They're a picnic classic.... but pork pies are also the perfect finger food for your Christmas celebrations.

nigel dec13

Ingredients

Hot water pastry


Pie filling


Method

1. To make pastry, slowly heat water and margarine/butter in a saucepan. Once the fat is melted, boil for 2 minutes. Put flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the seasoning and egg yolk into the well, cover with some flour and quickly pour in the contents of the saucepan, stirring continuously. Once cooled, knead into a ball then leave covered for 30 minutes in a warm place.

2. Separate about two thirds of the dough into five balls, each around the size of a billiard ball. The other third of the dough will be used later for the lids. Make each pie casing by moulding a ball around the outside of the bottom of a pint glass. Stretch the dough up the glass for around 1.5 inches so that the pastry is reasonably thin. The pastry is easier to remove if the glass is coated in flour first.

3. To make the pie filling, simply mix all ingredients together.

4. Fill the pastry casings with the pork mixture. Roll out the remainder of the pastry using the pint glass if you don't have a rolling pin. Cut out lids using the top of the pint glass as a pastry cutter. Place lids on pies, sealing around the edges with some water. Using the point of a knife, make a hole in the centre of each lid to allow steam to escape.

5. Cook at 180 C / Gas 4 in the centre of the oven for around 1 hour, glazing with a beaten egg yolk occasionally.

6. After cooking, leave to cool before eating. For a special touch, pour a small amount of warmed, reduced stock into the hole and cool in a refrigerator to allow the jelly to set (To make the stock, try boiling some pork stock bones for a few hours until most of the water evaporates off. After cooling a jelly should form, this can be poured into the pies).