Summer means picnics, and we can't help but get excited at the idea of making treats to fill our wicker baskets!With that in mind, we've got a foolproof hand-raised pork and chorizo pie recipe for you. This uses the super-simple jam jar method to create the shape, and should make two medium pies with the quantities given. We just love the sweet peppery kick the addition of chorizo gives to the filling! Is it lunchtime yet?
For the pastry:
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 100g strong flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 50g butter
- 60g lard
- 135ml boiling water
- 1 small egg, beaten
For the filling:
- 225g minced lean pork
- 70g chorizo sausage, chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 30g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- For the jelly:
- 2 leaves gelatine
- 150ml hot chicken stock
- Prepare two 340g size empty jam jars by wrapping clingfilm around the bottom and half way up the sides of each one.
- For the pastry, place the flours and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips. Place the lard in a small saucepan, add the boiling water then place over a low heat until the lard has melted and the water is just boiling. Add the lard mixture to the flour and mix quickly with a spoon. As it cools, start to bring the pastry together with your hands to form a ball. Turn the pastry onto a well floured surface and knead for about 30 secs until smooth. Wrap a quarter of the pastry in clingfilm and keep warm by wrapping it in a tea towel.
- Divide the remainder of the pastry into two equal portions then use your hands to shape and press each into a circle approx 4cm bigger than the base of your jam jar. Flatten the centre of each circle to create a dip the same size as the jam jar base.
- Place a jam jar in the dip in one of the pastry circles then press the excess pastry up and around the sides of the jam jar manipulating it with your hands until it is approx 10cm high. Ensure the pastry has an even thickness all the way around the jar. Repeat with the remaining pastry circle and jam jar.
- Fold a strip of baking paper in half and wrap around one jam jar to cover the pastry. Tie string around the paper to secure then place on a baking tray. Repeat with the second jam jar.
- For the pie lids, unwrap the remaining pastry and divide into two equal portions. Flatten each piece and shape with you hands so they are the same diameter as the jam jar bases. Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut a small circle, approx 1cm diameter from the centre of each circle. Place on the baking tray with the pastry cases and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. Towards the end of this time preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6.
- For the filling, mix the pork, chorizo and thyme leaves together in a bowl. Remove the pastry cases from the fridge and one at a time, fill the jam jars with hot, but not boiling water, leave for just a few seconds then holding the baking paper around the pastry, wiggle the jar until it slips out of the pastry case.
- Fill the pastry cases up to half way with the pork mixture, add a layer of sundried tomatoes then add more pork mixture leaving 5mm unfilled at the top to allow for the lid.
- Remove the baking paper around the pastry cases, place the lids on top of each case and crimp the edges using your fingers to seal.
- Thoroughly glaze the tops of the pies with beaten egg and bake for 50 mins until dark golden brown.
- Soak the gelatine leaves for a few minutes in cold water then squeeze out the excess water and stir into the hot stock until it dissolves. Allow the pies to cool for 10 mins before gradually filling with the warm jelly mixture through the hole in the top of each pie. Allow to cool completely and chill in the fridge overnight before serving.
Top tip: The pastry cases can be filled with a variety of meat fillings from traditional pork and egg to chicken with stuffing or apricot.