British Recipes > Pork Pies

Pork pies are one of the traditional British hand - raised pies. Generally, pork pies are better known than Game Pies or Mutton Pies because they have become a commercial success and are in some cases mass produced. Bought Pork Pies have long featured at picnics and high tea.

Pork Pies are made with hot water pastry which involves boiling up the fat (usually lard) with water and adding this to the flour to form a dough. The dough is then "raised" or shaped around a mould or sometimes (probably more traditionally) no mould is used, wherein lies the skill.

Melton Mowbray Pies are not made with the help of a mould. The pastry case is then packed with chopped, highly seasoned pork and a lid is put on. After baking, stock is poured in through a hole in the lid. The stock sets around the meat to form the delicious "jelly" in the pie.

Originally pastry (or paste) was not intended to be eaten. It was merely a means of holding cooked meat. Gradually the art of pastry making emerged and today we tend to judge a Pork Pie or Cornish Pasty as much by the texture and taste of the pastry as by the filling.