Veal and Ham Pie

This raised meat pie with a row of hard-boiled eggs at its centre is traditional British picnic food. The hot-water crust should not be allowed to cool completely before lining the tin. This type of pastry is particularly good for pies as it absorbs the delicious juices inside while keeping its crisp crust outside.


serves 8 - 10
450 g (1 lb) minced veal
100 g (4 oz) boiled ham, minced
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground mace
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground bay leaves
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 medium onions, skinned and finely chopped
salt and pepper
100 g (4 oz) lard, plus extra for greasing tin
350 g (12 oz) plain wholemeal flour
1 egg yolk
3 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled
10 ml (2 tsp) powdered aspic jelly


1. Grease a 1.4 litre (2 1/2 pint) loaf tin and line the base with greased greaseproof paper.

2. Put the first 7 ingredients in a bowl, 5 ml (1 tsp) salt and 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper. Mix well to combine.

3. Put the lard and 200 ml (7 fl oz) water in a saucepan and gently heat until the lard has melted. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and tip in the flour with
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt. Beat well to form a soft dough.

4. Beat the egg yolk into the dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest in a warm place for 20 minutes, until the dough is elastic and easy to work. Do not allow the dough to cool.

5. Pat two-thirds of the pastry into the base and sides of the prepared tin, making sure it is evenly distributed. Press in half of the meat mixture and place the eggs down the centre. Fill with the remaining meat mixture.

6. Roll out the remaining pastry for the lid. Cover the pie with the pastry and seal the edges. Use the pastry trimmings to decorate the top, then make 1 large hole in the centre of the pie.

7. Bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 1 1/2 hours. If necessary, cover the pastry with foil towards the end of cooking to prevent overbrowning. Leave to cool for 3-4 hours.

8. Make up the aspic jelly to 300 ml (1/2 pint) with water. Cool for about 10 minutes.

9. Pour the liquid aspic through the hole in the top of the pie. Chill the pie for about 1 hour. Leave to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before removing from the tin.

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