Mini Pork Pies
RAISED MINI PORK PIES
These little pork pies use hot water crust pastry, but are not too difficult to make. They are a great addition to the boxing day buffet, along with some home-made piccalilli. They are also great for picnics in the Summer and you could use sausage meat for the filling if preferred. Experiment a bit to add your own spices and flavourings to the filling.
Hot Water Crust Pastry:
1 teaspoon salt
400g strong plain flour
1 small red onion, finely chopped
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
6 good quality pork sausages -plain or flavoured (approx. 350g)
Freshly grated nutmeg
A pinch of ground allspice
Cracked Black Pepper
To glaze: 1 egg, beaten
1 muffin tin or 6 ramekin dishes, or similar
1. Place a little olive oil, together with the onions in a small pan and sweat the onions on the simmer plate for a few minutes. Add the thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat.
2. Pop the sausages out of their skins and mix with the cooled onions and then add the seasonings.
3. For the pastry – place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
4. Put the lard, salt and water in a small pan, and place on the simmer plate. Melt the lard and, once melted, transfer to the hotplate and bring to the boil. As soon as it is boiling rapidly, pour it into the flour and mix well, until it forms a pliable dough.
5. Once cool enough to handle, divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces. Take a quarter of each piece and reserve for the lid. (Keep the pastry you are not using wrapped in cling film to prevent it drying out and going hard).
6. Roll out the bigger pieces of pastry until you have 6 circles to line the muffin tray or ramekins. Gently mould into the tin, pushing firmly to the bottom so there are no air pockets.
7. Trim the pastry so it just hangs over the edge. Divide the sausage filling between the pies, packing it in well.
8. Roll out the reserved pastry to be just larger than the pie cases. Brush around the top edge with beaten egg and place a pastry circle on top.
9. Press down around the edges and seal well. Trim away any excess and crimp the edges. Use a knife to make a small hole in the top of each pie and decorate with pastry leaves, if desired.
10. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200C, until firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then run a knife round the edge to loosen. Carefully ease the pies from the tin, place on a baking tray and brush the top and sides generously with beaten egg.
11. Return the pies to the oven for a further 20-30 mins. (If the tops are getting too brown, cover with foil). Use a temperature probe to check that the meat filling is cooked. Allow to cool before serving.