The Cottage Smallholder

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We made pork pies

homemade pork pieI’ve always wanted to have a go at making pork pies. I even bought a tiny funnel for adding the jelly a couple of years ago in the faint hope that I would have time to try over Christmas.

When The Chicken Lady admitted to a similar dream I retrieved the funnel from the depths of the equipment drawer and pounded up to the top of the village with some plain flour, a large block of lard and a couple of pork hocks with trotters.

My mum has given me her treasured farmer’s cookbook Farmhouse Fare (first published in 1946). So I took that too.

We found an ancient recipe that was a hundred years old in 1947 and tweaked the spices a bit. The pies were easy to make but getting the pastry off the moulds proved to be a bit of a tussle. Having popped them in the freezer, to speed up the process a bit, the moulds and pastry cases had become one.

We eventually made two large old fashioned pork pies which were chilled and ceremoniously cut last night. Filled with chopped pork and a good jelly the pies were guzzled as we smoked some back bacon and pork hocks in the inglenook.

These are light years away from the salty shop bought pork pies and very tasty. We reckon that we can improve them a bit more before sharing our recipe with the world.

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  1. Graham Charlesworth

    Metfield Bakery not only sell superb Pork Pies, on their website , Stuart Oetzmann gives his recipe for them.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sylvie

    These were fun to make and look great too – just like a pie from a Dickens novel. We are having another go in a couple of weeks time!

    Hi Becky

    Good luck!

    Hi Nicki

    Thanks for the tips much appreciated.

    Hi Hank

    Hopefully we will have the perfect recipe by November. I think that you’d enjoy a pork pie – good old fashioned food.

    Hi Drew

    Had a nose on your site to read about your book – great stuff! We’ve had good feedback on the pies already!

    Hi Richard

    Using your own pork would be perfect, of course. It was surprising how tender the meat is, considering it was made with hocks.

    Hi Jennie

    I must investigate the book in more depth, that hand cream sounds wonderful!

    I love cold game pie – must give it a go.

    Hi Amalee

    Perfect for a gardening packed lunch!

  3. amalee issa


  4. Jennie

    I have that book too – it is my BIBLE of farmhouse style cookery. I’ve made the pork pies too, but just the once, years ago. I do a hot water crust raised game pie (eaten cold) which is good though, especially at Christmas. If you ever want a superb handcream for those winter hands (when fingers crack from the cold), try the recipe for Elderflower facecream. I have never tried it on my face (or I would probably look about 10!) but it’s brill for chapped hands.

  5. Richard

    Mmmm. Pork Pies, my favourite.
    We have Stokes’s Award Winning Pork Pies locally – and they are fantastic…if a little pricey per kilo. (The price may be the incentive to have a go at homemade….but we’d need to get some pigs first).

  6. Drew Kime

    Please hurry with that recipe. As soon as I read “an ancient recipe that was a hundred years old in 1947” I knew I had to have it for the next edition of my book “How To Cook Like Your Grandmother” —

    The perfect thing about old cookbooks is they’re not obsessed with the latest nutritionist fad about not eating fat, or not eating carbs, or not eating *whatever* it is they’ve decided is going to kill us this week. Anything with “a large block of lard” is right up my alley.

  7. I’ve always been fascinated by the pork pie — it’s kind of a deluxe pasty, no? I have never screwed up my courage enough to attempt one, and as they are so filling, will not until at least November…we’re already getting heat here in California. Your pie looks picture-perfect, though! Nice when that happens, eh?

  8. I make pork pies every Christmas and they are worth the effort. It’s much easier to hand shape the suet crust if making small pies than trying to use a mould. For a larger pie cook in a spring-clip, loose bottom cake tin and take it out after cooking ( see either Delia or Nigella for more specific instructions). Hope this helps. Good luck with more pie making

  9. My boyfreind has been on at me for years to try making Pork Pies … this has given me the push to have a go.

  10. Sylvie

    You just can’t beat a good pork pie. I have thought about making my own some time too but have never quite been adventurous enough yet.

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