Recipe: Pork Pie - Gala

Rating: 4.9 stars based on 869 reviews

Ingredients:-

  • For the filling:
  • 1kg boned pork shoulder, skin on
  • 200g commercial unsmoked bacon
  • 2.5g each of sage, mace, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper
  • 10g salt
  • 4 eggs
  • For the jelly:
  • 1 split pig trotter
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2.5g sage
  • For the pastry:
  • 475g strong flour
  • 5g salt
  • 175g commercial lard or carefully hoarded beef fat
  • 125g water

Method:-

  • Chop a kilo of boned pork shoulder into rough 1cm dice. Trim out the skin and tough connective tissue and save it. These will be vital elements of the jelly later on.
  • Cut about 200g of bacon into similar size pieces. In commercially produced pies nitrates are added to keep the filling an appetising colour. There are enough residual preservatives in shop-bought bacon to keep the pie filling pink throughout. If this though worries you, you can leave out the bacon for an authentically rustic, grey pie interior.
  • To make the jelly, chuck your porky trimmings into a pot with a split pig's trotter, celery, carrot, some bay leaves and fresh sage. Cover with cold water and allow to barely simmer for 2-3 hrs until the trotter gives up the ghost and collapses. Strain the liquid through muslin and keep it in the fridge. Check that it sets to a good consistency - if it doesn't you can reduce it a little further. This will produce much more jelly than you need but it freezes well and I like to serve it chopped as a side dish with the pie
  • Season your meat with sage, mace, nutmeg, allspice, pepper and a good 10g of salt. Remember that the pie is a preserved product so this is as much about curing as flavouring.
  • Mix the meat and seasonings thoroughly by hand and then blitz half the mix in a food processor before recombining. I like chunks of pork in my pies but you can vary proportions here to suit your own taste
  • Mix 475g of strong flour in a bowl with 7.5g of salt. Melt 100g of lard or dripping in 175g of boiling water ...
  • ... then pour in the hot liquid and begin combining it with a palette knife.
  • As soon as the dough is cool enough to handle, work it together with your fingers, separate out about a quarter of it and then work both masses into flat round puck shapes. Leave to cool and rest for a few more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place 4 eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, simmer exactly 4 mins then plunge them into iced water.
  • Roll out the dough, fold, turn and reroll until it begins to feel smooth and elastic. Used the large piece to line your pie dish. You can grease it if you think there's not enough fat in this recipe already but it's not remotely necessary. My dish is 16 cm across, 7cm deep with a loose bottom. You shouldn't need a springform as the pie shrinks away from the sides as it cooks and pops out clean.
  • Put a thin layer of meat into the bottom of the pie case ...
  • ... followed by your peeled eggs. Now here's the cunning bit - make a pen mark on the side of the dish on the centre line of one of your eggs.
  • Carefully pack more filling around and over your eggs, trying to avoid any air gaps.
  • Glue on the lid with egg wash and trim and crimp the edges. Cut a hole in the centre of the pie and, using the back of your knife, mark cutting guides along the centre line of each egg. Finally, egg wash and then bake in a 180C oven for 90 mins.
  • Once the pie is thoroughly cool, warm some of the jelly in a pan and pour it slowly trough a funnel to fill the air gap between filling and case. Take your time and keep tapping the pie gently on the bench to expel any air bubbles. Put back in the fridge so the jelly can set.
  • Slice neatly through the guide lines in the crust and serve.

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