Gala pork and egg pie
- March 2020
- Makes 1 large pie (serves 8-10)
- Hands on time 50 min, Oven time 1 hour 20 min, plus 1-2 hours cooling and overnight chilling
This impressive pork and egg pie by Gill Meller would make the perfect addition to a picnic or buffet lunch spread.
Check out our guide on how to make a classic pork pie for step-by-step images, too.
- 44.9g (16.8g saturated)
- 1.5g (0.3g sugars)
For the filling…
- 750g British outdoor-bred pork belly, cubed (see tips)
- 250g British outdoor-bred bacon lardons or streaky bacon, chopped
- Small bunch fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
- 1 tbsp green peppercorns in brine, drained
- Handful fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- A good pinch ground mace
- 5 medium free-range eggs, at room temperature
For the hot water pastry crust…
- 200g lard (from British outdoor-bred pigs, if possible)
- 500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 medium free-range egg, plus 1 extra for glazing
For the jelly…
- 350ml chicken or pork stock
- 5 gelatine leaves (we used Costa Fine Leaf Gelatine)
You’ll also need…
- 20cm x 7cm pie dish or cake tin; small funnel
Good to have…
- Mincer (see tips); digital probe thermometer
- For the pie filling, mix the pork belly with the bacon, then put half through a mincer. (Alternatively, chop the meat to a relatively fine consistency in a food processor.) Dice the remaining meat into 1cm cubes by hand – the best way to do this is on a large chopping board with a large, sharp chef’s knife. You can put all the meat through the mincer, but the filling won’t have the traditional chunky texture I prefer.
- Combine the chopped and minced meat in a bowl. Add the thyme, green peppercorns and breadcrumbs, then season with the peppers, mace and a pinch of salt. Cover and chill.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the eggs and boil for 7-8 minutes. Drain, cool under cold running water, then peel and set aside.
- For the pastry, put the lard and 170ml cold water in a pan and warm over a low heat until the fat has melted – the water doesn’t have to boil. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg in another bowl. Pour the lard and water mixture into the flour, then add the beaten egg and bring together. Gather up the dough, transfer to a work surface, then fold and gently knead 4-5 times until smooth. Cool the pastry in the fridge to room temperature or below (it’ll be much easier to work with).
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Set aside a quarter of the pastry for the pie lid. Shape the remaining three quarters into a disc, then roll it out on a lightly dusted work surface to a large circle roughly 30cm in diameter. Lay the pastry in the base of the pie tin, carefully bringing it up the sides and smoothing out any pleats as you go. Make sure there are no holes and leave a very slight pastry overhang all round. Fill the lined tin with enough pork mixture to come one third of the way up the pastry. Arrange the 5 eggs, end-to-end, in a circle on top of the filling (see tips). Fill in the gaps around the
eggs with small spoonfuls of meat before layering the pork over the eggs to the top of the pastry.
- Beat the extra egg for the glaze in a small bowl and brush the edges of the pastry with a little of it. Set the glaze aside. Roll out the remaining pastry for the lid. Carefully ease the lid into place and crimp the edges together (you may have to trim overhanging edges at this point). Use the tip of a knife to make a small hole in the middle of the lid.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Brush the top of the pie all over with beaten egg and return to the oven for 1 hour or until the temperature at the centre of the pie reads 66°C on a digital thermometer. Remove from the oven.
- For the jelly, warm the stock in a pan. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 3-4 minutes, then remove the leaves, drain off excess water and add to the hot (not boiling) stock. Stir to dissolve. Let the pie and stock cool to room temperature for an hour or two.
- Turn out the pie and set it upright on a platter. Position a small funnel in the hole in the top of the pie and slowly pour in enough stock to come to the top. Refrigerate the pie for 6-8 hours or overnight before serving.
Pork belly is fatty enough to keep this pie beautifully moist. If you mince the meat yourself, it’ll be better for it – you can pick up crank-handled mincers quite cheaply. (Try the KitchenCraft mincer, £24.99, Robert Dyas.)
When you reach step 5, use a whole, uncooked egg to gently press out shallow egg-shaped hollows in the pork for the cooked eggs to sit in.
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