A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon BBC Food. With Google seeing my location as being in Europe, most recipes I search for will come up through BBC Food – an amazing-wonderful-tasty-delicious website stuffed full of recipes from all over the world! One particular recipe caught my attention – Small Pork Pies with Quails’ Eggs.
Background Story! No one in my family are hunters and they are not adventurous when it comes to eating meat. They stick to meats in the ground turkey and pork range. They rarely eat beef and lamb is a special treat. Taking all of this into consideration, I obviously have not eaten quails’ eggs before….or seen them for that matter. But the look of these pork pies with quails’ eggs was simply tantalizing. We decided to gather as much of the ingredients as we could sans the quails’ eggs (as we had no idea where to find them or how much they were). Low and behold we are in an aisle with the eggs and my hubs points out quails’ eggs – 9 eggs for 30KC ($1.50). Such a good hubs – eyes of an eagle.
The BBC Food recipe required the overnight refrigeration of some gelatinous mixture inside of the pies…being impatient and wanting to eat these pies as soon as they were cooled enough to not burn my tongue, I also used another recipe adapted from About.com: British Food. And these pies are absolutely amazing. We ate them for dinner that night and then for lunch and dinner the next day. Unfortunately, in the process of reheating the pies, I burned my arm really badly – more battle wounds. But completely worth it and a great recipe for Christmas!
1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
2. Coat a muffin tin with butter – set aside.
3. Quails’ Eggs: Put the quails’ eggs into a pan of boiling water for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and place them in cold water immediately. Peel the shells and set aside. Be careful as the shell is very delicate and the soft boil will have only partially cooked the eggs.
4. Puff Pastry: Roll out the puff pastry to about an 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out 6 inch circles and place into each muffin hole in the tin. Then cut out 4 inch circles for the tops.
5. Pork Loin: Cut the pork loin into small cubes. Once finished mix the pork loin with the parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
6. Filling: Spoon the mixture into each muffin hole, filling it about 1/3 of the way up. Create a little well into the center of each, placing a peeled quails’ egg there. Spoon more meat over the egg. Cover each pie with the lid, crimping the edges.
7. Brush the top with the beaten egg and shred some cheese on top of the pie in the center. Make a small but visible hole in the top of each pie and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325F/160C and cook for another 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden.
8. Let cool for about 5 or 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
This is a British recipe (obviously) and it is supposed to be eaten cold. I prefer for it to be eaten warm and then I just reheat it in the oven for a few minutes.