Pacific Northwest Love and Ale Pie

Now this one is going to be a bit of a stretch for the average American family, but I implore you to try it.

Britain is known for its meat pies, and we are also frugal people who eat offal or ‘variety meat’. Steak and kidney pie is one such example where the two converge. I used this as a springboard from which to leap into this local twist challenge.

I chose Pacific Northwest raised chicken hearts as my meat content. They are a great choice because the flavor is very much like dark meat chicken, and also they are available inexpensively. The IPA ale we marinated the chopped meat in was another local variety, which added a lighter flavor profile to what could be a dense heavy pie.

You might notice that this recipe is also gluten free. I love buckwheat flour for flavor, but don’t be alarmed by the color. Your pie is (probably) not burning. If you want a gluten version, just sub the buckwheat for regular whole wheat.

My toddlers ate the meat without any trouble, but I am sure that it might be challenging for others. I called it love pie rather than heart pie because I know that could sound more appetizing to older kids.

This recipe fed our small family of four (with leftovers). It’s a filling meal.

Pacific Northwest Love and Ale Pie

What you will need:

Filling

  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 7oz/200g chicken hearts, finely chopped
  • 1 pint ale
  • 1 medium butternut squash, diced
  • 1 medium rutabaga, diced
  • 2 or 3 potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • salt and pepper

Pastry dough

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1 local egg, mixed with two tbsp cold water

How you can do it:

  1. Coat the chicken heart pieces with the tbsp of flour, and then soak in the ale for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 f.
  3. Parboil the squash, rutabaga and potato until the veg is soft, approximately 15 minutes on a rapid boil.
  4. If you want the pie chunky, fry parboiled veg and onions in the oil to brown. If you want your filling smoother, boil a little longer and mash with onions. (I went smooth so that my toddlers could eat it a little easier.)
  5. Use a pastry tool or cold metal knives/spoons to cut the pastry ingredients all together. If it is too dry, add another tbsp of cold water.
  6. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate until you are ready to roll out the crust.
  7. Drain the ale off the meat, stir together with the vegetable filling and sprinkle in fresh ground salt and pepper. 
  8. Fill pie dish with filling, before rolling out pastry and topping with the crust.
  9. Bake for 30-45 minutes so that chicken is up to temp.

If you want to make pasties, you can also follow along with most of this recipe, but, instead of using the pastry to make a top crust, form it into hand-held pasty pies.

Please share with us if you give this a try, take a photo with #pacificnorthwestlovepie and #CookingWithMummaAlsum.

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