Prep. time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour + 4 hours
Pork pies have been eaten in Britain since medieval times, when their thick pastry crusts were simply used as a way to preserve their meaty fillings. The confection itself has seen many variations over the centuries, from meat and fruit combinations to adding half a pint of white wine into the mix. Today, it takes the form of a classic high crusted pie, with the meat surrounded by a layer of jelly to help it retain its moisture.
Having used the same traditional pork pie recipe since 1851, Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Molton Mowbray, Leicestershire, is the home of the pork pie, a taste that you can attempt to replicate for your very own British picnic…
Start by creating the pastry
- Put 110ml / 4 oz water in a small saucepan, add the milk, lard and butter and slowly heat until the hard ingredients have melted, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
- Using a sieve, mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl and carefully add the just-boiled wet ingredients. Mix until it forms a dough, kneading lightly with your hands until the dough is smooth.
- Wrap tightly in cling film and set aside to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- During this time, thoroughly combine the meats, nutmeg, sage, and black pepper in a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt.
- Next, cut away 1/3 of the dough and separately wrap it in cling film, before dividing what is left into equal pieces.
- Grab four average sized jars and wrap the bases in cling film.
- Divide the remaining pastry into four even pieces, mould each one carefully around the base of the jar, until it reaches about 9 cm.
- Cover each of the jars evenly, mindful to not to make the base too heavy. Once all four are covered place upside in the fridge for one hour.
- Whilst waiting for the four pie bases to chill and turn hard, divide the remaining pastry into four equal parts. Roll each of them to create a circle around eight centimetres in diameter, these can then be covered with cling film and left at room temperate until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and carefully remove the now chilled pastry bases from their refrigerated jar moulds by pouring boiling water into each jar. Once loosened they can then be gently pulled off and placed on a baking tray.
- Spoon the pork filling into each of the cases.
- Now add the pastry circles on top of the filled pies.
- Secure them by pinching the edges together by hand.
- Brush the pies with beaten egg.
- Use a skewer or thin knife to make a small hole in the top of each.
- Cook for 50 minutes, until completely golden brown.
- Heat the stock until almost boiling before removing from the heat.
- Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for five minutes to soften. Squeere the sheets to remove any extra water then add the gelatine to the hot stock, stirring occasionally.
- To add the distinctive jelly to these savoury creations, carefully funnel the stock through the holes at the top. This can be done with a small funnel or piping nozzle, making sure to allow time for the mixture to fill the gaps between the filling and the pastry without flooding.
- Once full, leave to cool and then chill the pies for a minimum of four hours so that the jelly has time to set.
Hints & Tips