Individual Pork Pies

The Individual Pork Pies Recipe Try making these bite-sized pork pies for a special picnic treat.

Chilling time:

Special equipment:
food processor with blade attachment (optional)
12-hole muffin pan
small funnel (optional)

For the filling:
7oz (200g) pork belly, trimmed of fat and skin,
and cubed
7oz (200g) pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed
2oz (50g) thick-cut bacon, trimmed and diced
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 tsp nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp allspice

For the hot water crust:
3 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1⁄2 tsp fine salt
3⁄4 cup lard or beef dripping, cubed
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
For the jelly (optional)
1 1⁄2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup chicken stock

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the pork belly, pork shoulder, bacon, herbs, salt and pepper, and spices into a food processor and puree until the meat is chopped, but not mushy. If you do not have a processor, cut the meat into 1⁄4in (5mm) dice, then mix in the other ingredients.

2 To make the hot water crust, put the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well. Bring a pan of water to a boil and measure out 2⁄3 cup boiling water into a measuring cup. Add the lard or dripping to the water, and stir until the fat has melted. This will also take the temperature of the water down and make it easier to work with.

3 Pour the liquid into the center of the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon. At the end you will need to use your hands to bring it all together into a soft dough. Be careful, as it will be hot. Cut off one-quarter of the pastry, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel, and put it somewhere warm for later.

4 You will need to work quickly as the pastry will begin to harden as it cools. Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface and roll it out to ¼in (5mm) thick. Cut circles big enough to line the muffin pan, allowing the pastry to overlap the edges slightly. Make 12 pastry crusts. Pack the pork filling into each of the lined muffin crusts, and brush a little beaten egg around the edges of each.

5 Roll out the set-aside pastry. Cut out 12 lids to fit the muffin crusts. Top the filling with the lids and press down the sides to seal. Brush the tops with egg. Use a chopstick or other implement to make a hole in each pie if you wish to fill it with jelly later, or cut 2 slits to allow the steam to escape if you don’t.

6 Bake the pies in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F (160°C) and cook for another 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out. At this stage they can be eaten hot with gravy, allowed to cool, or cooled and filled with jelly.

7 To make the jelly (if using), heat the chicken stock and add the softened gelatin, stirring constantly until it dissolves. Cool. Once the liquid starts to thicken, but not solidify, use a small funnel to pour it into each cooled pie, a little at a time. You may need to re-open the holes in the tops of the pies if they have closed up a little when cooking. Each pie will need only 2–3 tablespoons of liquid. Refrigerate to set the jelly overnight before eating.

The pies will keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Individual Pork Pies
Holiday Recipes
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