Thursday, 16 December 2010

Asian Spiced Pork Pie Recipe - Baking a Behemoth

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This weekend I was totally going to make marshmallows using Bertie Branning, my shiny red Kitchenaid mixer, when I found out you needed a sugar thermometer.

So I thought s*d that for a game of soldiers and decided to make a mahoosive pork pie instead. Partly because it's Christmas time and nothing marks the season better for me than fat wodges of meaty pie, and partly because I was inspired by my very short stint as a pop-up pie assistant (PUPA) for the fabulous Bray's Cottage.

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Not that I had all the correct equipment for making a pork pie either. Apparently you need a pie mould of some sort. All I had was a big cake tin, which is why I've ended up with a pork pie bigger than my head. But, hells, it looks good and it tastes even better.

Super traditional hot water crust pastry combined with untraditional Asian spiced filling. Fusion - I'm all over it, me.

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Meemalee's Mahoosive Pork Pie

For the jellied stock
  • 4 pig's trotters
  • 4 white onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
For the filling
  • 1 kg fatty pork shoulder
  • 250 g streaky bacon
  • Small bunch of chives
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Marigold bouillon or pinch of MSG
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 11 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the pastry

  • 200g lard
  • 250g water
  • 600g flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 x 20cm cake tin with a removable base
  • 1 funnel

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Make the Jellied Stock

Chuck everything in a deep saucepan, cover with water so the level is about an inch above the ingredients, and bring to a boil.

Then simmer for two hours, regularly topping up with water to avoid any accidents.

Sieve the liquid into a bowl (chuck the bits), cover with clingfilm and leave to cool. Refrigerate.

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Make the Filling

Roast the Sichuan peppercorns by heating them in a medium hot frying pan or wok until they darken slightly and become fragrant.

Leave to cool and grind in a mortar or place in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin

Dice the pork shoulder into little chunks. Slightly labour-intensive but worth it for interesting texture. Dice the bacon too.

Mince the chives and then mix all the filling ingredients together.

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Make the Pastry

Put the oven on at 180C. Lightly grease and flour your mould or cake tin.

Sift the flour with 1 tsp of salt into a large mixing bowl. Put the lard and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Pour this melted lard/water mixture into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon till you get a pastry dough.

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As soon as it's cool enough to handle, take a quarter of the pastry and roll it into a circle big enough to cover the cake tin. This is your pie lid - set this aside on a floured baking tray.

Roll the rest into a circle big enough to cover the base of the tin and the walls.

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Lay this piece of pastry in the bottom of the tin and then push and squidge the dough up the sides with your hands as if moulding the inside of a pot.

The idea is to get the same thickness all around without any gaps or tears.

Constructing the Pie

Fill the pastry shell with the pork mix and pat down firmly. It should almost fill the tin, leaving a small border of pastry at the top. Brush this pastry border with beaten egg. Place the pastry lid you set aside earlier on top and squidge all around the edges, making sure you seal carefully.


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Poke a hole in the middle of the lid to let out steam and brush all over with beaten egg. Place the tin on top of the baking tray that the lid was on.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 180C, then lower the heat to 160C and bake for 90 minutes. The pie will look rocking by then - golden with caramelised bits on top.

Meanwhile reheat the jellied stock so it becomes liquid again. If it didn't set enough, boil vigorously for five minutes. If it's too hard, add a little water when heating.

When the pie's ready, stick a funnel in the hole you made in the pie lid and pour a little of the stock into this hole. Wait for the stock to be absorbed into the meat and then pour a little bit more in. Keep this process up until you (a) lose patience or (b) run out of stock.

Leave the pie to cool and then refrigerate to re-set the jelly. Slice and eat with some pickles. PICKLES!

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24 comments:

  1. You're not kidding when you call it a behemoth :-) Looks delish though, may have a go at making this when the other half is out of town.

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  2. Good Lord this is one heck of a pie!!! I love the combo of traditional and Asian flavours... I bet it tasted divine! I'd love to do mini versions of this... Thanks for the recipe x

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  3. @Michelle Peters-Jones - Nope, it's HUUUUGE :)

    @Dom at Belleau Kitchen - Oh do - use the jam jar technique to mould smaller pies :)

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  4. nom nom nom! I wish I had time to bake this year. It's gonna be post Xmas baking for me!

    Mmmmm... pork...... pie.

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  5. Looks good. I've been known to bake pork pies at Christmas, although stuck with the traditional Melton Mowbray.

    http://cookingthebooks.typepad.com/cooking_the_books/2008/11/melton-mowbray-pork-pie.html

    If you want to make free standing ones but they need support you can make a throw-away one by folding foil tills it a few layers thick and twisting it into a hoop.

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  6. It's bloody good that pie... I must have another go too, still got trottery stock in the freezer I can use.

    Yumyum...

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  7. Oh my God MiMi that looks so good. I will need to take a day off to make, bake and eat one. Brilliant post.

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  8. @Su-Lin - Post Christmas baking is just as good :)

    @Joshua - Ooh nice. Also - loving the Blue Peter advice - will try!

    @Josordoni - I found I had some leftover stock too which I had on noodles.

    @Oisin Rogers - Awww, thank you - is worth it x

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  9. That. Is. Amazing. Sod Christmas dinner, I want one of those!

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  10. That looks huge!! but you had me salivating at Asian Spiced Pork!

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  11. @Nick Baines - Hehe - do both!

    @Kaye @ChopstixtoSteaknives - I love those words too :)

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  12. You have saved me a slice of this pie haven't you?

    HAVEN'T YOU!

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  13. @food Urchin - You make me pie and mash, I make you pork pie.

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  14. Excellent! Pork pies all round. To make us nice and round.

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  15. That looks bloody amazing! x

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  16. That there is a...a...well, a phenomenon! It looks utterly gorgeous.

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  17. I've got such a yearning for pork pie after reading yours and Lizzie's recipes! Anything with star anise and Sichuan peppercorns gets my approval!!

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  18. I DO have a sugar thermometer... But I might make pie anyway. Looks yummilicious!

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  19. @Lizzie - Pork pie love :)

    @Suzler - Thank you x

    @Lisa - I'm going to send it to Ripley's Believe Or Not :P

    @Mr Noodles - Hehehe - we're trying to tempt you!

    @Miss Whiplash - Ooh, make marshmallows too!

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  20. Holy cow (or indeed pig) that's a pie worthy of Desperate Dan. I love the unorthodox spicing and am now considering whether you could do something similar with curry spices and game...

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  21. Oh my oh my that is one SERIOUSLY impressive looking pie. And now I know what I have to have for lunch.

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  22. @The Grubworm - Oh, that's a wicked idea! Curry puffs work well so that would too :)

    @tori - Pie is good for every meal :P

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  23. I keep coming back and looking at this pie. I really do need to make this soon. I am drooling on my keyboard. Love pie.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!