Recipe: Nicole Rucker’s Winning Pork & Peas Pie

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Photo: LA I’m Yours

Many bakers have been clamoring for Nicole Rucker’s winning recipe from this year’s pie contest. Nicole took home not one, or two, but FOUR ribbons at the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest. It was her Pork and Peas Pie which landed her the ribbon for Best in Show.
So what is the key to Nicole’s blue ribbon recipe? “My first secret is controlling the temperature all along the way,” she says, “my second secret is high quality ingredients.” She describes it as a “scavenged pie.” It’s a combination of slow roasted Niman Ranch pork shoulder, pork belly, carrots, chopped gravenstein apples and peas that she had shucked and frozen last spring. She combined the braising liquid from the pork belly with a little flour and rosemary to form a gravy. And as if that weren’t enough, her pie crust is made with the unctuous European Style Butter from Straus Family Creamery in Northern California.
It helps that Nicole (as reported in the LA Times) has had a lot of time to practice making pies as the former baker and general manager at Gjelina Take Away in Venice and now co-owner of mid-city’s Cofax. If you aren’t up for rolling out your own pie dough in this heat, then trek over to either Gjelina or Gjelina Take Away where you can find her shatteringly flakey crust on the menu.
Keep reading for Nicole’s recipe…
This article was updated on September 4, 2015.