Jowel and Ear, Hoof and Beard. Noses, Toeses, Willies and Bums. Sitting Pretty in Our Tums.
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Diary and Notes
Can I have a few moments of silent reverence for today's food please. Let us sit and contemplate the greatness, the history, the sheer beauty of the thing.
There are many websites devoted to today's treat. Have a look at lloydich.com or The pork pie appreciation society to begin with. I myself am not going to say too much about pork pie in general, except that this demonstrates that the English, as a race, are superior to all other nations. The pork pie is scientific proof that England is God's own country and if he were to come on a holiday to Earth, this is where he'd stay. Any Englishman who claims not to like pork pie is a traitor and should be hung!
I'm not talking about your value buffet supermarket pork pies, all stuffed with horrid things that nobody in their right mind would eat. I'm talking the fine quality, simple but delicious pork pies, with spicy meat, crumbly pastry and rich quality jelly. The pork pie I made (I actually made two and gave one to my sister Kerry) was a monster. Enough to feed about ten people for dinner and containing over two kilos of pork. It was peppery, meaty, the jelly was good and held the whole thing together well. Some people thought I'd made it a little too peppery, but I like peppery things and I cook for my own tastes alone. It was a fine specimen of great English cuisine and I recommend you make one yourself. It will impress your friends no end.
As an example of the difference between home made pork pie and shop bought pork pie, a family friend came to visit and I offered her a piece. She said she didn't like pork pies but would try some as she was peckish. I gave her a piece, she ate it and asked for more, saying it was far tastier than any she'd had from a shop. Unfortunately, she had just eaten the last piece and there was no more to be had. Make your own pork pies I say, the hot watercrust pastry is really easy to make, the filling is a doddle and apart from the lengthy cooking time requires no effort at all.
Hurrah for the pork pie and jolly old England too.
Now let us all sing:
"And did those feet..."
Flapjack: An old classic, normally made from boy scouts, or so I am led to believe.
Pickles (big sharp pickled onions, red cabbage, some branston etc...)
Pastry: Plain Flour, Solid Vegetable Fat, Butter, Salt
Pie Filling: Pork Shoulder, Pepper, Ground Mace, Salt, Sage, Thick Chicken or Pork Stock (for the tasty jelly)
Pastry: Mix equal parts butter and vegetable fat with some boiling water to melt them. Add a pinch of salt. pour the melted fat into the flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Mould the dough around a deep pie dish (a ceramic one is best), saving about 1/3 for the lid. The pastry wants to be quite thick.
Filling. Dice the pork shoulder into 1cm cubes. Mix with a little black pepper, some ground mace, some salt and some dried sage. Fill the pie to the top. Put a pastry lid on the top, leaving a hole about 2cm diameter in the middle for steam to escape and to pour stock in later.
Bake the pie for about 2 1/2 hours at 160c. (Longer if it's really big). When it's cooked, pour hot stock into the centre hole until it's filled (this forms the jelly). Leave to cool. If you refrigerate it, make sure you get it back to room temperature before you eat it. (In the north of England, they eat them hot as well.)