrigued me much until I got sucked into this series. Constant scheming, pulse-spiking fight scenes and plenty of dramatic intrigue…I watched all three seasons, then read the books so I could get ahead of the televised storyline.
The books are set in the Seven Kingdoms, a realm that is part medieval and part magical, and almost every chapter includes a one huge feast. A haunch of this, a stuffed that, a flock of birds bursting out of something else? It’s the stuff of culinary legends.
As decadent as a table laden with 50+ courses sounds, I thought a more practical recipe would be appropriate for today’s Read//Eat. After all, I’m not sure how many of us would jump at the chance to find and cook a whole swan…and I have no idea how I’d procure one in the first place.
Inspired by Chicago’s nasty winter this year, I thought of the North: a cold and wild region in Game of Thrones. I wanted to make a hearty dish–fuel for days of hard work and nights of freezing chill. Food for Starks, Umbers, Mormonts and the brave men of the Night’s Watch. Food that we can make, too, and easily pack for lunch or enjoy hot from the oven.
“‘If I could fly, I’d be back at Castle Black eating a pork pie,’ said Sam.”
– A Clash of Kings (Book 2 of ASOIF)
Pork pie it is, Samwell. This simple dish combines spiced pork with sweet honey and raisins, all topped with a flaky crust that you can make however you please. I used this pie dough recipe with gluten-free all purpose flour. Though it was a bit of a mess in the looks department, it tasted like buttery heaven. If you don’t want to make your own dough, pre-made Pillsbury crusts are my old faithful.
Pork Pie from ‘Game Of Thrones‘
Serves 6-8, Adapted from Inn at the Crossroads
2 pie crusts, one for the pan and one to cover
2 teaspoons oil
⅓ cup shredded carrots
½ cup chopped onions
1 pound ground pork
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried powdered ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs + optional 1 egg for egg wash
¼ cup honey
⅓ cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt oil and sautee carrots and onions until softened. Add ground pork and spices and cook until browned. Let pork cool to almost room temperature.
Place one pie crust in ungreased 9” glass pie pan. In a large bowl, whisk three eggs, then add pork mixture, honey and raisins. Fill pie. Cover with second crust and fold edges over the bottom crust.
Score pie crust with fork or make indentations with your thumb for a scalloped edge. If desired, beat an egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pie for additional shine. Add four slashes to the top of pie to release steam.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
Will you be watching Game of Thrones season 4, or maybe just eating some pie?