During a recent trip to the North of England, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend a very pleasant day with my in-laws, meandering through the streets of York. It has been many years since my last visit, but we were not disappointed. The famous Shambles provided a fantastic place to stroll and we came across so many interesting shops and eateries. Henshelwoods Delecatessen was a particular treat and I couldn’t resist having a mooch around the shop. Customers were queuing out of the door to order lunch from the deli counter and there must have been over 80 different varieties of cheese on display. I came away with Pop Notch Fancy Salty Caramel Popcorn, Truede Mixed Flavour Turkish Delight and a jar of Rosebud Preserves Wild Rowan Jelly which I plan to use with a pigeon breast recipe. Feeling pleased with my purchases I was greeted by a very excited husband as I exited the shop, because lo and behold he had found a delightful looking hostelry named Pivni. The selection of ales available was huge, but I couldn’t resist opting for a beer from my old childhood stomping ground, so I plumped for a glass of Pennine Pale Ale brewed by the Allendale Brewery in Northumberland. The ale may have been from the wrong end of the Pennines from where I grew up, but boy was it good. It was probably one of the smoothest pale ales I have tasted for many years and the fruity citrus overtones were delicious. By now we were having an attack of the munchies, so we decided to sample The Pivni Chilli Pork Pie. The pie certainly delivered and it packed a punch with the hint of chilli in the middle, and the crumbly hot water pastry was fantastic. A chilli Pork Pie is a first for me, and so on my return home I was determined to master the art of making hot water pastry and secondly, to make a Pork Pie with a chilli filling.
I didn’t have a recipe but my mother-in-law kindly gave me her well worn Home Recipes Book for Be-Ro flour which contained a family favourite recipe for Pork Pies. I also had a quick look on the internet and found various recipes and methods to make Pork Pies, but I took the lead from the following two recipes. The Chilli Fennel Seed Pork Pie on Joseph Piper website appealed to me as it did not require the addition of jelly to be poured into the pie after cooking. Mr Vikkis Chilli Jam Pork Pies also caught my eye as I really wanted to ensure the pies had a chilli centre. My final recipe for the pies is therefore based on the pastry recipe from Joseph Piper and the filling from ideas gleaned from Mr Vikki’s recipe. The result was extremely pleasing and received my husbands royal approval. However, as we all know Pork Pies are highly calorific, but a little bit of ‘naughty but nice‘ doesn’t hurt once in a while. Just be sure you have some friends round to eat them with you, with a cold beer or cider on hand, because they are at their best when they are still a little warm, crumbly and extremely moreish.
Pork Pies with Chilli
Prep 30 mins
Cooking 45 mins (Gas mark 6 for 10 mins and then gas mark 4 for 35mins)
(makes 9 – 3″ x 1″depth pies)
Equipment – Muffin Tin, greaseproof paper and food processor
For the Pastry
75g (2.6oz) Unsalted Butter
300g (10.5oz) Plain Flour
135ml of water
1/4 tsp of salt
pinch of cayenne
For the Filling
400g (14.1 oz) Minced Pork (lean)
150g (5.2oz) smoked lardons or baon
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Chilli jam (1 x tsp per pie) in my recipe I used Veeraswamy Lime Chilli Chutney from Waitrose as I couldn’t find any Chilli jam at the time.
Tip – use a food processor to make the pastry and mix the filling
1. Grease a Muffin tin and just to be sure the pies don not stick line each ring with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the water on to boil and add to it the lard.
3. Mix the flour, cayenne and butter in the food processor. Turn on until the mixture is a consistency of fine bread crumbs.
4. Once the lard has melted turn the heat off under the water and then slowly pour the liquid into the processor and mix with the flour. Do this a little at a time and check that the pastry does not get too sloppy. (I had a little water left over when I made my pies).
5. Once the pastry has come together, remove from the processor and knead gently on a floured surface for just a few seconds and then place in a bowl to once side to rest and to allow th pastry to come to room temperature.
6. Mix the pork mince the lardons, cayenne pepper and seasoning in the food processor and set to one side.
7. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out thinly and then cut out approximately 5″ circles from the pastry. Place each circle in a muffin slot in the tin, ensuring that not air is trapped and the pastry over hangs the top edge. If you have to re-roll the pastry to ensure you have enough circles only re-roll the pastry once as it will become too dry and crack.
8. Once the pastry is in position in the muffin tin, spoon a dessert spoon of pork filling into each pie (this should fill the pie up to no more than half way)
9. Add a small teaspoon of Chilli Jam on top of the pork in each pie case, then fill to the top with the rest of the pork filling.
10. Roll the final 1/3 of the pastry and cut out a lid for each pie (make sure the lid is a little wider than the actual width of the pie) and don’t forget to make a couple of slits or a hole in the pastry lid to let the steam out whilst cooking.
11. Brush a little drop of water round the top of the pastry cases and then place on the lid. Squeeze the lid round the edge and decorate by crimping. I simply used a back of a fork.
12. Brush the pies with egg wash before placing them in the oven, 10 mins at gas mark 6 and then turn down to gas mark 4 for 35 minutes.