Wild and Game's pheasant, pork and caramelised onion pie scooped a gold medal at the the 2019 British Pie Awards. They've sent me one to try for my lunch today and very delicious it was too. Available via mail order should you fancy one.
Pork pies are much easier to make than you might imagine. Just a little time needed to prepare the filling and the pastry and some patience required with the crimping and sealing of the pies.
750g of very good sausage meat
750g of pork shoulder (finely diced or quickly chopped in a food processor)
100g smoked streaky bacon (finely diced)
a handful of chopped fresh herbs. I used sage, parsely and oregano
two large pinches salt and a very generous few grinds of black pepper
Mix all this together very well in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1kg plain flour
1 tsp salt
4 medium eggs
1 beaten egg for glazing and sealing the pies.
Heat the water in a saucepan with the lard and butter until melted, gently, it needn't boil. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. I used my Kenwood mixer with dough hook and making a well in the middle add the beaten eggs. Start mixing and slowly add the water and fat mixture until you have a smooth and soft dough. Add more flour or warm water to get smooth soft dough. Cover and chill for about 1 hr.
Using a deep muffin tray grease well and line with rolled out pastry with some good overlap which you will need to crimp with. Fill with the pork and make a lid and crimp shut, using the egg wash to stick together. I had to lift the pie out of the tin to crimp and then set back into the tin. Make a hole in the middle to let the steam escape.
Bake in the oven 170C/Gas 4 for 1 hour, until golden brown.
Jelly or not? It does keep the meat moist and soaks in so you won't get a huge amount of jelly unless you keep adding more stock which is time consuming. I used 1 pint of pork stock with the equivalent amount of gelatine to set and poured it into the warm pies, no jelly layer but succulent meat.
I eat a lot of bacon in my job as an Hotel Inspector. But all those breakfasts eaten in my line of duty have not put me off a good rasher of bacon when I get home
Dry Cured Back Bacon finished in Black Treacle and Beer.
Hill Top Smokehouse had a tasty looking stall at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fair at the weekend. There is an online shop, so order yourself some award winning goodies for Christmas. Or if you are passing by either of the family run butchers shop's R J Smiths of Needham Market or Byfords Traditional Fresh Foods of Rayleigh, Essex pop in and buy some.