Christmas is the one time of year when we splash out on food. We like to make it special, entertain, and spend time with family. Mr S loves pork pies (I am not so keen 🤢). We used to buy him a few large pork pies from the butcher each Christmas, but the prices got silly. The pork pies would cost more than the rest of the home made buffet put together. He therefore decided to make them himself. He went on a day cookery course about 4 years ago with the Leeds Cookery School and this is the recipe that he came home with. He made a big 2lb loaf pork pie with it on the course, which was really tasty.
This year he decided that he would make 6 smaller ones instead. He made two in 5 inch spring cake tins and one 4 inch pie. He still has about half the meat left and has frozen that to make 3 more pies next week.
The ingredients might seem expensive but one pie of this size would set him back £10 to £12 previously . We got all the ingredients from Aldi for under £12 from full price. This kind of meat is often reduced too and so it is worth checking for yellow stickers. It is nice knowing that there are no additives or rubbish in the pies and you should have seen how proud he was taking them out of the oven last night 😊. You can also add your own flavourings. This recipe is for the 3 pies or one 2lb loaf pie.
For the filling
300g pork shoulder, minced or finely chopped
100g pork belly
60g smoked bacon , chopped.
1/2 tsp mace
Large pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp fresh thyme.
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
For the pastry
300g plain flour
If you want to make jelly it 12g gelatine powder
400ml chicken stock
Egg to egg wash.
1. Heat the oven 160⁰C fan and grease the tin. If making the loaf pie you might want to put parchment paper inside to make it easier to lift the pie out. With the spring cake tins you take them off before cooking and so they don’t need lining but he did put parchment paper just in the bottom of the tins.
2. In a large bowl mix all the meat ingredients together.
3. To make the pastry put the flour in a large bowl. In a pan put the water and the lard and gently heat until the lard melts. Bring just to the boil and then stir it into the flour using a wooden spoon. Knead well until smooth. The pastry might be too hot to handle at first and so you might have to wait a few minutes.
4. Put in the fridge as soon as it cool enough for at least 3 hours. You can use it straight away but the top chefs recommended you cool it.
5. If making the large pie cut a quarter of the dough off for the top and wrap in cling film. Measure the tin and roll the pastry out large enough to line the tin. When he was making the 3 round pies he divided the pastry in 3 and then took a further third off for each lid.
6. Fill with the meat mixture and pat down well.
7. Roll out the dough for the lid and place on top of the pie. Pinch around the edges to seal.
8. Make a hole for the steam in the centre.
9. If making the smaller pies take the spring sides of the tins off and egg wash the whole pie. If making the loaf tin just egg wash the top.
10. Place on a tray and cook for 20 mins and then reduce the heat to 140⁰C and cook for another 40 mins or until the pastry is golden brown.
11. If you want to add jelly then you heat the stock until boiling and remove from the heat and add the dissolved gelatine, mixing well. Leave to cool to room temperature and then pour into the pie using a funnel in the hole on the top. Place in the fridge to set overnight.
We don’t add the jelly as the pies are moist enough with out it. These will store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Mr S probably puts a lot more herbs in than the recipe suggests and if you want you can switch it up by using cranberries or apple, dried fruit, or some people put cheese in. Be careful not to put things in that add too much moisture.
I bet there are not 3 pies in that fridge by the time we do a family buffet in a few day . Mr S keeps opening up the fridge and looking at them 😊😋.