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My Oh My, Dat Crawfish Pie!

It came in an unmarked, brown paper package, and my pulse quickened, hoping this was the item I ordered on impulse. I ran my hands over the package, indeed detecting the outline of my obsessive purchase, a well-dated, and well-used, Justin Wilson cookbook full of old Cajun stories and recipes. I ordered that book just as fast as my eyes ran across the listing, anxiously awaiting the day when it would show up in my mailbox. And when it did, I eyeballed that beauty, whispering to myself, “I am happy for you to see me,” repeating the greeting that Justin used regularly when opening his television show.

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Now you might say “What’s dat big deal”, and move on, but for this pit jockey, it was a nostalgic trip back to my youth. I was a huge fan of Justin Wilson in my younger days, following this legend of a man on my local PBS channel. In fact, I was the fine recipient of his branded smoker, my first one, which I am still proudly in possession of.

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So as you can see, this was like a mini lottery for me, all for the bargain price of one dollar and ninety-nine cents, don’t you know. I proceeded to order dat book, expecting to get a rough looking journal all marked up and stained from sauces, splatters, and roux. But lo and behold, it was a darn good hardback filled with old school Cajun secrets, recipes, and stories. Dat made me grin from earhole to earhole, and once into that book, I made notes on what I could get on the grill for all y’all to think about. And the first one that caught my eyeballs, and my taste buds, was an original recipe for a Louisiana Crawfish Pie, complete with top and bottom crust. So in my best Justin Wilson style of writing, and thinking, don’t you know, we’re gonna get after it by first rolling out a bottom crust and draping it into a cast iron pan, about a ten incher.

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Now we need all the proper fixin’s to throw into this here pie crust, and according to Justin, that would include some vegetable oil, fish stock, dem crawfish, of course, all-purpose flour, chopped green on-yuns, chopped fresh pahsley, chopped mushrooms, peeled and chopped zucchini (chayote), minced gahlic, a pinch or so of salt, and some of your favorite hot sauce.

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With another cast iron pan on the grill over a good ol’ hardwood fire, put dat oil in dat pan and get it all smokin’ hot.

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Add the flour and make dat roux, a dark one if you would.

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Add in your on-yuns, pahsley, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook all dat until it’s all tender like.

Next we got to add dat fish stock and gahlic, stirring our beautiful mixture until it starts to get all nice and thick.

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Once it’s all thick like, toss in those beautiful crawfish tails, salt, and your best hot sauce and mix dat whole dang thing up like there ain’t no tomorrow. Yessiree!

Now pour all dat into a bottom crust and spread it out all even-like

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Quite naturally, you need another rolled crust to cover the top of all dat goodness, pinching and crimping until you get the likes of a darn good pie. Then it goes right on dat hot indirect grill, in between a couple piles of hot hardwood coals. Brush the crust with egg wash and put a couple little slits in the top to let dat steam out while the pie is cooking. Grill temp here is right about 350°.

Now, I had to peek at dat pie after about thirty minutes, just to make sure its doin’ what its supposed to be doin’. And while I was peekin’, I rotated dat pie to make sure it would cook evenly and also took the liberty to give the top another light egg wash and a sprinkle of a kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

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After another thirty minutes, I went and got dat pie and brought it into the house to set a spell, but man oh man I wanted to get a spoon and dig into dat thing like right now, I’m sayin’. Gar-on-tee!

We cut into that beauty and the juices was still running, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I ate a lot of crawfish pie, and had some broccoli too, thinking about ol’ Justin all the while.

Because Life Is Better Wood Fired…I Gar-On-Tee!

Smoked Crawfish Pie

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 6 people
Author: Justin Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 lbs crawfish tails, peeled and deveined
  • to taste salt
  • 2 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, top and bottom

Instructions

  • Preheat an indirect setup grill to 350°. Heat the oil in a preheated cast iron pan on the grill. Stir in flour to make a dark roux. Add the green onions, parsley, mushrooms, and zucchini, stirring until the ingredients are tender. Stir in the fish stock and garlic, and continue cooking until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the crawfish, salt, and hot sauce and mix well. Pour this mixture into the bottom pie shell, positioned in the bottom os another 10 inch cast iron pan. Cover and seal with the second pie shell, pinching the edges to form a seal. Put slits in the top of the shell, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for one hour until the crust is golden brown, rotating the pan after 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Notes

This was prepared in a 10 inch cast iron pan over lump hardwood charcoal and applewood, at 350°, rotating pan at the thirty-minute mark.