Saturday is my day for experimenting in the kitchen. I have the time on Saturdays to make things I’ve never made before such as brownies, or to try out new recipes or a different cooking method. This weekend the subject of my experimenting was the humble pork pie. The reason there is nothing quite like sitting down on a cold blustery Sunday afternoon with a nice cup of tea, a pork pie, and a large dollop of brown sauce to dip. Heaven on a plate!
So, I’ll be honest I had no clue where to start with making pork pies, normally I’ll just grab a four pack from the supermarket, and that will be that. However, I spent a good couple of hours researching how to make them online. Some recipes suggested using pork shoulder; others said ‘No! Use pork mince!’ and some said use a mixture of different cuts to give flavour and texture. I eventually settled on using a mix of pork shoulder and the ever versatile, bacon! The next problem was the pastry, again there were conflicting interests, with some recipes advocating the benefits of using straight up short crust pastry due to it being easier to find readymade in supermarkets. I however, wanted to make hot water crust pastry like a traditional pie.
After much searching for a recipe, I decided to use Delia’s recipe for the hot crust pastry. Hot crust pastry is a strange thing to make (also I had no lard) but once everything was melted it was thrown into a bowl and quickly made into a dough. As Delia’s recipe said once you’ve made the dough ‘you have to work quickly’ otherwise it won’t work, so it was quickly portioned up and moulded into the muffin pan. The hardest part for me was making the pies tall enough to hold the mixture. It turned out that I had made far too much mixture and there is still some sitting in the fridge ready to make another batch. But, after all of the fiddling around the pies were made and were in the oven to cook. So for the pork pies you’ll need:
- 2 pork shoulder steaks (cubed)
- 4 rashers streaky bacon (chopped)
- Salt and pepper
- 200g plain flour
- 25 ml milk
- 25 ml water
- 75g butter/margarine/lard
To start off get the filling sorted, cut up your pork steaks and bacon and through them into a blender. Season well and then a bit more for good measure, then blitz the meat until its well blended and set aside, pre-heat your oven to gas 4. Next, put your flour in a bowl and get your muffin pan ready next to it (I forgot and had my dough ready and then had to rush to the cupboard and move everything out of the way to get to the muffin pan), add the butter water and milk to a pan and melt the butter. Once you’ve done that add the hot liquid to your flour and mix with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together quickly, once it has knead it slightly then portion it up and put it into your muffin pan. The recipe makes 6 individually sized pork pies, enjoy!