Betty Keira came across pork pies in The Quiet Professor and requested that I make them. Here you have my first attempt (I will be trying them again...I promise). I searched the inter-web-nets diligently to find a recipe that looked doable by a rank amateur. I discarded recipes that called for such ingredients as "one pigs trotter" ew. I am not blessed with an unlimited amount of time to hunt down obscure ingredients (anchovy essence, I'm looking at you) or an extravagant weekly food budget...so when I found a recipe for Old-fashioned Raised Pork Pies on deliaonline.com that used fairly easily obtainable (in my small Washington State town) ingredients, I was thrilled. I still had to do some substituting (which is a little funny/embarrassing) and an omission...but I now have a starting point from which to experiment further.
I used the recipe from deliaonline as a jumping off point, but I did follow the instructions pretty carefully (just follow the link). Here is my amended list of ingredients:
For the filling:
12 oz pork shoulder, including some fat
4 oz Costco bacon
1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon anchovy essence (I didn't find this...and didn't miss it)
(this is where things start to get a little embarrassing)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice (oops, all I had was whole allspice)
¼ teaspoon ground mace (I was unwilling to fork out $7 for a small container of this)
(*since I didn't have the ground allspice or the mace I added 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the hot-water crust pastry:
1 1/3 cup bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp milk
3 oz lard
1 large egg yolk
*I did a little research and discovered that mace comes from the nutmeg tree...hmmm, so what did I have that had allspice and nutmeg? Yup, pumpkin pie spice. It also has cinnamon and ginger - but at this point I was willing to take the risk.
In spite of the changes made I think the flavor was fine. Perhaps not traditional, but it was okay. The hardest part of making these was taking the hot pies out of the pan without breaking them. The instructions called for a non-stick muffin pan - and I think my pan was a little sticky. Next time I will also try rolling the dough out between two layers of waxed paper (for the top crust).
Verdict: Even though mine didn't turn out pretty, I would like to try these again - with a better pan and perhaps traditional seasoning. Alex really like them - and so did I .