10 Sept 2018


Glorious hot water roasted crackling lard crust pork pie, a beautiful pie that sings of summer picnic's and great times shared with great people.  Organic raised loved and rootling pork seasoned with fresh sage and thyme from the garden and old fashioned mace. Home made jelly and a gorgeous hot water crust made with our own roast crackling rendered down lard this pie is a show stopper.  For me this is a beautiful way to celebrate the end of summer and to celebrate my bestest friends 40th birthday with a glorious Darling Buds of May family and friends long table eating party, sharing and laughing all on a 50ft long table, this is one of the best ways to bring people together over great food.

To jelly or not to jelly that is a great debating question !  I am a 50/50 on this one!

This is a all at once cook, we start by getting the jelly cooking first, while we're also making and cooking the pork pie, this is so that we can jelly the cooked pork pie and leave to set overnight in the fridge ready for the excitement of sharing, giving and eating with everyone the next day.

(serves 6-8)

Hot Water Crust Pastry
600g strong plain flour
2 beaten eggs
7g Himalayan sea salt 
5g white pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
110g lard
110g butter
240ml water

The Pork Pie
800g pork shoulder diced
200g belly pork minced
200g bacon minced
10 sage leaves finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme chopped
1/2 tsp mace
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt 
1 tsp black pepper

The Jelly
1 pork hock or 2 trotters
1 ltr water
1 onion skin on halved
1 carrot rough chopped
1/2 stick celery 
1 garlic clove bashed
8 peppercorns 
1 bay leaf
1 tsp mustard powder
1 pinch celery salt
2 leaves gelatine (optional) 

First get the jelly underway in a pressure cooker for 1/12 hrs or casserole dish for 3-4 hrs place all the ingredients in your pan, bring to a simmer and place on the lid, leave to cook for the time needed for your cooking vessel.  Once cooked remove the trotters or pork hock, the latter makes a wonderful dinner with some buttery vinegar mashed potatoes and pease pudding or a suet bacon and onion pudding roll.

Now to check if your pork jelly will set without the need for gelatine, which it should once cooled, place a saucer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, take a tablespoon on the Cooke jelly stock and place on the cold saucer on your work top, leave for two minutes and assess the thickness of the set cooled jelly.  If too running then add the gelatine leaves by soaking in water to soften for 5 minutes and then stirring in off the heat.  Leave your jelly to one side while you bake the pork pie.

Next make the pork pie filling mix all the ingredients together and reserve to one side to infuse their flavours while you make the hot water crust pastry.

To make the hot water crust is really simple place the lard, butter and water in a saucepan and melt without allowing a simmer, in a large mixing bowl place the flour, salt and ribbon through the beaten eggs, make a well in the centre and pour in the hot lard and butter mix, using a spoon gently bring together until just combined, using your hand knead the mix for a minute until a smooth ish ball is formed.  Take 2/3 of the dough and place in your tin pressing the sides up and forming the base, place in your pork pie meat, lay your pastry lid on the top and crimp the edges, I like to take my left hand ready to pinch the pastry from the underneath of the tin lip and pastry, while my right hand will push the top pie crust pastry in to the two pinch fingers, this gives a great crust finish.  Make a hole in the centre of the pie and decorate with leaves.

Place the pork pie in a pre heated oven 200 C for half an hour, then lower the heat to 160 C for one hour, remove the pork pie from the oven and tin, glaze with egg wash and place back in the oven to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool, stuff with your homemade jelly then store in the fridge overnight, then your good to go, enjoy this glorious pork pie it is a outstanding pie.

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