This is my first giveaway ever and in spite of my usual «British» composure (although I’m nothing like British), I must admit I’m pretty excited. I was recently contacted by the people from CSN Stores, which boasts over 200 specialty web-based stores (check out their stools! I have a high table in my kitchen with bar stools, and I wish the variety of bar stools was that wide in Europe). If you visit their site, you’ll find a lot of things you need and a lot of things you don’t need, but would kill to have! After browsing their stores looking for some interesting goodies to giveaway, I’ve opted for the cutest Le Creuset ramekins. I happen to own a couple of them myself, two vibrant-red cuties, which make a lovely setup for individual soufflés and gratins, miniature pot pies, clafoutis or cream desserts. And now I’m giving away 6 of these lovely pieces of bakeware to my readers. So keep on reading to learn about how to enter.
Giveaway details: The only thing you have to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment about the kind of dish you’d love to use these ramekins for. Easy, isn’t it? ;-). Please include your e-mail or make it visible in your profile. As usual, each comment will be given a number and I will post one winner, which will be chosen at random by a random number generator.
But there’s more. Besides the mandatory entry to enter the giveaway, you can increase your chances by making extra entries. Just leave a comment letting me know the following:
- You’ve suscribed to my blog on Google friend connect
- You’ve tweeted about the giveaway (please leave the link!)
This giveaway is only open to US and Canada (sorry, other international readers) till February 20th at midnight (CET). The prize will be sent by CSN. I will collect all comments and use random.org to draw the winner.
And now to the recipe. I found it would be a good idea to use my ramekins to prepare something that could illustrate how beautiful any dish looks in them. So here’s a simple and comforting recipe for cold winter days, a tapa-sized pot pie type of dish without cream nor butter, with a Spanish twist coming from the sweet wine used in the sauce and the Iberico pork meat. Lovely served for brunch or as an appetizer.
Mini Ibérico pork pot pies
Yields 4 servings
- 1/2 kg diced pork sirloin (I used Iberico pork, which is an indigenous free-roaming pork breed, fed mostly on acorns, widely known for its wonderful flavor, like in Ibérico ham. Of course any type of pork will do, only the dish will taste different)
- 16 prunes, pitted (or more, just figure out how many you want in your ramekin and multiply by 4)
- 3 scallions
- 1 large handful chestnuts (if uncooked, you can roast them in the microwave oven for a while. First cut a slit on the shell to prevent them from bursting)
- 1 cup sweet white wine (Spanish moscatel is best)
- 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 pinches thyme
- Virgin olive oil for frying
- A sheet of puff pastry for the pot cover (I used some leftovers of homemade flaky pastry)
- 1 egg for brushing the pastry
Lightly salt the pork dices. Pour 3-4 table spoonfuls of olive oil in a heavy pot (I use my French oven) and fry the chopped scallions on low till wilted. When done, add the pork and stir-fry it on high heat, to seal the juices. Then add the flour and stir for the flour to toast lightly. Add the shelled chestnuts and the prunes, pour the wine and add water enough to cover the meat. Add a teaspoon of salt and let the whole thing simmer on low heat till the sauce is thickened (don’t let it thicken completely, as it will thicken further in the oven) and the meat is tender, around half an hour, depending on how tender the meat actually was. Some of the prunes may fall apart in the process, but this only adds to the sauce richness. If you prefer to find firmer prunes on your plate, just add them half way of the cooking. Check for saltiness when the meat is cooked and adjust if needed.
Heat up the oven to 200ºC in the meantime. Divide the stew among the ramekins, fill them almost to the top. Add a little water if you find the stew to be too thick. Roll the puff pastry on a floured surface till 0.5cm thick or thicker if you prefer. Find yourself a round cutter, cup or glass that can yield circles of pastry slightly larger than the ramekins. Cut four circles and set aside (you can see I was lazy and ended up cutting squares… they add to the pot pies rustic look). Brush the edge of the ramekins with some beaten egg and lay the pastry circles on them, pressing the outer edge to seal. Brush the surface with some more beaten egg. Then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Hmmmm, I thoroughly enjoy the moment of breaking the crust… in awe… and releasing all the aromas… Have a forkful of stew and a bite of the crust at the same time… yum.