- July 2011
- Serves 16-18
- Takes 1 hour to make, 2¼ hours to cook, plus chilling and setting
The keys to a perfect pork pie? Top-quality filling, hot water crust pastry and a proper savoury jelly.
You might also love our gloriously retro bacon and egg pie.
- 19g (7.1g saturated)
- 22.4g (1.1g sugars)
Per serving (based on 18)
- 1 ham hock, meat removed from the bone (you will need 550g) and diced, bone reserved
- 200g streaky bacon, chopped
- 800-900g bone-in pork shoulder, bones removed and reserved, meat cut into 1cm dice
- ½ tsp ground mace
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp each fine salt and
- ground white pepper
- 12 sage leaves, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp anchovy sauce/essence (from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s)
For the jelly (or use our timesaver jelly below)
- Bones from the pork shoulder and ham hock– ask the butcher to keep these for you
- 1 pig’s trotter (you’ll need to get this from a good butcher)
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, quartered
- Handful of fresh parsley stalks
- 10 black peppercorns
For the hot water crust pastry
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp icing sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten, plus extra to glaze
- 200g lard, chopped
You’ll also need
- 20cm non-stick springform cake tin
- First make the jelly (this can be done the day before if you like). Put the bones and the pig’s trotter in a large pan with the rest of the jelly ingredients, then add cold water to cover. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a simmer, skimming off any scum as it appears. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 2 hours. Strain the liquid through a colander and return to the pan. Increase the heat and boil rapidly to reduce until you have about 600ml liquid. Strain through a sieve, then set aside to cool. (If making the day before, chill in the fridge.)
- To make the filling, mince the ham and bacon with a quarter of the pork shoulder meat (you can do this by hand or in a food processor). Add this to the rest of the pork shoulder meat with the spices, seasoning, sage and anchovy sauce/essence. Cover and set aside.
- To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and sugar into a heatproof bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in the beaten egg, then mix briefly. Make another well in the centre.
- Heat the lard with 200ml water in a pan until the lard melts, then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Pour into the bowl containing the flour mixture, then mix quickly with a wooden spoon until you get a paste. On a lightly floured surface, knead swiftly until smooth. (You will need to work quickly through step 5, too, because if the pastry cools too much it will stiffen.)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to form a circle about 30cm in diameter. Use to line the base and sides of a deep 20cm non-stick springform cake tin so it comes just above the tin’s sides. Plug any gaps with a bit of extra pastry. To make the lid, roll out the remaining pastry into a circle just larger than 20cm in diameter.
- Fill the tin with the meat filling, building it up slightly in the centre to act as a support for the lid. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.
- Put the lid on top and use your fingers to crimp and seal it in place. Trim any excess pastry from the edges, then brush the top all over with a bit more beaten egg. Make a small hole in the centre to allow the steam to escape. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3 and bake for 1½ hours or until the filling is piping hot in the centre when tested with a skewer. Don’t overcook it – if you do, the pie filling will become dry.
- Allow the cooked pie to stand for 15-20 minutes, then very carefully unclasp the tin and remove the pie. Brush all over with more beaten egg, then return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to glaze.
- Leave the cooked pie to cool for an hour until just warm, then use a funnel to pour the jelly into the pie through the hole in the lid. (If the jelly has set, warm it in a pan until it is liquid again.) Chill for at least 3 hours to set the jelly, then serve in slices with English mustard and pickles.
If you prefer small, individual pies use a muffin tin with deep holes, or use dariole moulds. Cook the pies for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot.
For a quick jelly alternative: make up 600ml hot – not too strong – stock, using one good-quality ham stock cube such as Knorr. (For a fruitier flavour, use apple juice instead of water.) Stir in 6 gelatine leaves (soaked and squeezed) until dissolved. Leave to cool, then stir in a handful of finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley and sage.
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