Traditional English Pork Pies
Knowing that I come Northern England some of you will understand if I tell you I have a fondness for pork pies since they have been part of growing up. Pork pies were usually a special treat bought by Nana or served at parents parties along with Vol au Vents and sausage rolls (oh the gourmet 80s)! What I wasn’t expecting was for P to become obsessed with them and want to visit the local bakery every morning when we were in England to have one for breakfast! He thinks they are the best pies he has tasted. We joked that after four weeks of being at home he wouldn’t fit into his suit for the wedding, let me tell you, it was a bit touch and go!
We have a famous traditional bakery where my parents live (or maybe we think it is famous), perhaps not quite so famous as Melton Mowbray pork pies, but they certainly taste every bit as good as them. Satterthwaites has been baking and trading since 1910 and still produces some of the most traditional pastries and slices and is the first stop we make off the plane.
I have been promising P I would make them since our return from the UK so here is the recipe which I found on The Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain. They are quite time consuming but were worth every minute when you can’t pop down the road to buy them fresh from the oven. P was also kind enough to share the pies with some Kiwi friends which we invited over for dinner so this is part one of our English Super! Pear and Ginger pudding recipe will follow soon.
Ingredients – Pastry
- 150g lard
- 100ml water
- 450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, for brushing
Ingredients – Pork Pie Filling
- 400g shoulder of pork, finely chopped
- 55g pork belly, skin removed, minced
- 55g lean bacon, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- I added a handful of chopped sage
Ingredients – Pork Jelly (optional but gives the authentic taste)
- 900g pork bones
- 2 pig’s trotters
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, peeled, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 bouquet garni (bay, thyme, parsley; tied together with string)
- ½ tbsp black peppercorns
1. For the pastry, place the lard and water into a small pan and gently heat until the lard has melted.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
3. Make a well in the flour and pour in the warm lard mixture. Mix well to combine, until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Knead for a few minutes, then form into a ball and set aside.
4. For the pork jelly, place all of the pork jelly ingredients into a large pan and pour in enough water to just cover. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for three hours over a low heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, then strain the stock through a fine sieve and discard the solids.
5. Pour the sieved stock into a clean pan and simmer over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced to approximately 500ml/1 pint.
6. For the pie filling, place all of the pie filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
8. Dust a pork pie dolly (or a small jam jar) with plain flour to prevent the pastry from sticking.
9. On a floured work surface, roll out the remaining three-quarters of pastry to about 3/4 centimetre thick and cut out circles 12cm in diameter. Place the pie dolly (jar) into the middle of the pastry circle and draw the edges of the pastry up around the sides of the dolly to create the pie casing, this will also tin the pastry further to about 1/2 centimetre. Carefully remove the dolly from the pastry once your pie casing is formed. It should look like a little cup about 7cm high that will stand on it’s own.
10. Roll the pork pie filling into a ball and carefully place into the bottom of the pastry case.
11. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry to 1/2 centimetre thick and cut into circles large enough to cover the pastry case as a lid (depending on the size of dolly (jar) you use. Alternatively you could line a cake tin (about 22cm) and make one large pie if you don’t want to hand mould them.
12. Brush the top inner parts of the pastry casing with some of the beaten egg and place the pastry circle on top. Pinch the edges of the pastry to seal the pie. Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the pie is golden-brown all over.
13. Remove the pie from the oven and set aside to cool. Cut two small holes in the top of the pork pie and pour in the pork jelly mixture (you may need to heat it through gently to loosen the mixture for pouring). Chill in the fridge until the jelly is set.
14. To serve, cut the pie into slices and serve with piccalilli or chutney.