The Crazy Kitchen: Hand Raised Pork Pies

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Sunday 8 September 2013

Hand Raised Pork Pies

I've never attempted to make a proper pork pie before. I've made picnic pies that slightly resemble pork pies but they had shortcrust pastry. Pork pie pastry is completely different and is made using a hot water crust pastry recipe which I thought was going to be tricky. I also thought that I was going to need a 'dolly' as used in a previous of GBBO but after consulting my Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies book it would appear that jam jars can work just as well.

The whole pie making process is a long one, but if you like pork pie and want to give it a try then don't be put off as each of the steps are not long and not particularly difficult - the most difficult part that I found was adding the lid and pinching the sides - my pies developed cracks down the side and my crimping needs much improvement. The good thing about making these pies is that they can be patched up easily with some spare pastry and a touch of beaten egg, and anyway they are supposed to look kind of rustic.

chicken & Pork pies

I'm not a fan of lard so I used a vegetable alternative enabling you to make these into a vegetarian pie if you wanted - obviously without the meat & the chicken jelly. I used some chicken in my pies that was leftover after slow cooking a chicken the previous day and also made a stock* from the chicken bones by adding them back into the slow cooker with all the chicken juices, lemon, onion & garlic used when cooking the chicken along with some extra water. I cooked that for another couple of hours, strained it through a sieve, added the onion & garlic into the juices and blended it up. Once it was cold I scooped the fat layer off the top and used the jellified stock in the pork pies - very frugal!

chicken & Pork pies

Hand Raised Chicken & Pork Pies - makes 4

Hot water crust pastry (adapted from The Hairy Bikers - Perfect Pies)
475g plain flour plus extra for rolling
a few grinds of black pepper
50g cold butter, cut into pieces plus extra for greasing
150g cold Trex, cut into pieces
125ml water
2 tsp sea salt

300g cooked chicken
4 rashers of smoked back bacon 
3 good quality Lincolnshire sausages
Black pepper

Jelly stock
home made chicken stock - see above* - I had around 400ml

2 Eggs for glazing

  • Add the flour & pepper to a large bowl
  • Rub in the butter & 50g of the Trex until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Heat the remaining lard, water & salt in a saucepan
  • Bring to the boil
  • Remove from heat and stir into the flour with a wooden spoon & your hands until fully combined
  • Cover with clingfilm & set aside until cool enough to handle
  • Divide the pastry into 4 equal pieces (I weighed mine out)
  • Take just over 1/4 of each piece,wrap in clingfilm and set it aside for the lids
  • Grease the outside of 4 jamjars with butter
  • Roll the pieces of dough into balls and flatten out with your hand
  • Mould each around a jam jar & cover thickly & evenly
  • Place the jars in the fridge for around an hour until the pastry is hard

Make the filling
  • Finely chop all of the ingredients and stir in the pepper
Filling the pies
  • Turn the pastry covered jam jars over and quarter fill them with just boiled water
  • The water will melt the butter & make the jars slide out - don't leave the water in too long
  • Fill the pies with the meat filling
  • Brush around the rim of the pies with the beat egg and make a lid - make a pea sized hole in the lid for filling with jelly later
  • Trim any excess pastry and pinch together the lid and sides - I wasn't great at this part!
  • Brush over completely with beaten egg and patch up any cracks in the pastry with off cuts and beaten egg
  • Bake in a preheated 180 C oven for an hour, removing at 30 minutes and 45 minutes to give them another coat of beaten egg
  • Cool for an hour and then place in the fridge for another 1-2 hours before adding the jelly
Filling with Jelly
  • Bring your chicken jelly stock to the boil in a saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Allow to cool for around an hour - but do not allow to set
  • Using a funnel (of which I didn't have so used the top off a squirty bottle) slowly pour stock into the pies until they are full - one of mine spouted a leak but the other 3 seemed to be ok
  • Refrigerate overnight before enjoying with pickles
    chicken & Pork pies

There's definitely something kind of satisfying about making your own pork pies and I will definitely be making these again - the husband wants me to add a boiled egg next time. 

chicken & Pork pies


It's pie week this week on Great British Bake Off so don't forget to tune in at 8pm BBC2 on Tuesday night for some inspiration to join in with our Great Bloggers Bake Off

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