An iconic British pub grub favourite with a couple of fresh twists to keep you coming back for more…and more. Spend a little time, have a little faith and you will be wondering why you took this long to make your own. Seasoned pork encased in a layers of sharp cider jelly and wonderfully crumbly hot water crust pastry – whats not to like?!
FENNEL AND SAGE PORK PIE
An iconic British pub grub favourite with a couple of fresh twists to keep you coming back for more...and more. Spend a little time, have a little faith and you will be wondering why you took this long to make your own. Seasoned pork encased in a layers of sharp cider jelly and wonderfully crumbly hot water crust pastry - whats not to like?!
75glard(plus extra for greasing)
75gplain flour(plus extra for dusting)
340gstrong white bread flour
1tbspwholegrain mustard(plus extra for serving)
Put a small saucepan over a high heat and add the lard and 150ml of water. Season generously with salt. Bring the water to a boil.
Tip the plain and strong flours into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips till a breadcrumb-like consistency is reached.
Pour the boiling water and lard mix into the bowl with the flour and bring the two together to a rough dough using a butter knife. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Carefully knead it for a minute, until smooth. Wrap the pastry in Cling Film and rest at room temperature while you make the filling.
Place a small frying pan over a high heat and tip in the fennel seeds. Roast them for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and slightly darker.
Slice both cuts of pork into 2-3cm chunks (small enough to fit into a meat grinder) then peel the shallots and garlic. Push the diced pork, shallots, garlic, sage leaves and toasted fennel seeds through the grinder on the coarsest setting straight into a large mixing bowl (you can also finely mince with a knife or in a food processor).
Add the mustard to the mix and season with a very generous pinch of salt. Use you hands to combine everything. At this stage you can also add any additional ingredients if you wish - we recommend dried fruit, nuts or even some pub snacks like wasabi peas or crackling.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (370°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Grease a pastry ring or ramekin (~8cm diameter, 7cm depth) with a little lard.
Split the dough into 2 pieces and wrap half of it back up in the Clingfilm. Split the other into 2 balls, one twice the size of the other. Flour a work surface and roll the larger ball out to a 20- 25cm wide, 1/2cm thick disc. Line the greased pastry ring with the rolled out dough, leaving excess pastry hanging over the top. Stuff half the pork mix into the lined ramekin all the way to the top making sure to leave no air pockets.
Roll the smaller ball of dough into a 1/2cm thick disc (10cm diameter). Lightly brush the exposed edge of the pastry in the ring with beaten egg then lay the smaller disc on top. Use your index finger and thumb to push the layers of dough together. Pinch the pastry to get 10-12 crimps around the seam, pinching away any excess pastry.
Carefully invert the pastry ring, letting the pie fall into your hand - it should slide out easily. Place it on your lined baking tray then repeat the construction process with the remaining pastry and pork. Cut a 1cm hole in the top of each of the pies then chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, until the pastry is cool and hard.
Brush the pies all over with a little more of your beaten egg. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until deep golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack and cool at room temperature.
While the pies bake, put a medium saucepan over a high heat and pour in the cider and sugar. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until reduced by 1/2. Pour enough cold water over the gelatine leaves just to cover them then set them aside to bloom.
Remove the cider from the heat. Squeeze any excess moisture from the softened gelatine then chuck it into the hot cider. Stir well, until the gelatine dissolves fully. Pour the liquid into a measuring jug and leave to cool at room temperature.
Pour the cooled liquid into the small hole in the top of the cooled pies. Keep pouring until the hole fills up and no more can be added. Leave for 2 minutes then top them up if necessary. Transfer them to the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours, until the jelly is set.
Serve cold, cut into wedges with plenty of mustard and a pint! Makes 2 large pies.