Cajun Pork and Beef Pie with Savory Cream Cheese Topping

This oldie but goodie is inspired by Paul Prudhomme's fantastic, cream cheese-topped Paulette's Meat Pie, a showy yet relatively easy must for your repertoire. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

This Paul Prudhomme-inspired pie is essentially a sweet pastry crust filled with a savory mixture of Cajun-spiced ground pork and beef. It's topped with rich seasoned cream cheese, which turns bubbly and browned in the oven—in short, it's bliss on a plate.

Why this recipe works:

  • The sweet, sturdy pastry dough both stands up to and balances the savory filling and creamy topping.
  • The meat mixture inside is loaded with aromatic spices, most of which you probably have in your pantry.
  • The finale, a luxurious herb and lemon zest-specked cream cheese topping ties everything together.

Note: While it's best served about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, this meat pie holds up surprisingly well in the refrigerator. So, don't worry if you have leftovers; it's good both cold and re-warmed.

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Cajun Pork and Beef Pie with Savory Cream Cheese Topping

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 8
Active time:1 hour
Total time:3 hours
Special equipment:Stand mixer, 8-inch springform pan, rolling pin, handheld mixer; cooking spray; pie weights or dried beans
This recipe appears in: Sunday Supper: Cajun Pork and Beef Cheese Pie

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cold milk
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated skin-on red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Cream Cheese Topping:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced, fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Crust: Place sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat at high speed until creamy and fluffy. Beat in egg and milk, then reduce speed to medium and add flour, scraping down the side of the bowl and beating only until incorporated; do not over-mix. Shape dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  2. 2

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the sides and bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Remove dough from refrigerator and set on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10 1/2-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick.

  3. 3

    Press dough into bottom and sides of prepared springform pan. Trim overhanging dough, and prick dough all over with a fork. Top with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove weights and continue to bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, For the Filling: Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring periodically, until vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add pork, beef, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, pimentón, and oregano and cook, stirring and breaking up meat into bits, until meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Add potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Transfer filling to a strainer to drain off excess liquid. Let cool.

  5. 5

    For the Cream Cheese Topping: Add cream cheese, heavy cream, thyme, and lemon zest to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and beat using a handheld mixer until creamy.

  6. 6

    Spoon filling into crust and top with cream cheese, taking care to spread it evenly over the whole surface of the pie. Bake until top is browned and bubbly, about 50 minutes.

  7. 7

    Let pie cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

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