How to... make a pork pie

Learn how to make the perfect pork pie yourself with the help of Dickinson and Morris.

Learn how to make the perfect pork pie yourself...

Dickinson & Morris ( has been baking authentic Melton Mowbray pork pies since 1851.

How to make a pork pie

Makes a 450G (1lb) Pork Pie For the Pastry
  • 120g (4¼oz) plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60g (2oz) lard
  • 35ml (1¼oz) water
  • beaten free-range egg, to glaze
For the Filling
  • 225g (8oz) lean pork, chopped (shoulder would be ideal, but not bacon or ham)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 125ml (4½fl oz) pork stock
  • 15g (½oz) gelatine

How to make the pastry 1. Sift the flour and salt into a warm bowl and rub in 15g (½oz) of lard. Gently heat the remaining lard and water together until boiling, then add to the flour, mixing until the mixture is cool enough to knead. Knead well to ensure no air is in the pastry. Keep aside a quarter of the pastry for the lid. Make the remaining piece of pastry into a ball and leave in the fridge overnight.

How to make the filling

2. Dice the fresh uncured pork into small pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

How to make the jelly

3. Make the jelly at a later stage, while baking, by dissolving the gelatine in the pork stock.

To assemble

4. Remove the pastry from the fridge at least 2-3 hours before making the pie case. Begin by gently squeezing/tempering the pastry ball between your hands, so that it becomes pliable and mouldable. Loosely form it into a flattened ball. 

5. Using a floured surface, circle the pastry between your hands to begin bringing the wall sides up. 

6. Take your dolly, or if you do not have one of these, a regular sized jam jar, and push firmly into the centre of the pastry. This should raise the wall sides up and outwards, ready for shaping.

7. While rotating the dolly in a circular motion, squeeze the pastry with your hands and at the same time work the pastry up and around the body of the dolly. The pastry should have a regular and even thickness all the way round. 

8. Raise the pastry to the top of the dolly and prepare to remove the dolly from the case. 

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9. Gently remove the pastry case from the dolly by teasing the pastry away from the sides with your thumbs. Slowly remove the dolly from the case.

10. Firmly place your ball of coarsely chopped, seasoned fresh pork into the pastry case, moulding the sides to the meat to ensure no air remains in the body of the pie. 

11. Dampen the inside rim of the pastry case with egg. Roll out the reserved pastry to an even thickness and cut out a circular lid. Place on top of the meat and pastry case. 

12. Seal and finish the pie by hand, gently pinching the lid and wall sides together. Ensure the lid is securely sealed to the pastry case, otherwise the sides will collapse during baking.

13. At opposite points around the circumference of the pie, push the sides in to create a crimped finish to the top of the pie. Chill the pie for at least 1 hour in a fridge, or for best results, overnight. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.

14. Your pie will now be ready to be placed in the oven. 

15. Just lightly brush the top of the pie (not the crimp) with egg and make a hole in the lid centre. Place on a baking tray and bake in the traditional way – without a supporting hoop – to give a distinctive bow-sided shape to the walls. Bake in the oven for about 1¼-1½ hours. (Times will vary according to your oven type and make.)

16. Once baked until a rich, golden brown, cool the pie, then make two holes in the lid and pour in the jelly. Leave to cool further, ideally overnight, in the fridge.

17. Remember the pie is designed to be eaten cold, not reheated. To enjoy the pie at its best, remove from the fridge at least an hour before consuming.

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