Delia

Old-fashioned Raised Pork Pies

These were originally raised by hand using old-fashioned wooden pie moulds but, in the 21st century, deep muffin tins make everything so much simpler. The most famous English pork pies come from Melton Mowbray and traditionally, a very small amount of anchovy essence was used to add subtle additional flavour.


Makes 6

This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Pork.

Old-fashioned Raised Pork Pies
Ingredients
For the filling:
 12 oz (350 g) pork shoulder, including some fat
 4 oz (110 g) unsmoked back bacon rashers, derinded
 1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh sage
 ½ teaspoon anchovy essence
 ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
 ¼ teaspoon ground mace
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the hot-water crust pastry:
 8 oz (225 g) strong plain white flour, plus a little extra for dusting
 a pinch of salt
 1 fl oz (25 ml) milk
 3 oz (75 g) lard
To glaze:
 1 large egg yolk
Equipment
You will also need a non-stick muffin tin, with 6 cups, each one 3 inches (7.5 cm) across the top, and about 1¼ inches (3 cm) deep, lightly buttered, a plain 3¼ inch (8 cm) pastry cutter, and a baking sheet.

Method

Begin the recipe by preparing the meats which need to be coarsely chopped in a processor using the pulse button – you need a chopped rather than a minced effect. Then simply combine all the filling ingredients and give everything a really good seasoning. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). 


Next, the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a bowl and then put the milk and 1 fl oz (25 ml) of water into a small saucepan and add the lard, cut up into small pieces. Place the pan over a gentle heat and when the fat has completely melted in the liquid, turn up the heat to bring it just up to the boil, then pour it on to the flour and, using a wooden spoon, mix everything together. 

Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead very lightly and briefly. You have to work quickly now, as it’s important that the pies go into the tin while the dough is still warm. Take two-thirds of the dough and cut this up into 6 equal parts. Roll each of these into a ball and put 1 into each of the holes in the tin. Using your thumb, quickly press each ball flat on to the base and then up to the top edge. Press the pastry over the rim of the top edge; it should overlap by at least ¼ inch (5 mm). 

Now divide the processed pork mixture among the lined muffin cups. Then roll out the remaining pastry and cut out six 3¼ inch (8 cm) rounds for lids; the pastry will be quite thin, so you may need to sprinkle the work surface with a little flour. Next, using a pastry brush, paint a little egg yolk round the edge of each lid and gently press a lid on each pie, egg side down. Then, using a small fork, press the rims of the lids against the tops of the pie cases. Re-roll any pastry trimmings and cut out diamond-shaped leaves to decorate the lids. Then glaze the tops of the pies with the rest of the egg yolk and make a steam hole in each one. 

Now place the muffin tin on the baking sheet and bake the pies for 30 minutes on the middle shelf, then remove them from the oven. After this time, carefully and, using a small, round-bladed knife and oven gloves (or a thick cloth), remove the hot pies from the tin and place them directly on to the hot baking sheet; this will make the sides and base crispy. 

Bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the sides and base of the pies are crispy, then leave them to cool on a wire rack.

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