River Cottage Hand Raised Pork Pies

River Cottage Hand Raised Pork Pies

A traditional English, the pork pie, is simple to make and is a brilliant addition to a picnic. This River Cottage recipe uses a hot pastry and hand raised technique that is useful to learn.

Mix the filling ingredients together and leave for a few hours for the flavour to develop or overnight preferably.


For the filling:

  • 400g coarsely minced pork or 50/50 mix finely diced pork and minced pork
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large pinch mace
  • 12 good grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 30-50ml water to mix
  • 1 egg beaten to glaze

For the hot water pastry:

  • 180g plain flour
  • 70g strong flour
  • 100g lard
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the jelly:

  • 300ml hot light chicken or pork stock
  • 3 sheets gelatine soaked in cold water
  • Mix the gelatine into the stock and taste for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.


To make the pastry:

  1. Mix the flours and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Heat the water lard in a small saucepan until the lard has melted, bring the water to a simmer then pour the water into the flour. Mix the flour and water together with a wooden spoon being careful as the mixture is very hot.
  3. When the pastry is combined turn the dough out onto the surface and knead well for a couple of minutes. Place the pastry back into the bowl, ready to use.

To make the pork pies:

  1. Divide the filling mix into four and then divide the pastry into four. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and rub a little lard over the paper.
  2. Remove 1⁄4 of the pastry from one piece of dough and set aside. Flatten the rest of the pastry in your hand to form a rough disc.
  3. Place one lot of the filling mix on the pastry and fold the edges of pastry around the filling.
  4. Place the pieonto the tray and then brush with a little of the egg around the edges.
  5. Flatten the 1⁄4 piece of pastry you removed earlier to the same size as the top of the pie and place on top. Crimp the edges together and then brush the top of the pie with egg. Make a hole in the centre to release steam.
  6. Repeat with the three remaining pieces of dough and pastry.
  7. Place the pies in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 180C for another 20 minutes or so. The pies are cooked when the pastry is golden and the centre of the pie, (when temperature probed) reaches 75C.
  8. Remove the pies and allow to cool on a rack.
  9. If you want to fill the pies with jelly use a small funnel to carefully pour the liquid jelly into the pie. Once full leave to cool completely then chill for 20 minutes. Serve the pies with pickles and cheese for a tasty lunch.

Recipe obtained from from Four Day Cookery Course at River Cottage