Basic Pork Pie


serves 6 - 8
3 3/4 cups (375 g) plain flour (All purpose)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt water
125 g lard, cut into small pieces
875 g minced lean pork
50 g onion finely chopped
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt dry white wine, plus extra
2 tbsp cognac
1/2 tsp dried sage or thyme
1 generous tbsp Dijon mustard
1 small eating apple, peeled and grated coarsely
1 tsp salt
beaten egg, to glaze
1 packet of aspic powder
freshly ground black pepper


1. To make the pastry : sieve the flour with the salt; make a well in the centre. Heat the water with the lard until the lard has melted; pour this mixture into the flour. Mix to a soft dough and knead until smooth. Keep warm and covered, or it will dry out.

2. To make the pie : Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6.

3. Mix the minced pork with the onion, wine, cognac, herbs, mustard, apple and seasoning.

4. Line a 15 cm, round, loose-based cake tin with three-quarters of the pastry (keep the remainder wrapped in cling film in a warm place). Pack the lined tin with the meat mixture; roll out the remaining pastry and fit the lid. Make a hole in the lid and pull back the edges.

5. Decorate and glaze the pie with beaten egg, and then put on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4. and continue cooking for a further 11/2 hours.

7. When the cooked pie has cooled, make up the aspic jelly with half the recommended liquid, using white wine rather than water for extra flavour. Pour it through the hole in the lid, slowly and in stages, until the pie will absorb no more.

8. Once the aspic has set, wrap the pie and store it for a couple of days before cutting it.

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