Our springtime theme is “Life in the Shire,” where we all may take Glory in the Ordinary. I will present to you a complete meal. This pie is requested by our beloved Bombur, as you might remember in The Hobbit. A lovely salad will follow, and we’ll finish our Shire meal with some delicious biscuits (cookies).
I highly recommend making your own pie crust, but if making a pie ends up being too much trouble on a busy day, you could omit the pastry here (or, of course, substitute two ready-made pie crusts, though you probably won’t have much leftover to decorate it—that’s okay) and simply turn this into a stew by adding 1½ cups of low-sodium chicken broth. Cook it for about 10 more minutes on a low simmer, covered. As a stew, this will probably serve more like 3-4 people.
If your hobbit side wanted to go south of the border a bit, add half a cup of roasted and chopped green chile or your favorite salsa to the meat, either in the pie or in the stew. Tortillas or corn bread can be an easy substitute for the pie crust. Other protein choices work as well, such as beef or chicken. Just for variation, I’ve poured salsa and sprinkled cheese over a heated leftover slice—microwave again to melt the cheese. Not exactly hobbity, but very good…
I am also including my “Shire Seasoning,” which is used in many of my recipes (originally posted here). It is a dry seasoning mix which I developed specifically for this cookbook, though I use it all the time in lots of other cooking.
Make a batch, and you’ll be set to make many of the recipes coming up!
The unfortunate dwarf Bombur is described in The Hobbit as “immensely fat and heavy” and he suffers throughout the entire story. While he asks Bilbo for a pork-pie, he also requests a salad, so he must be trying to eat relatively well…
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh, minced
- ¼ cup cold salted butter, cut into ¼” bits
- 3 ounces cold lard, cut into ¼” bits
[Vegetarian variation included!]
. . .
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Astrid's three "Life in the Shire" recipes:
Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Author, Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls
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