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Smoked ham & cranberry pot pies

These little pot pies take very little time to whip up. Perfect for a comforting mid-week dinner while it’s stormy outside. The filling will keep well for a few days in the fridge. Just top with a fresh circle of puff pastry and bake until golden. The filling is quite saucy, so feel free to serve it on fluffy mashed potato if you prefer!

Smoked ham & cranberry pot pies with Spier 21 Gables Pinotage

(serves 6, prep/cooking time: 25 minutes for filling, 15 minutes for puff pastry)

•    30 ml olive oil
•    1 onion, finely chopped
•    2 leeks, finely chopped
•    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
•    3 sprigs thyme, stalks removed
•    600 -700 g smoked boneless pork steaks, cubed
•    10 ml (2 teaspoons) flour
•    250 ml red wine
•    1/2 teaspoon ground pimento allspice
•    1 x star anise
•    1/2 cup dried cranberries
•    salt & pepper to taste
•    1 packet puff pastry, thawed
•    milk (or egg wash) for brushing

Heat olive oil in a medium size pot on the stove, then fry onions, leeks and garlic until soft and golden. Add the thyme and cubed pork, and continue frying for about 1 minute. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Add the wine, allspice, star anise and cranberries. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 220 C. Spoon the filling into 6 ramekins, filling them right to the top. Cut circles slightly larger than the ramekins and top each ramekin with a pastry circle. Use a fork to crimp the sides, then cut a small slit in the middle for steam to escape. Top with a decorative pastry leaf, if you want to, then brush all over with milk or egg wash. Place all the ramekins on a baking tray, then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Serve hot with a glass of Spier 21 Gables Pinotage.

About the wine
The 2014 21 Gables Pinotage is a powerfully-styled wine that offers remarkable refinement and character. Black in colour with a deep core, the nose starts with dense cassis, cold coffee and a hint of caramel. With air, enticing umami notes appear, drawing you closer. Richly textured, tannic and brooding, the palate exudes black fruits, dark chocolate, baked herbs and meaty spice. There is terrific balance of rich fruit, dry tannins and savoury complexity. Tautly strung yet fine tannins are evident in 2014, offering a luxurious and velvety mouthfeel. Peak drinking is around 2022, although the wine will keep longer. 

(Recipe: Ilse van der Merwe, Photography: Tasha Seccombe)

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