There are few culinary questions that can define oneself more than when asked if you are a cookie, cake, or pie person. Some people know their answer within a millisecond like my girlfriend’s youngest sister. For her, cake is King. Not only can she bake amazing cakes, but for a petite girl, she can crush some cakey goodness. Cakes fear her like hot dogs fear Kobayashi.
I’m a bit more of a “depends” kind of person. For me, key lime pie beats crappy cake. Good wedding cake beats bad pie. And cookies…sorry, you just never win.
There is one exception to all of this that I discovered this year; PORK PIE BEATS EVERYONE.
Don’t like the sound? Does that idea gross you out? It shouldn’t, at all, for one second, and I’ll tell you why. This is not a sweet pie. There is no sweetness period (well, the hint of brown sugar in the BBQ sauce, sure). This is unctuous, savory, smokey, salty, spicy, goodness presented in a pastry package. And this is not a new idea. Serving a pastry, bread, or other dough made food with savory foods occurs all over the world every single day. Think about it…biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, anything wrapped in a tortilla, the dreaded 1950′s beef wellington, the amazing salmon welling (the best is at La Chaumiere in DC by the way), all foods with a dough-based accompaniment.
The best pork pie in DC can be found at Dangerously Delicious Pies. These folks are amazing. They hand craft every, single, pie. Really! For the past 10 years, Rodney Henry and his crew have been making sweet and savory pies from scratch with no additives and/or preservatives. With two traditional stores (DC and Baltimore) and one roaming food truck, they have the pie market in DC covered. My favorite savory pie is obviously the pork pie. The crust is perfect and provides a little crunch and resistance as your fork glides through it. Then the tangy, spicy shredded pork provides the perfect mouth feel when combined with the crust. It is…well, they describe it best on their website:
We slow roast pork butt with onions, red and green bell peppers and our homemade barbeque sauce then pull the pork and bake it in a pie. This pie has got some serious kick, that’s why it’s labeled with XXX watch out, it truely is Dangerously Delicious. This pie was featured on the Food Network’s Down Home with the Neelys.
Even though they need some help spelling “truely,” their pork pie is truly amazing. Hey, if they’ll trade me a pie for a dictionary, I’ll be a happy man. In all seriousness, these folks put some amazing passion behind some awesome culinary skills. And for that, pie is most definitely what’s for dinner.