VENISON MEXICAN CHORIZO & POTATO FILO PIE
One of my all time favorite classic Mexican food combinations is chorizo and potato. It's greatness lies in the simplistic familiar flavor profiles of sausage and creamy starch. Its excellent in tacos, topped on tostadas or served with a side over easy eggs and tortilla chips.
I wanted to create a comfort food dish utilizing this duo with some added crunchiness. I could have went the predictable crispy tostada route or the guilty pleasure known as the crunch wrap supreme, but I like thinking outside of the box every now and then. So I figured why not try a crispy baked filo concoction. The natural sweetness of the filo would lend well to the spiciness of the chorizo and throwing in some creamy queso fresco would only make things better. You don't get that delicious corn flavor that you do from a masa based shell, but I honestly don't think you need it here.
Serves: About 5 people
The venison chorizo recipe makes about 2 1/2 pounds. You'll only need 1 1/2 cups for this recipe. It freezes well or will last in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
For serving I recommend fresh avocado, guacamole your favorite salsa, Mexican crema or sour cream.
You can swap out the queso fresco with another cheese of your choice with great results.
(for the venison chorizo) Makes 2 1/2 pounds, but you only need 1 1/2 cups for this recipe.
1 1/2 pounds boneless venison, fat and silverskin removed, cut into 1 inch chunks
8 ounces pork fat, (backfat, fatty bacon or scraps from other cuts)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (store bought or homemade)
2 bay leaves (ground in a spice grinder or coffee grinder)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (Mexican canela if you can find it)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar (best quality you can find)
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
kosher salt (start with 1 teaspoon and then season to taste at the end)
3-4 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 dice (about 2 cups)
salt (for boiling the potatoes)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup queso fresco (you can use others cheeses)
7 sheets filo dough
melted butter (about1 tablespoon)
Make the Sausage. Combine all of the ingredients except the water and vinegar in a both. Toss to ensure the meat is coated with the seasonings. Chill the mixture until you're ready to grind. Grind the mixture through a small die. Add the water and vinegar to the mixture. Mix them thoroughly with a spoon or with a stand mixer and paddle attachment. You want the mixture to be sticky. Fry a small piece to check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Refrigerate until needed.
Make the filling. (1) Bring a pot of salted water a boil. Add the cubed potatoes and simmer them until they are fork tender (8-10 minutes roughly). Drain the potatoes and set aside. (2) Measure out 1 1/2 cups if the chorizo that you made. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and onion; cook for about 10 minutes while stirring periodically to ensure the sausage breaks apart. If there is excess fat in the pan from the rendered sausage, drain all but about 1 tablespoon. (3) Add the potatoes to the pan and cook while stirring periodically until the potatoes start to brown (about 8 minutes). With the back of your spatula or spoon smash the potatoes a little and stir until the mixture holds together a little. It should resemble canned corned beef hash. Set to the side to cool.
Assemble the filo pie. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. (1) Oil an 8 inch deep round baking dish. Lay 5 sheets of filo into the dish in opposite directions ensuring you have filo overhanging the edges. (2) Place the chorizo potato filling into the dish on top of the filo. Spread the mixture evenly and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco. (3) Place two more filo sheets on top of the mixture. Fold the bottom layers that are overhanging over top of the dish/mixture. Scrunch them up for a cool decorative look or simple lay flat.
Bake the meat pie. Brush the melted butter on top of the filo pie. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn on the top