How to Make a Hand-Raised Pork Pie
The humble pork pie is filling and rich in flavour, traditionally made with hot water crust pastry to enable the baker to form its classic shape using hand-raising techniques. This traditional British cold pie combines pork, onions, gelatine, bacon and seasoning to create a jelly, which is then sealed with crisp pastry – fit for the late Tudor, King Henry the VIII, himself!
Hot Water Crust Pastry Ingredients:
- 65g of Lard
- 55g of Unsalted, Cubed Butter
- 1 tsp of Salt
- 135ml of Boiling Water
- 265g of Plain Flour
- 55g of Strong White Bread Flour
- 1 Lightly Beaten Egg (for glazing)
Pie Filling Ingredients:
- 380g of Pork Loin (finely chopped)
- 1 Large Onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 Large or 2 Small Sheets of Leaf Gelatine
- 100g of Unsmoked Back Bacon (finely chopped)
- Small Bunch of Parsley, (leaves only, chopped)
- ½ Chicken Stock Cube
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 300ml of Boiling Water
- 12-Hole Muffin Tin
- Mixing Bowl
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Rolling Pin
- 11cm - 12cm Cutter
- 6cm - 7cm Cutter
- Pastry Brush
- Glass Bowl
METHOD: Classic Hand-Raised Pork Pies
- Preheat your oven to 170°C (150°C fan or gas mark 3) and get your 12-hole muffin tin.
- In a mixing bowl, place the chopped up pork, bacon, onion, and parsley with salt and pepper, and then mix well. Once you’re happy with the flavour and seasoning, set aside. To test, fry a small amount of mixture until it’s cooked, taste, then adjust the mixture accordingly.
- For the hot water crust pastry, add the plain flour and strong white bread flour to a large mixing bowl, and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Melt the lard in a saucepan and dissolve the salt in boiling water, then add this to the melted lard. Pour this mixture into the flour bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- As soon as the dough’s cool enough to touch, work it on a lightly floured work surface to form a ball. Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then divide the mixture into two chunks – ensure that one piece is bigger than the other.
- Immediately roll out the bigger piece of dough to about 3mm in thickness. Your dough should be warm and glossy. From this rolled-out sheet of dough, cut out 12 rounds with an 11cm - 12cm cutter and use them to line the muffin tin holes. Shape the dough out to fit the sides, ensuring that each piece of pastry comes slightly above the rim of each hole.
- Roll out the other piece of dough and cut out 12 lids using a 6cm - 7cm cutter. If your pastry doesn’t make enough lids, simply collect the trimmings and re-roll the pastry – but ensure it doesn’t become brittle.
- Take a spoonful of your pork filling at a time and place it into each pastry case. On each pie lid, make a hole with a chopstick measuring about 5mm in diameter in the middle of the lid. Brush over your pastry cases with beaten egg around the rims, and place the pie lids on top.
- Seal the edges by crimping them together with a fork, and then brush over the pastry lids with beaten egg. Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, until golden brown.
- While your pies are cooking, prepare the gelatine mixture. Soften the leaf gelatine in cold water, then cover it and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the stock cube in boiling water until it dissolves.
- After five minutes, drain the leaf gelatine and squeeze it to remove excess liquid. Add this to the stock and stir until completely dissolved.
- Once your pies are cooked and out of the oven, enlarge the hole at the top of the lid and carefully pour a little bit of the gelatine stock mixture into each pie. Now, as tempting as it may be, leave the pies to cool to allow the jelly mixture to set completely overnight.