Old-fashioned pork pies

Jan 12, 2022
These old-fashioned pork pies are delicious! Source: Getty Images

Years ago, when I was travelling through England, there wasn’t a butcher, baker or pub that didn’t sell pork pies. Naturally, I just had to give one a go and now I’ve got a recipe to make them at home.

You could raise the pies by hand, but I found that deep muffin tins have made the process so simple. It’s really important though, that the pies go into the tin while the dough is still warm.

Makes 6.

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING

  • 350g pork shoulder, including some fat
  • 110g unsmoked back bacon rashers, rind removed
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy essence
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 225g strong plain white flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • Salt
  • 25ml milk
  • 75g lard

FOR GLAZING

  • 1 large egg yolk

Method

  1. Coarsely chop the pork shoulder and the back bacon rashers. If using a food processor, only pulse the meat — you don’t want it minced.
  2. Then combine all the filling ingredients and season well.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C.
  4. Make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and then put the milk and 25ml water into a small saucepan and add lard, cut into small pieces. Place pan over a gentle heat and when the fat has completely melted in the liquid, turn up heat to bring it just up to the boil, then pour it on to the flour and, using a wooden spoon, mix everything together. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead very lightly and briefly.
  5. Take two-thirds of the dough and cut this up into six [6] equal parts. Roll each into a ball and put 1 into each of the holes in the tin. Using your thumb, quickly press each ball flat on to the base and then up to the top edge. Press pastry over the rim of the top edge; it should overlap by at least 5mm. Divide processed pork mixture among the lined muffin cups. Then roll out the remaining pastry and cut out six 8cm rounds for lids; the pastry will be quite thin, so you may need to sprinkle the work surface with a little flour.
  6. Using a pastry brush, paint a little egg yolk round the edge of each lid and gently press a lid on each pie, egg side down. Then, using a small fork, press the rims of the lids against the tops of the pie cases. Re-roll any pastry trimmings and cut out diamond-shaped leaves to decorate the lids. Then glaze the tops of the pies with the rest of the egg yolk and make a steam hole in each one. Now place the muffin tin on the baking sheet and bake the pies for 30 minutes on the middle shelf, then remove them from the oven.
  7. Carefully and, using a small, round-bladed knife and oven gloves (or a thick cloth), remove the hot pies from the tin and place them directly on to the hot baking sheet; this will make the sides and base crispy. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the sides and base of the pies are crispy, then leave them to cool on a wire rack.
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