This recipe goes to prove that you can wrap anything in a pastry crust and call it good. My husband is from the UK – he’s an expat who desperately misses the food and dishes of his youth. You can get a lot of the standard stuff here in the US, and there are even stores dedicated to people like him who need their fix of food from across the pond. One Christmas, his mother (a very nice english woman who sounds like the Queen Mum and swears like a drunken sailor) sent a box of treats from the UK. There were items in there that you would expect … Cadbury chocolate, jars of Marmite, crumpets, etc. Also nestled in this box of UK goodies were individually wrapped pork pies that my husband went all weak in the knees for. I took one look at them and turned my nose up, like any good midwestern American girl would. These things were a cold mixture of compressed pork, encased in a pool of pork jelly, baked in a tough-looking pastry shell. He ate them cold.
He. Ate. Them. Cold. Cold pork with cold pork jelly sounded just awful to me!
Fast-forward 10 years, or so – this same man sweet talked me into making homemade pork pies for him. I caved and that is why you are reading this recipe post today. 10 years later, my palate is a bit more mature and a lot more adventurous, I actually tried these and was pleasantly surprised at how good they are. Like, really really good. Even the pork jelly that I had turned my nose up at has a definite place in this because it provides a good bit of moisture and flavor. These can be eaten warmed or cold.
This recipe is for individual, mini pork pies that are meant to be portable, for lunches and on-the-go snacks. The recipe is below all of the photos that I took of the process. I mentioned at the beginning that the recipes uses my Hot Water Pastry Dough – be sure to make that the very last thing you make in this recipe because hot water pastry is made hot, as you can imagine. When it loses its heat, it also loses its pliability and becomes very difficult to shape and work with.
To make the pork jelly, combine all of the ingredients for it (listed below) in a stock pot and fill the pot with just enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring it to a hard boil and then take it down to a simmer. Leave it simmering for 3 hours – make sure to ladle off any of that scrum that rises to the top. When done, strain the stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth to make sure you’ve removed all of the solids. Place the stock in a medium-sized pot and simmer over medium heat until the stock has reduced about half. Set This aside.
For the pork filling – mince all of it together. This is, roughly, what almost 2 ounces of pork should looks like:
Mince the pork shoulder, bacon and pork belly. You can run it through a food mill, or you can be like me and mince it by hand with an old fashioned carving knife. I wouldn’t recommend doing so because it took me about an hour to mince all of that meat down. I’m not some kind of kitchen purist – we just moved into this house 6 months ago and I have absolutely no idea where my food mill is! I have one that attaches to my Kitchen Aid mixer and it would have made MUCH quicker work of this! Mincing the pork belly and bacon only took a few minutes:
Once you have all the pork minced, put it all together in a large bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Now that you have your jelly and pork filling assembled, it’s time to make the Hot Water Pastry Dough. You’ll need to make quick work of the next few steps because the pastry will become more and more difficult to work with the more it loses its heat. Set aside a quarter of the dough for the tops of the pie – roll out the rest of the dough and cut it into equal circles.
Line individual muffin tins with the pastry, making sure to leave a good amount hanging out the top to pinch the tops together so you can create a good seal.
The really nice thing about hot water pastry is that it is VERY forgiving. If you screw it up – it molds really nicely, so you can repair rips and tears pretty easily by pinching it together or adding a scrap of the dough in to cover your mistakes. I am no professional here – I’m obviously going more for taste and function over beauty!
Use the remaining quarter of the dough to create the tops of your pies – brush them with the egg wash to create that golden yummy baked appearance once they are done.
Fill the pastry shells full with the minced pork -the pork will shrink a bit when baked, so fill them full.
Cover them with the tops you created and pinch the edges together to create a seal. This is important because you don’t want any of the insides getting out!
Bake them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the pie is completely browned all over. Remove from the oven and cut a small hole in the top of each pie and pour the pork jelly mixture in until filled. You may have to re-heat the pork jelly mixture to get it to a point where you can actually pour it. Then refrigerate until cooled and consume!
English Pork Pie
This recipe is for individual, mini pork pies that are meant to be portable, for lunches and on-the-go snacks. The recipe is below all of the photos that I took of the process. I mentioned at the beginning that the recipes uses my Hot Water Pastry Dough
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 105 minutes
- Yield: 6 mini pies
- 2lbs Pork Bones
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large onion (peeled)
- 2 sticks celery (chopped)
- 1 spice bouquet (bay, thyme, parsley; tied together with a string)
- 1/2 tbsp black peppercorn
- 14 oz Pork shoulder (finely chopped)
- 2 oz Pork Belly (skin removed, minced)
- 2 oz Lean Bacon (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
- 1/2 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
- Place all of the pork jelly ingredients in a large pan and add in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer ingredients for 3 hours and then strain through a fine sieve, or cheesecloth, and discard the solids.
- Pour stock into a clean medium-sized pan and simmer until the stock has reduced by half.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mince all of the pork ingredients together and place in a bowl, add spices and mix well.
- Make the hot water pastry dough. Set a quarter of it aside.
- Roll the pastry dough out onto a lightly floured surface
- Roll out the remaining 3/4 of the pastry until it’s about 1 1/4 inch thick.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut out 6 circles, big enough to fit into individual muffin tins.
- Line individual muffin tins with pastry circles, making sure to leave a bit over hanging the top so you have enough to pinch the tops together.
- Fill individual pastries with pork filling
- Roll out remaining 1/4 pastry dough to 1/14 inch thick.
- Cut into circles and brush them with egg wash.
- Put circles on the tops of the individual pies and pinch the top pastry together with the bottom pastry, making sure to create a complete seal all the way around so no filling leaks out during baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and cut a small hole in the top middle of each pie and pour pork jelly mixture inside until completely filled.
- Chill in refrigerator until jelly is completely set
Keywords: Pork Pie, Hot Water Crust, English Pork Pie