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Pork Cheek, Fennel, Cider Couture Pies & NZ Fashion Week


Winning VIP designer selection tickets for Fashion Week on Easy Mix with Alison Leonard last week I thought it only fitting to dedicate a post for the occasion. Therefore this is no ordinary pie collection I bring you from the kitchens of Gourmet Gannet they have been designed and shaped individually by hand showcasing a fuller figure and high ruffled neck. Enrobed in a golden jacket they are perfect for any spring picnic, if you can keep them that long! They partner perfectly with Monteiths fashionable Crushed Apple Cider. Just a warning though, not to many should be consumed if you expect to fit into a skinny dress and strut your stuff on the catwalk afterward.

I have used pork cheeks from Rubyslist as they braise down beautifully but you could use a cheaper cut of pork that’s too fatty or cut the fat away.

So that’s all from me darlings, will tweet you from front row seats tomorrow!

Ingredients & Method – Pastry – Pastry
450g plain flour
100g lard or shortening
100g margarine
200ml water
Place the flour, lard & marg in a food processor and blitz to breadcrumb texture.
Season with a pinch of salt.
Add the water and bring together to form a dough, knead a couple of times (this you are allowed to do with this savoury pastry).Rest in the fridge until ready to use.

ingredients & Method – Filling
8 pork cheeks (
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
1 tsp fennel seed
100g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and chopped into inch cubes
(or you can use yams instead)
1 bottle of apple cider 300-400ml
1 tsp flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper
Oil for frying
Place a few tablespoons of oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and add the pork cheeks.
Fry pork till browned, then add the sliced fennel and cook for several minutes.
Add the artichoke(or if using yams add later), mustard, garlic and cider and reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pan
Braise for 55 minutes or until the pork is tender and pulls apart. Check occasionally and add water if the liquid has reduced more than half original amount. Add the yams 10 mins before end of cooking time.
Sift the flour into the stew and mix through, cooking for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
Preheat oven to 200C
Season with salt & pepper and allow stew to chill completely until making the pies. If you use hot or warm filling it will break the pastry as you form the pies. I cheated and put mine in the freezer for 30 mins.
To form the pies, roll three-quarters of pastry on a floured surface to about 3/4 centimetre thick and cut out 7-8 circles 12cm in diameter. Place the pie dolly ( or jam 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 thin 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.
Alternatively you can place the pastry circles into greased & floured muffin trays, it’s a little easier.
Fill the cases with the pork filling
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 (if using a jar use the lid as a gauge) you use.
Brush the top inner parts of the pastry casing with some of the beaten egg to help it the lid stick 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.
Make a small hle in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape and prevent the pie from bursting.
Bake in the oven for 45, or until the pie is golden-brown all over.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love pork cheeks and I agree they braise down beautifully. That pie looks amazing!

    August 31, 2011
  2. mairi29 #

    Oh I want that pie…it is just so cute looking! And pork cheeks…yum, must try cooking with them one day!

    August 31, 2011
  3. Incredibly I have not been asked to model at Fash week this year, so I could happily stuff my face with one( or three) of those, yum!! Lucky you, glad Envy Green is my colour ( Must suggest Karen adds it to her paint range…..:)

    August 31, 2011
  4. This has to be the perfect meal. Just so hearty and warming, and cider to boot.

    August 31, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Pies are hubby’s favorite, I think he managed to eat 5 out of the 7 I made! And most of the cider.

      September 4, 2011
  5. milliemirepoix #

    Beautiful! How lucky that you’ve won tickets to Fashion Week. I love the little ruffled pastry on top.

    August 31, 2011
  6. This photo is gorgeous! The pie is adorable as well, love how it looks so professionally made but also home made…that dribbly bit is making me drool, and I’m not even much of a pork fan!

    September 1, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks Zo, I love the handmade pies, it’s quite traditional for Northern England where I come from.

      September 4, 2011
  7. How lucky are you winning tickets to fashion week!?! I bet you had a fab time 🙂

    September 3, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      We had a ball and the champagne was following, back tomreality the next day though at the office!

      September 4, 2011
  8. Another brilliant idea! A pork cheek pie. Sounds delectable, I will definitely satisfy my curiosity.

    September 5, 2011
  9. Looks delicious and cheeky!

    September 5, 2011
  10. Wow! These look amazing! One of those things on my must try list! Thanks for sharing!

    September 5, 2011
  11. Ok, I am going to have to make these! With a nice dab of English mustard on the side…or maybe HP sauce. Damn, haven´t even made them yet and I´m eating them in my head!

    December 30, 2011

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