(adapted from a Paul Hollywood recipe)
For the hot water crust pastry
- 265g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 55g strong white bread flour
- 55g unsalted butter, cubed
- 65g lard
- 1 tsp salt
- 135ml boiling water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for glazing
For the filling
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 380g pork loin, finely chopped
- 100g unsmoked back bacon, finely chopped
- sprinkle of mixed herbs (to taste)
- Sea salt and (lots of) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large or 2 small sheets of leaf gelatine
- ½ chicken stock cube
- 300ml boiling water
First make the pork filling. Put the onion, pork, bacon and parsley into a bowl with some salt and pepper and mix well. To check the seasoning of the mix, fry a tiny nugget of the mixture in a frying pan until cooked through. Leave to cool, then taste and adjust your mixture accordingly. Cover and set aside while you make the pastry.
For the hot water crust, put your flours into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips. Heat the lard in a pan until melted. Dissolve the salt in the boiling water, then add to the melted lard. Pour this liquid into the flour. Mix with a spoon then, as soon as it is cool enough, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and work together into a ball. Be careful that the dough is not too hot when you start to work it. Once the dough ball is formed, leave it to cool slightly. If it’s still lumpy, work it a minute or two longer. Divide the dough in two, making one piece slightly bigger than the other.
Working as quickly as you can, roll out the larger piece of dough to about 3mm thickness; it should be glossy and still warm enough to touch. Using an 11-12cm cutter, cut out 12 rounds to line the muffin moulds. Put them into the moulds, shaping to fit the sides. The pastry should come slightly above the rim of each mould. Roll out the other piece of dough and use a 6-7cm cutter to cut out 12 lids. Lift away the trimmings and re-roll the pastry if you need to cut more, but only once. As it cools, it stiffens and becomes more brittle.
Put a heaped tablespoonful of the filling into each pastry case. Use a chopstick or something similar to make a good-sized hole, about 5mm in diameter, in the middle of each pie lid. Brush the pastry case rims with beaten egg and place the lids on top. Crimp the edges together well to seal. Brush the pastry lids with beaten eggs. Bake the pies for 50 minutes until golden brown.
While the pies are in the oven, soften the gelatine in cold water to cover for 5 minutes or so. In a jug, dissolve the chicken stock cube in the boiling water. Drain the gelatine and squeeze to remove the excess liquid, then add to the stock and stir in completely dissolved.
When the pies come out of the oven, enlarge the holes in the top if necessary, then carefully pour in a little of the gelatine mixture. Leave the pies to cool and settle overnight before serving. Or once cool, chill for a couple hours.