Pork pie expert Stephen Hallam shows Kirstie Allsopp how to make pork pies step-by-step on Kirstie's Handmade Britain
Makes a 450g (1lb) pie
For the pastry, sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in just 30g of lard. Gently heat the remaining lard and water together until boiling, then add to the flour, mixing until mixture is cool enough to knead. Knead well. This makes 250g of pastry, so keep aside a fifth (50g) for the lid. Make each piece of pastry into a ball and leave in the fridge overnight.
For the filling, mix together the minced pork, minced bacon, salt, pepper and water. Sometimes the meat mixture can feel a little wet – if so add the rusk or breadcrumbs (up to and no more than 12g). Cover and leave to stand in a fridge for 24 hours – this time is important to allow the bacon to cure the minced pork. When the pie is eventually baked the meat will then appear to be pink in colour.
For the jelly, place the trotter in a saucepan with the water, bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 3-4 hours. Allow the water to evaporate down to approximately 500ml, but do not let the pan boil dry - top up with more water if necessary. After 4 hours strain off the liquid and measure out 500ml. Dissolve the gelatin in the stock, then it's ready to fill into the pie.
To construct the pie in the traditional 'hand raised' way, remove the pastry from the fridge at least 2-3 hours before making the pie case. Begin by gently squeezing / tempering the pastry ball between your hands so that it becomes pliable and mouldable. Loosely form into a flattened ball.
Using a floured surface, circle the pastry between your hands to begin bringing the wall sides up. Take your dolly, or if you do not have one of these, a regular sized jam jar, and push firmly into the centre of the pastry. This should raise the wall sides up and outwards, ready for shaping.
Whilst rotating the dolly in a circular motion, squeeze the pastry with your hands and at the same time work the pastry up and around the body of the dolly. The pastry should have a regular and even thickness all the way round.
Raise the pastry to the top of the dolly and prepare to remove the dolly from the pastry case. Gently remove the pastry case from the dolly by teasing the pastry away from the sides with your thumbs. Slowly remove the dolly from the case.
Firmly place your ball of minced pork into the pastry case, moulding the sides to the meat to ensure no air remains in the body of the pie. Damp the inside rim of the pastry case with egg. Roll out the reserved pastry to an even thickness and cut out a circular lid. Place on top of the meat and pastry case.
Seal and finish the pie by hand, gently pinching the lid and wall sides together. It's very important to ensure the lid is very securely sealed to the pastry case otherwise the sides will collapse during baking.
At opposite points around the circumference of the pie push the sides in to create a crimped finish to the top of the pie. Chill the pie for at least 1 hour in a fridge, but for best results, chill overnight before baking.
Your pie will now be ready to be placed in the oven! Just lightly brush the top of the pie (not the crimp) with egg and make a hole in lid centre. Place on a baking tray, and bake in the traditional way, without a supporting hoop, to give a distinctive bow-sided shape to the walls. Bake in the oven at 220°C/gas mark 4 for approximately 1¼ - 1½ hours.
Once baked until a rich, golden brown, cool the pie, make two holes in the lid and pour in the jelly. The pie is full of jelly when the jelly overflows! Leave to cool further, ideally overnight, in a fridge. Remember the pie is designed to be eaten cold, not reheated. To enjoy the pie at its best, remove from the fridge at least an hour before consuming.
Recipe by Stephen Hallam porkpie.co.uk
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