Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

As a Leicestershire bloke, the Pork Pie I make is of the Melton Mowbray variety: a pie made 'free standing', not in a tin, with plain not cured pork that is chopped not minced and with a jellied pork stock between the meat and pastry. The pie is made from 'hot water crust' pastry

I have made pies over the Christmas period using two different pastry recipes: the first using a recipe from Oddley, a member of the forum, and the other my own. They both have their merits. I'll leave you to judge which is best.

Oddley's Recipe
300g/12oz Plain Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 egg yolk
4 Tbs Milk
4 Tbs Water
28g/1oz Butter
84g/3oz Lard

1. Sift salt and flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre then heat slightly
2. Beat yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and put into the well
3. Pour rest of milk, water, butter and lard into a saucepan and heat slowly, until lard and butter melt. Bring to a boil.
4. Pour into the well and mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are thoroughly blended.
5. Turn out onto a floured board and quickly knead until smooth.
6. Put into a bowl or basin over a pan of hot water, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for ½ an hour.
7. Roll out to ¼ in thickness and use as required.
8. When making pies cut off a ¼ of the pastry first for the lid, keep in the bowl over the hot water until required.

Pie made with Oddleys Pastry

My recipe
1lb Flour
1 tsp Salt
7oz Lard
6 fl oz Water

Method 1. Sift salt and flour into a bowl.
2. Put liquid and lard in a pan and melt lard, then bring to the boil.
3. When boiling mix into the flour and knead lightly.
4. Cover and set aside until firm enough to mould – 30 mins to an hour.
I generally make half this amount for 12 oz of meat.

Pie made with with my pastry

The pie making process starts with making a stock from pork bones and trotters. Boil these in the normal way then reduce the stock until a small amount cooled in the fridge forms a jelly.

The meat is fairly fatty shoulder or lean pork with some back fat or belly added. I cut the pork into small pieces then put it on a chopping board and chop with a cleaver/large knife until well chopped. To 12oz of pork I add ¾ tsp of salt, ½ tsp ground white pepper, a pinch of mace and 1 tsp rubbed sage.

For 12 oz of meat I weigh 11 oz of pastry then set aside ¼ for the lid. 'Raise' the pie by shaping the rest of the pastry into a circular mound and push either a pie 'dolly' or a jar into the middle of this and mould the pastry up the sides – grease and flour the dolly or your jar beforehand. Leave to cool and remove the mould. Put the meat into ithe pastry and place the lid on top with the lid inside the pastry sides. Crimp the sides to enclose the lid. Egg wash and make a hole in the centre of the lid. Bake at 190°C for 20 mins then for 1¼ hours at 170°C. When cooked allow to cool for about an hour then pour the stock through the hole in the lid. Repeat this when the pie is cold.

Having written this I've just realised that it will no doubt make sense to anyone who already knows how to make a raised pie but will probably seem like gobbledygook to anyone who doesn't! Next time I make one perhaps I'd better take some more photos!

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There are four comments

John Byrne

Is this pie eaten hot or cold???

John Byrne, (Email ) - 03-01-’09 15:57

Hi John

It’s eaten cold.

Phil, (Email ) - 03-01-’09 16:29

They look great. It’s good to see there is a healthy appreciation for pork pies out there.

ross, - 04-08-’10 11:27

Nice looking pie Ross.

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 04-08-’10 16:42

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the forum.

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