Porky Pies

Make hearty pork pies at home with this mouthwatering recipe. The 12 porky pies are filled with sausage meat, bacon and a range of sweet and smoky spices.

Introduction

My family were visiting one Mother’s Day and I wanted to bake something special. Now, I know it’s a strange choice, but my mum loves a good pork pie. However, I wanted to make an easier filling using good butcher’s sausages, bacon and spices. The pastry is a classic hot-water crust made with non-hydrogenated lard (better for you than vegetable shortening), which takes minutes to make. These little pies make a super supper with some pickles and mustard. Traditional pastry, not so traditional filling, so I name them Porky Pies.

Makes 12 little pies

Ingredients

For the filling:
For the filling:
A bunch of spring onions, finely chopped (use the green bits too)
A handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
Butter, for frying
5 pork sausages, split and meat removed
100g unsmoked bacon rashers (include a little of the fat), roughly chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp pimentón (smoked hot paprika)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the hot-water crust pastry:
500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
50ml water
50ml milk
150g non-hydrogenated lard
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp cold water, for glazing

Essential kit

You will need a 12-hole muffin tray, and an 8.5cm-round pastry or biscuit cutter.

Instructions

First make the filling. Fry the spring onions and the parsley in a large knob of butter over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool. Add the sausage meat and chopped bacon rashers, the spices, a good grind of pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix it all together with your hands and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan/gas 4 and place a baking tray inside to heat up. Lightly grease the muffin tray.

Now make the pastry. Tip the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. In a pan over a low heat, gently heat the water, milk and lard until the lard has melted. Make a well in the flour and pour in all the lard mixture. With one hand, work quickly to combine the fats and the flour until a rough dough forms. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and squeeze together to form a smooth dough (you will have to do a little kneading).

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll out one piece to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (about 2mm). Use a larger cutter to cut out as many pastry bases as you can. This pastry has a warm play dough feel so you can easily mould it into each muffin shell. Push the pastry right to the bottom to ensure there are no air bubbles and leave a small overhang. Repeat, rolling out more pastry as necessary until all of your pie bases are made.

Now assemble your pies. Tightly pack the meat filling into each pastry shell. Roll out the remaining dough and use a small cutter to cut out the pie tops (you can make these a lot thinner, too). Brush the edges with the egg wash and pop the tops on, pinching up the sides to seal the pies. Cut out a little hole in the top of each pie to let the steam escape, and finally egg-wash them.

Place your muffin tray on the hot tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pies cool a little before removing each one (using a palette knife to loosen the edges) and transferring them directly on to the hot baking tray. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes to crisp up the bottoms and edges. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before eating.

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