(somewhat after a recipe by Dan Lepard)
We have been making the traditional hand raised, hot-water crust pork pies for years but recently came across this idea. Remarkably easy to make and jolly tasty, being simply freshly baked pork pies in a butter-rich Dijon mustard flavoured flaky pastry. A great supper.
For the Dijon pastry
400g strong white flour, plus extra
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
A good pinch of salt
250g unsalted butter, cold (or half and half butter lard)
75g Dijon mustard
About 160ml cold water
For the filling
700g coarsely chopped or minced pork, not too lean. Keeping the fat is important.
250g uncooked gammon, chopped finely
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 bunch of sage, leaves picked and chopped or a heaped teaspoonful of dry savoury
50g of chopped parsley (or more)
Egg wash, to finish (optional)
Make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Chop the butter into 1cm cubes and toss through. In a small bowl or jug, stir together the mustard and water, then add to the mix and gently work to a dough, trying to leave the butter cubes intact.
Flour a worktop, roll out the dough to 1cm thick and fold in by thirds. Roll out and fold in again, then wrap and chill for 30 minutes. You can repeat this rolling, folding and chilling sequence twice more, then the dough is ready to use but frankly, it won’t hurt if you don’t.
Mix the pork, gammon, onion, a half-teaspoon of salt and some ground black pepper, add the parsley and sage, then set aside for an hour or so, to let the flavours mingle.
Roll the pastry to about 0.5cm thick and cut into four to six pieces – depending on how large you want your pies to be. Take one piece, roll it thinner and brush the edges with water. Squeeze a quarter of the pork mix into a ball, wrap the pastry up around it, pinching it closed at the top or tucking undereneath …. it’s a matter of aesthetics. Make a small hole in the top to allow steam out. Place on a tray lined with nonstick paper, repeat with the remaining pork and pastry, then brush with beaten egg.
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan-assisted)/400F/gas mark 7, and bake for 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 190C (170C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 5 and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Leave until warm or cold before eating.
These pies freeze well and can be reheated at will. Go especially well with buttered, riced potatoes and a bitter green vegetable such as kale.