How to Make a Traditional Hand-Raised Pork Pie

Hand-raised pork pie

The Spruce 

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 small pies (4 servings)

To be honest, I had never actually thought about making a traditional pork pie. Why would I, I live in the north of England where we have some of the best pork pie makers going? We even have the Pork Pie Appreciation Society practically on my doorstep.

After watching the talented and renowned butcher David Lishman making pies, I decided to give it a go. I have played with his recipe and ultimately created my own, and am pleased with the results. It is surprisingly easy to do.

A traditional pork pie is made using hot water pastry which is then raised by hand using a mould or in my case a jam jar for support.


  • For the Hot Water Pastry
  • 200 milliliters water
  • 75 grams butter
  • 75 grams lard
  • 450 grams plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or rapeseed 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 nutmeg (freshly ground)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the Jelly
  • 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
    The Spruce 
  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.

    Melt butter
    The Spruce
  3. Put the flour into a large heatproof bowl and add the salt and the egg. Mix together with a knife.

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

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

    Dough on surface
    The Spruce
  6. Take your small jam jars and cover the outside with a light layer of oil.

    Jam jars and olive oil
    The Spruce
  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
    The Spruce
  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.

    Lay dough over jar
    The Spruce
  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
    The Spruce
  10. Place into the refrigerator to harden.

Create the Pork Pie Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for filling
    The Spruce
  2. Pre-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
    The Spruce
  4. Take your pastry cases from the fridge and pack the meat almost, but not completely, to the top.

    Fill crust
    The Spruce
  5. From the remaining pastry roll and cut lids to fit your pie.

    Cut lids
    The Spruce 
  6. Put the lid on top and crimp to create a tight seal.

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

    Use skewer to poke a hole
    The Spruce
  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
    The Spruce
  9. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the temperature in the centre is 176 F.

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

Make the Jelly

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for jelly
    The Spruce
  2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 15 minutes.

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

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

    The Spruce
  5. Pour the jelly into the center of the pie through the tiny air hole (use a funnel for accuracy).

    Pour the jelly into the center
    The Spruce
  6. Leave in a cool place to set.

    Leave them to set
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tags: