Recipes

Super Manly Pork Pies

“Manly” here means rustic (ugly), unhealthy and delicious.

Pork pies for the boyfriend’s family- This variant has no ‘jelly’ between pie and crust, so they won’t keep for as long as normal ones, but I think they’re better like this. The recipe I use is here, but I make a couple of alterations which are as follows:
Components: Pork mix and hot water crust pastry
  • No anchovy paste, allspice or mace. Instead, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • More sage. Just over a tablespoon of finely chopped sage- gives it that really homely smell
  • For flour: 4oz plain baking flour, 4oz strong wholemeal bread flour, because it’s nice to have a bit more substance to the crust

Tips:

  • Pack the meat tightly because it’ll shrink a lot when cooking
  • Don’t add too much flour when rolling out the pastry because it’ll flake
  • If the pastry goes hard because it’s cold, shove it in the microwave for a minute
  • Use a baking tin with straight sides or they’ll look like middle-aged mince pies
  • They need longer than you think. As quite a girly girl, I am forever tempted to take pies out of the oven when they look pale and pretty, but this is not correct and will result in flaccid, undercooked pastry. When you’re starting to look at them and think “Oh pork pies, life has not been kind to you”, they are just about done. A good indicator is if you can put a nice thick layer of eggwash on before they go in and get a little pool of it on one side of one pie. When that turns sticky dark brown, and the meaty goodness is bubbling around the sides, they’re done. I have included a disgusting close-up picture below to illustrate
  • Let them cool on a cooling rack in the pie dish. The sides
    will still be very flaccid because the lard is hot when they come out of the
    oven. When cool, put them in the fridge. Pork pies taste best after two days.
    Pork pies are hardy beasts, just wrap them in cling film and carry them in your bag for a man-sized snack/on the go meal.

PRIME example of the “Oh pork pies, life has not been kind
to you”
principle.
These pies on the left do not look nearly miserable enough to be taken
out yet,whereas the chappy on the right is brown, crispy and delicious. Note difference in egg wash.

Note: I have never known an English
man to turn down a pork pie. Please
tell me in the comments if you ever
have, because I think I may be onto
something here.
(Also, did anyone else giggle when I said “pack the meat tightly”?)

   

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