Another man who is responsible for a lot of cooking in our house is Jamie Oliver. You may have heard of him, he is the chap from England who has a few cooking shows, some cook books (a copy of each of them resides on our bookshelf), a couple of restaurants and does some wonderful things through his foundation.
In his Jamie’s Great Britain series, Jamie called into a butcher who makes Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. You know the hubby’s eyes lit up as soon as this came on, and then he searched the interweb for a recipe to make his own.
Melton Mowbray pies are baked free standing, giving them their signature bowed sides, and use fresh rather than cured pork. They are also filled with “pork jelly”, which the hubby gets from skimming the top of his Pea and Ham Soup as the gelatine from the bone forms a layer on the top of the soup after it has been simmering away for six hours.
To make the pastry for the pie, you need flour, water, lard, salt and an egg for glazing the pastry.
Use a wooden spoon to avoid burning yourself, and combine the ingredients. Gently knead, if it has cooled enough, until you have a soft ball of dough. Leave the dough to rest at room temperature, kneading a couple of times as it cools.
As the dough is cooling, you can prepare the pork filling. Although the original recipe only calls for salt and pepper to season the pork, the hubby also adds about half to one teaspoon of smoked paprika. It is added to give a little hint of smokiness to the filling, but not necessary if you are not a fan.
Mix the pork and seasoning in a bowl and set aside.
The first time the hubby made these he shaped the pastry free form and the result wasn’t very desirable as the pastry was quite thick and stodgy. But this may also have been because the dough had cooled too much and turned a little cold making it hard to shape. So we went on the hunt for a couple of small pie moulds and purchased a pair of small 11cm diameter springform pans.
Flour the pans to ensure easy release of the dough from the mould. Roll out the pastry until about 5mm thick and cut to fit in your mould. Line the mould with the pastry, and then add the filling until just below the top of the pastry. Cut the pastry for the lid of the pie and place on top and pinch the sides together to seal the pie.
You can remove the pie from the mould and cut a small hole in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Place the pie on a lined baking tray (it is best to use one with a rim to catch the excess juices from the pie as it cooks) and continue with the rest.
Brush the top, and only the top, of the pie with the beaten up egg and place in the oven to cook. After two hours, you will notice that the pie has shrunk and obtained the bowed sides. Remove the pie and brush the sides with the remaining egg and return to the oven until golden brown.
The pies are then removed from the oven and allowed to cool.
Heat the pork jelly until it turns to a smooth liquid, and once the pies are almost cold, using a funnel pour the jelly into the pie (ignore the fact that the picture below shows the jelly being poured directly into the pie without the funnel, but all of those photos ended up being predominately of the hubby’s arm rather than the pie, and this is him topping the pies up a little more after they have settled – which you should do too).
You are then meant to leave the pies to cool and set, then place in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight as it is usually eaten cold. The hubby prefers the pie to be warm/hot (mainly because he can’t wait for them to cool) so he fills them with the pork jelly just after they come out of the oven and devours them.
Great served with coleslaw and/or a green salad.
If you would like to have a go at this one yourself, the recipe the hubby uses is from the recipewise website.