There is something totally unbeatable about a good pork pie – the texture and flavours mingle together to provide a mouthwatering sensation, that drives you back for a second bite, or maybe if you’re on the greedy side to eat that second pie.
Wether that wow factor is the crisp and crumbly yet chewy pastry; the damp, deeply savoury and melt in the mouth meat; or the golden thin layer of jelly is all down to personal preference. For me it is the pastry that clinches the deal.
A poor pork pie though is something to be avoided at all costs, insipid pastry, fatty chunks of white and a little pink meat with a thick layer of jelly that lies like a piece of rubber in your mouth. This is one of the reasons I refuse to buy mass produced pies, that and the high probability that the meat is not of particularly high standard in either a quality or ethical standpoint.
After being sent The Prawn Cocktail Years (Simon Hopkinson & Lindsay Bareham) by the ever lovely Bev, I knew the first thing I’d have to commit to making was the pork pie. As the book points out the job is a bit of a fiddle and a palaver at times but the end results make it all so worthwhile, a labour of love to bring a very English delight to the table. Quite apt then I suppose that I am writing this post on St George’s Day.
My intention was to make two pies (which I did) and save one to eat cold the following day for lunch with some salad, maybe a Ploughman’s, but all my plans went out the window. We couldn’t resist digging in to the second pie and before long the lot had been eaten along side some lovely fresh crusty bread and butter from the local bakery.
A very important point to bear in mind, please do not omit the bacon from the recipe – not only does it add flavour but it keep the meat pink due to the saltpeter content.