Pork pie and variants

A colleague of mine was asked to supply a porkpie “wedding cake”. As you can see from the photo, each tier is different from the others. We have pork and game, traditional pork and pork with fruit and a collection of small traditional pork.
Here is the recipe I use for a good, meaty traditional pie suitable for a 4 inch pietin.
250g broken pork bones and pigs trotters
1 onion
Bouquet garni
600ml water
Make the jelly the day before by putting all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
Strain and allow to cool.
Place in the fridge and allow it to set. When it has set, you can skim off the fat.
250g cubed pork: mixed lean and belly
4 rashers bacon sliced
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Take the jelly from the fridge.
Put the cubed pork and bacon into a bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Set aside to marinade while you make the pastry.
100ml milk
125g lard
250g plain flour
Pinch salt
30ml water
1 beaten egg
Warm the milk and half the lard over a low heat and leave to cool.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Cut the remaining lard into small pieces and gently rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the cooled milk mixture. Mix together to make a pliable dough.
Assembly of the pie
Preheat the oven to 180C
Divide the dough into two pieces, one larger than the other.
Roll out the larger and line the pie tin easing it around the sides and drape the excess dough over the sides.
Spoon in the pork mixture.
Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make the lid. Cut off the excess pastry and seal the edges of the pastry by pinching together.
Make a small hole in the centre of the lid, brush with beaten egg and bake on a baking tray for one hour.
Turn down the heat to 160 C and cover with a piece of damp greaseproof paper and bake for another hour.
Remove from oven and, when cool, pour in the jelly which you can warm over some boiling water.
Place the pie in the fridge to set.
For a game pie, substitute 60-80% of the pork with chopped mixed game. Try adding various dried fruit such as apricot or raisins smoked in port!


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