Friday, 17 February 2012

Super Manly Pork Pies

"Manly" here means rustic (ugly), unhealthy and delicious.

Pork pies for the boyfriend's family- This variant has no 'jelly' between pie and crust, so they won't keep for as long as normal ones, but I think they're better like this. The recipe I use is here, but I make a couple of alterations which are as follows:
Components: Pork mix and hot water crust pastry
  • No anchovy paste, allspice or mace. Instead, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • More sage. Just over a tablespoon of finely chopped sage- gives it that really homely smell
  • For flour: 4oz plain baking flour, 4oz strong wholemeal bread flour, because it's nice to have a bit more substance to the crust
  • Pack the meat tightly because it'll shrink a lot when cooking
  • Don't add too much flour when rolling out the pastry because it'll flake
  • If the pastry goes hard because it's cold, shove it in the microwave for a minute
  • Use a baking tin with straight sides or they'll look like middle-aged mince pies
  • They need longer than you think. As quite a girly girl, I am forever tempted to take pies out of the oven when they look pale and pretty, but this is not correct and will result in flaccid, undercooked pastry. When you're starting to look at them and think "Oh pork pies, life has not been kind to you", they are just about done. A good indicator is if you can put a nice thick layer of eggwash on before they go in and get a little pool of it on one side of one pie. When that turns sticky dark brown, and the meaty goodness is bubbling around the sides, they're done. I have included a disgusting close-up picture below to illustrate
  • Let them cool on a cooling rack in the pie dish. The sides will still be very flaccid because the lard is hot when they come out of the oven. When cool, put them in the fridge. Pork pies taste best after two days.
    Pork pies are hardy beasts, just wrap them in cling film and carry them in your bag for a man-sized snack/on the go meal.
PRIME example of the “Oh pork pies, life has not been kind to you” principle.
These pies on the left do not look nearly miserable enough to be taken out yet,whereas the chappy on the right is brown, crispy and delicious. Note difference in egg wash.

Note: I have never known an English
man to turn down a pork pie. Please
tell me in the comments if you ever
have, because I think I may be onto
something here.
(Also, did anyone else giggle when I said "pack the meat tightly"?)



  1. Oh my good graciousness. I arrived here via your 2XC post, and these pies look absolutely amazing! Unfortunately, I live in a country where pork is illegal (don't get me started!) - so you've just made me doubly hungry!

    Can't wait to get back to Britain and try this recipe! Three months is a long time to wait for a pie, but I'll let you know how I get on!

    Love from the middle east!

    1. Thanks so much! How horrendous for you. Is duck available in the middle east? I think the fat content in duck would be the closest approximation to pork, you could always try making a peculiar version thereof with that! Make sure to put in extra fat and pack quite tightly, as duck tends to shrink quite a lot when cooked.

  2. One's hubby consumed one before getting on a plane to China in the firm and fervent hope it would sustain him throughout the ordeal to come. God bless you, Mrs Mills xxx

    1. My friend is currently in China on her gap year, and while she has not yet lamented the loss of pork pie from her diet, I am sure it will soon catch up with her. On her return I will prepare a feast of English classics to tempt her back into the realm of hearty British nosh.

  3. Ur pies make me horny.

    1. Jennie, you are a terrifying lady.

  4. I will make these for my man in order to get some sex out of him. Will report back with results. Prediction: Unlikely.

    Thank you for your glorious food advice.

    best wishes

    Repressed Girlf.

  5. I am ex-pie-ted to make these.

  6. I hear your friend Jennie Pritchard is really funny and brilliant. I think you should cook her food more often. The other three anonymous people before me agree...

  7. Stop saying 'flaccid'. It's unnerving.

    This isn't Jennie.


  9. If the pastry cools and gets difficult to use Hubs just blasts it for a few seconds in the microwave to warm it back through.