Traditional Hand-Raised Pork Pie Recipe

Traditional Hand-Raised Pork Pies

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 pies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
827 Calories
36g Fat
89g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 827
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 16g 82%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 1097mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 408mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I had never thought about making a traditional pork pie. I live in the north of England where we have some of the best pork pie makers going. After watching the talented and renowned butcher David Lishman making pies, I decided to give it a go. I have adapted his recipe and transformed it a bit. The end result is a delicious pork pie that's easy to make.

A traditional British pork pie is made using hot water pastry which is then raised by hand using a mold or a jam jar for support. It's different from a savory pot pie that Americans might be accustomed to insofar as it is usually served cold or at room temperature, and eaten as a snack. The filling consists of roughly chopped pork and pork fat, surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in a hot water crust pastry.

"These take a bit of prep time, but they were delicious! The pastry was easy to work with and the pork was a simple combination. I found it easier to remove the chilled pastry casings when I wrapped the jar with plastic wrap." —Diana Rattray

traditional British raised pork pies/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Hot Water Pastry:

  • 200 milliliters water

  • 75 grams unsalted butter

  • 75 grams lard

  • 450 grams all-purpose flour, sifted, more for the work surface

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For the Pie Filling:

  • 400 grams ground pork shoulder

  • 100 grams belly pork, minced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 pinch salt

For the Jelly:

  • 3 gelatin leaves

  • 1 cup chicken stock, warmed

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Ground white pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Make the Hot Water Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Hot Water Pastry ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Put the water, butter, and lard into a saucepan and gently heat until melted. Bring to a low boil.

    Water, butter, and lard mixture in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Put the flour, salt, and egg in a large heatproof bowl. Blend together with a knife.

    Flour, salt, and egg in a large heatproof bowl with a knife

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the hot butter-lard-water mixture and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

    Dough in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and shiny.

    Dough on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Take your small jam jars, invert them, and brush the outside and bottom with a thin layer of vegetable oil.

    Jar brushed with vegetable oil

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness (keep the remaining 1/3 of pastry wrapped in plastic).

    Dough rolled out with a rolling pin on a wooden cutting board, and dough ball wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Cut a 6-inch circle and lay it centered over the jam jar bottom and gently ease up the side of the jar. Be careful not to stretch the pastry too thin. Your pastry should be even all over and without any holes or tears. If the pastry does tear, simply remold using your fingers. Hot water pastry is very forgiving.

    Dough wrapped around the bottom of a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Cover the pastry with a strip of parchment paper cut to the depth of the pastry lining the jar. Tie the parchment kitchen twine to secure. Trim the top edge to create a neat edge. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

    Jar wrapped in dough and parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Create the Pork Pie Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 F / 160 C / Gas 3.

    Pork pie filling ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Place both meats in a bowl and season with the salt, pepper, mace, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly.

    Meat, salt, pepper, mace, and nutmeg in a glass bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Carefully remove the pastry molds from the jam jars (the dough will be very stiff).

    Dough cups on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Pack the meat almost, but not completely, to the top of the pastry molds.

    Pork pie filling in dough cups on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Cut lids to fit your pie from the remaining pastry roll.

    Dough circles on a wooden cutting board, next to a rolling pin

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Put the lid on top and crimp to create a tight seal.

    Pork pies covered with dough, on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Using a skewer or chopstick, pierce the center of the lid to create a tiny air hole.

    Pork pies with a hole in the middle, on a baking sheet next to a chopstick

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Create your egg wash by beating together the egg, water, and the pinch of salt. Brush liberally, all over, with the egg wash.

    Pork meat pies brushed with egg wash on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the temperature in the center is 176 F.

    Bake pastry until golden
    The Spruce
  10. Remove from the oven and egg wash again.

    Baked pork meat pies on a baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Jelly

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jelly ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 15 minutes.

    Gelatin and cold water in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Squeeze the leaves and add to warmed chicken stock.

    Chicken stock with the gelatin mixture in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Leave to cool, then season with a little salt and white pepper.

    Chicken stock mixture in a bowl with a spoon, salt and pepper in small bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Pour the jelly into the center of the pie through the tiny air hole (use a small funnel for accuracy).

    Chicken stock mixture poured into the pork pies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Leave in a cool place to set.

    Traditional Hand-Raised Pork Pies on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • For molding the pastry, you can use 8-ounce, wide-mouthed Mason jars, or 12-ounce Mason jars.
  • If the pastry is difficult to remove from the jelly jar, add some hot water to the jar to warm it slightly.
  • If the pastry softens too much when removing from the jars and crimping, return them to the refrigerator to chill for another 10 minutes.

How to Store and Freeze Pork Pies

Pork pies will keep in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to five days. You can eat it cold, or at room temperature. You can also freeze them. Just wrap them individually in two layers, first with waxed paper or parchment and then aluminum foil, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature.

Why do you put jelly in pork pies?

The jelly is added after the pie is cooked to help keep it moist. It's traditionally created using ham or chicken stock. If you can't find leaf gelatin, use 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin, or as directed on the package for 1 cup of liquid.

What goes with a raised pork pie?

Serve English pork pie with beer, pickles, or a relish, spicy mustard, or chutney on the side. For a meal, add a side of mushy peas or crisp fresh coleslaw.


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