Well, I did it. I made my own version of the famous (or possibly infamous) Manderly pie from A Dance With Dragons. The recipe from Inn at the Crossroads sounded absolutely delicious, and I couldn’t wait to try making it.
I succeeded, but at what a price.
After asking Chelsea some questions, I decided that when I did finally make my own version of the pie, I would try making the gravy a bit heavier. The description of the pie in the book talks about a lot of gravy in this pie (meat and stuff is “swimming in gravy” it says), and so I thought making a thicker, more substantial gravy would be better. I also deviated from Chelsea’s recipe in a few other ways:
1) The book describes the pies as being huge, so I thought making it larger might be cool. I have a deep-dish pizza pan that seemed ideal for the purpose. It is certainly more wheel-like, anyway.
2) I realized when I started making it tonight that I drank my last brown beer yesterday (the Samuel Smith brown ales are just so good) and I needed it for the gravy. Ooops. So I thought about what I could use as a substitute. As much as I love me some Narragansett lager, it’s the beer of the clam, not the beer of the merman. Then I thought, hey, I have some apple ciders (type 802 from these guys seemed a good fit) , maybe I should try that. Apples and pork go together well, right? So that is what I used instead.
3) I thought a good savory meat gravy needs some herbs, so I added some thyme and a lot of savory. And a little garlic too, because garlic.
4) I am a fan of House Manderly (as I mentioned before) so I wanted to mark the pie in an appropriate way. Thus…
Wow, was that crust a pain to make. Now, I will go ahead and say that I don’t know a whole lot about baking. Honestly, I really don’t. I love to cook, but baking is just something I have limited experience with. Lots of bread and pumpkin pies and that is about it. And so I was terrified I would screw this up and ruin a LOT of food in the process. Luckily, it came out quite edible, probably because I erred on the side of caution as much as possible. And man oh man, did that crust give me trouble. Making pumpkin pie is one thing. Making a two-crust meat pie the size of a bicycle wheel is another.
Just like Lord Manderly himself, I had three pieces for dinner. Mmmmm. Probably going to slip into a food coma soon. But I will finish the post.
I need a better shot of the gravy. But this will have to do for now.
Anyway, I may just have found a new favorite Westerosi dish. I can hardly wait for my friends to try it. But the kitchen needs to be cleaned and rebuilt before I try it again.