How to Make a Traditional Hand-Raised Pork Pie

Hand-raised pork pie

The Spruce 

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
827 Calories
36g Fat
89g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 827
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 655mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 407mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I had never thought about making a traditional pork pie. I live in the north of England where we have some of the best pork pie makers going. After watching the talented and renowned butcher David Lishman making pies, I decided to give it a go. I have adapted his recipe and transformed it a bit. The end result is an easy, delicious pork pie that's easy to do.

A traditional British pork pie is made using hot water pastry which is then raised by hand using a mold or a jam jar for support. It's different from a savory pot pie that Americans might be accustomed to insofar as it is usually served cold or at room temperature, and eaten as a snack. The filling consists of roughly chopped pork and pork fat, surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in a hot water crust pastry.

Ingredients

For the Hot Water Pastry

  • 200 milliliters water

  • 75 grams butter

  • 75 grams lard

  • 450 grams plain flour, sifted

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or grapeseed oil)

For the Pie Filling

  • 175 grams pork shoulder, minced

  • 50 grams belly pork, minced

  • Salt, to taste

  • Pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon mace

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 pinch salt

For the Jelly

  • 3 gelatin leaves

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • Salt, to taste

  • White pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this pork dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Hot Water Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for hot water pastry
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  2. Put the water, butter, and lard into a saucepan and gently heat to melt both the butter and the lard. Then bring to a gentle boil.

    Butter and lard melting in pan
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  3. Put the flour into a large heatproof bowl and add the salt and the egg. Mix together with a knife.

    Flour in bowl
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  4. Add the hot fat and water mixture and combine thoroughly.

    Mix flour and fat
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  5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and silky.

    Hot water pastry dough on wooden cutting board
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  6. Take your small jam jars and cover the outside with a light layer of oil.

    Jam jars and olive oil
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  7. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out to 1/4-inch thick (the remaining 1/3 of pastry should be wrapped).

    Roll out pastry
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  8. Cut a 6-inch circle and lay over the jam jar bottom and gently ease up the side of the jar. Be careful not to stretch the pastry too thin. Your pastry should be even all over and without any holes or tears. If the pastry does tear, simply remold using your fingers. Hot water pastry is very forgiving.

    Mold pastry dough over jam jar
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  9. Cover the pastry with a strip of greaseproof paper cut to the depth you want your pie and long enough to wrap around the jar. Tie with string. Trim the top edge to create a neat edge with a sharp knife.

    Tie strip of paper around jar
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  10. Place into the refrigerator to harden.

Create the Pork Pie Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pork pie filling
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  2. Heat the oven to 325 F/160 C/Gas 3.

  3. Place both meats in a bowl and season with the salt, pepper, mace, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly.

    Place meats in a bowl
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  4. Take your pastry cases from the fridge and pack the meat almost, but not completely, to the top.

    Pastry cases packed with meat
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  5. Cut lids to fit your pie from the remaining pastry roll.

    Cut pastry lids from remaining dough
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  6. Put the lid on top and crimp to create a tight seal.

    Crimp pastry edges
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  7. Using a skewer or chopstick, pierce the center of the lid to create a tiny air hole.

    Use skewer to poke a hole
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  8. Create your egg wash by beating together the egg and the pinch of salt. Brush liberally, all over, with the egg wash.

    Create egg wash and brush pastry
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  9. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the temperature in the center is 176 F.

    Bake pastry until golden
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  10. Remove from the oven and egg wash again.

Make the Jelly

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for jelly
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  2. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 15 minutes.

    Soak gelatin in cold water
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  3. Squeeze the leaves and add to warmed chicken stock.

    Add gelatin to chicken stock
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  4. Leave to cool, then season with a little salt and pepper.

    Season chicken stock mixture
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  5. Pour the jelly into the center of the pie through the tiny air hole (use a funnel for accuracy).

    Pour the jelly into center of pie
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  6. Leave in a cool place to set.

    Leave cooked pies to set
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  7. Serve and enjoy!

Why Do You Put Jelly in Pork Pies?

The jelly is added after the pie is cooked to help keep it moist. It's traditionally created using ham or chicken stock.

How to Store and Freeze Pork Pies

Pork pies will keep in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to 5 days. You can eat it cold, or at room temperature. You can also freeze them. Just wrap them individually in two layers, first with wax paper or parchment and then aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature.

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