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How to Make a Melton Mowbray Style Pork Pie












Blighty's Tuck Store attracted a lot of attention recently when the Toronto Star newspaper published an article about Melton Mowbray pork pies and mentioned Blighty's as one of the Greater Toronto Area's vendors of such pies. In fact, we were top of the list. The pies in the store are made by a former Marks & Spencer owned company called Churchill Pies (how very British).

We have sold a huge quantity of Churchill brand Melton Mowbray style pork pies since the article in the Star was published. I eat them myself, but then I got to wondering just how difficult it would be to make my own. Actually, quite a bit of work is involved but I am quite proud of the result. Here is how to make your own pork pies:

Ingredients
  • Raised crust pie shell (see previous post on this blog)
  • 1/2 Kg pork, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sage
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne)
  • Pork stock (I used a Knorr Ham Stock cube)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Gelatin powder

Preparation
  • Make sure the pork is very finely chopped or ground
  • Mix with the sage, some salt and pepper and half a teaspoon of cayenne
  • Pack the meat into the pie shell. Be careful, the raised crust pastry shell is fragile before it is baked
  • Cover the pie with another piece of raised crust pastry and carefully seal all around the edges
  • Make a hole about a centimeter across in the centre of the pie lid and pour in some of the pork stock
  • Brush the pie crust with egg wash (beaten egg with a little water) and bake at 325F for 2 hours
  • When done, pour a little more stock with a small amount of gelatin mixed into it through the hole in the top of the pie
  • Cool overnight in the refrigerator

John's Notes
As you can see from the picture, I didn't pay too much attention to making the pie shell look elegant but the pastry really did turn out well. It tastes exactly like pork pie pastry should taste. I didn't chop my pork up finely enough so the texture of the pie filling is not as smooth as I expected. But the taste? Slightly different to commercial pork pies. I suspect my pie tastes a little different because I used very lean pork. Commercial pork pies tend to contain some fat.

Actually, I was surprised how lean the meat in Blighty's Churchill brand pork pies is. My memories of pork pies in the UK is that they were very fatty indeed. If you want to duplicate the taste of a real British pork pie try using a fattier cut of pork.

I also misread the recipe and added the gelatin before baking. Most of it bubbled out of the hole in the top of the pie while it was in the oven. By the time I realized my mistake I had already sliced the finished pie so it was too late.

One final note: Some customers have asked how to heat up pork pies. Aaaarrrgghh! Don't heat pork pies!!! Pork pies should be enjoyed cold with your choice of pickle.

4 comments:

  1. An afterthought. Why are these pies called "Melton Mowbray style"? Because they were originally made in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England. Under EC trading rules, the name "Melton Mowbray" is protected.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi John,
    Your recipes are great and really bring back the Britain I love. I was wondering if you have a recipe for Jam Rolly Polly ( not sure of the spelling) My Paternal Grandmother used to make it and serve it with Bird's Custard. I loved it as a child and would like to make it for my Grandsons now ( all 4 of them ! )
    Thank you,
    Jan in Woodstock
    jmatwey@sympatico.ca
    519-539-7361

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much it is a very good support, now to make a melton mowbray style pork pie is definitely easy utilizing your advice. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  4. Does anyone know the contact details for the Churchill Pie company please? Is that they name they trade under? I can't seem to find anything online.

    ReplyDelete