Melton Mowbray - Pork Pie Recipe
Melton Mowbray - Pork Pie
Flavors of England
Total time: 1hr to 2hr
Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Waiting time: 20-30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note
This famous little English meat pie was born in the village of Melton Mowbray. Mary Dickinson (1768-1841) was famous for her pies, and was the first to use wooden molds to form them into their now-famous shape. About 1830, stagecoaches on the London-Leeds route began stopping in Melton Mowbray at meal times for her famous pies. Their reputation spread throughout the country and with the construction of the railroad they began to be distributed across Britain.
Ingredients for 8 servings
- 1 pork bone
- 600 ml (2 1/2 cups) water
- 1 sage leaf
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 onion
- Salt and pepper
- 450 g (1 lb.) chopped or coarsely ground Pork
- 1 sage leaf, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Hot-water pastry
- 225 g (8 oz.) flour
- 50 g (2 oz.) lard
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) water and 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk, mixed
- Salt and pepper

Preparing the stock

Bring the ingredients for the stock to a boil; reduce to about 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) liquid. Cool. 

Coarsely chop the pork (5 mm / 1/4"); if the meat is too fine, the texture won't be as good. Season. 


  1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Bring the liquid and shortening to a boil and mix it quickly into the flour. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Knead on a lightly-floured board until firm and smooth - if it is too dry add a few drops of boiling water. 
  4. Roll out. Use a glass or jam jar to mold the pastry into the shape shown, like a little bag.

Assembing, cooking and finishing

  1. Fill with chopped meat. Cover with a circle of pastry and crimp the edges. Make a little vent in the center of the top crust to allow the steam to escape. 
  2. Bake for 1 1/2 hours in a 180°C (350°F.) oven with no support. This is how to distinguish "authentic" pastry, since it will sink slightly and look like a purse. 
  3. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, brush the pies with beaten egg. 
  4. Reheat the reduced stock and pour into the pies through the vent, using a funnel. Place in the refrigerator to set. 

Photo: Satterthwaites

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