With St. Patrick’s Day just behind us, you may have eaten or cooked one of the classic savory pies: shepherd’s pie.
Quick, try to name another savory pie beyond that mashed potato-topped lamb and vegetable pie; you likely will only come up with one other: chicken pot pie. Maybe if you are an Anglophile, you’ll name cottage pie – the beefy cousin of shepherd’s pie.
But there’s more to the world of savory pies.
Cookbook author David Joachim offers up a world tour of savory pies in his latest cookbook, “Cooking Light Global Kitchen.”
Joachim, who has more than 40 cookbooks to his credit as an author, collaborator or editor, is probably best known for the “A Man, A Can, A Plan,” cookbook series. He’s also written books with baking expert Nick Malgieri, “Top Chef” star Kevin Gillepsie and Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri.
While Joachim’s latest cookbook isn’t focused on savory pies, it does offer a quite a few recipes and he learned a bit about the genre.
“In the West, flavors are often melded together in a pie,” Joachim says.
But when pies head to South America, he says, the flavor combinations can get more interesting with mixtures of sweet and savory. In the meat and corn pie from Chile in Joachim’s book, there are olives, raisins and hard-boiled eggs, as well as chicken and beef. Plus, it’s topped with a corn puree, like a sweet cornbread.
“There’s lots of vibrant flavor in this than what you would get in your regular shepherd’s pie,” Joachim explains.
There’s also the entire subgenre of hand pies: empanadas from all over Central and South America, spanakopitas from Greece and even samosas from India.
It’s clear that when starting with a crispy crust and a savory filling, there’s a whole world of recipes to try.