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How Do I Make ... ?
Pork Pie
Pork Pies, as well as most other types of pie are virtually impossible to find in Southeast China (Outside of Hong Kong of course), and specialist Western restaurants that make their own.

Pork Pies are fairly easy to make, although recipes can vary. However, do not expect the results to be a rosy pink, as with Butcher's own pork pies, these here will probably turn out gray in colour. Adding a little Saltpetre [Potassium nitrite (E249)] should solve this problem, that is if you want to add this dubious chemical to your mix?

Recipe Source:
Image: Rick Stein Rick Stein, Padstow, England  
Websites:
We actually found this recipe in a reply by Jennifer Bartholomew here: All Experts - British Cuisine where she adds her own tips.
Later we discovered the same recipe on the BBC food guide here

Rick Stein's own website is here: www.rickstein.com
We have the greatest respect for Rick both as a Chef, and as a person we have had direct contact with. We reproduce this recipe under Collective Commons licence, as it was freely available on the internet. Thank you Rick.
 
 

Quick Tips:

1. When adding the jelly, be patient and by adding a little at a time, continue until the casing is completely filled. This can take a long time! A small funnel may make this easier (China Expats).
2. Tom Stanley recommends you make the jelly the day before and set aside somewhere cool. This improves the taste dramatically!
3. You can also make a nice jelly from tinned stock and gelatin rather than boiling pig's trotters to get it (Jennifer Bartholomew).
4. Most recipes given make one large pork pie. You can use muffin casings to make individual ones instead (Delia Smith).
5. For a hard side crust and base, simply remove pies from casings and place on greaseproof paper, then return to the oven for the final cooking (Delia Smith).
Let's get started:- Rick Stein's Pork Pie
Ingredients: Image: Individual Pork Pies

Image: Pork Pie
 
For the jelly:
900g/2lb pork bones
1 pig's trotter
1 carrot
1 onion
1 bouquet garni (celery, bay leaf, thyme and parsley)
12 black peppercorns
4 cloves

For the filling:
1.2kg/2½ lb boned pork shoulder
225g/8oz lean bacon
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2.5ml/½ tsp each ground mace, freshly grated nutmeg and ground allspice
2 tsp anchovy essence
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry:
450g/1lb plain flour
1 tsp salt
275g/10oz chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
2-3 tbsp cold water
Method
The Jelly:
1. For the jelly, put all of the jelly ingredients into a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for three hours.
2. Strain through a very fine sieve into a clean pan and boil vigorously until reduced to 600ml/1 pint. Season to taste and leave to cool.

The Filling:
3. To make the filling, cut the pork and bacon into 1cm/½in pieces. Put half of the pork and 55g/2oz of the bacon into a food processor and process using the pulse button until coarsely chopped.
4. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the rest of the diced pork, bacon herbs, spices, anchovy essence, one teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
5. Fry a little piece of the mixture in sunflower oil, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

The Pastry:
6. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a food processor or mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
7. Beat 2 of the whole eggs with the egg yolk and water and gradually stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. Knead briefly until smooth then cut off one third of the mixture and set it aside for the lid.
8. Roll out the larger piece and use to line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in clip-sided cake tin, leaving the excess pastry overhanging the edges.
9. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Make the Pie:
10. To assemble the pie, spoon the pork filling into the pastry-lined tin and slightly round the top of the mixture to give the finished pie a nice shape.
11. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to cover the top of the pie.
12. Cut a small hole into the centre of the lid with a small ovenproof pastry cutter, remove the plug of pastry and leave the cutter in place to retain the hole during baking.
13. Brush with more beaten egg and decorate with a twisted rope of pastry and pastry leaves. Brush the top with any remaining beaten egg.
14. Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and continue to cook for a further 1½ hours, loosely covering the pie with a triple-thickness sheet of greaseproof paper once it is nicely browned.

Add the Jelly:
15. Finally, remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool for 2 hours. Then warm through the jelly and pour into the pie through the hole in the top. Remove cutter used to make the hole in the top. Leave to go cold overnight.
 
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Reader Comments:
Message from Tom Stanley:
12.12.2010 @ 15.29
Hi there- As you may know, I am not an ex pat but i found your site while looking for a super duper recipe for a genuine curry sauce and yours is just the job. I also looked with interest at the bit from rick stein on the pork pie recipe(not his recipe tho-another one he stole!)I would like to add my tuppenceworth if you don't mind. My tip is to make the pies at roughly half the size that stein recommends and, here is the best bit; in order to eat them at their best, make your jelly well in advance of the pies (maybe the previous day)and; once your pies are ready; heat the jelly and pour only a small amount into the pie-leave for 5 mins. then try not to eat the whole lot-i dare you!

Just as an addendum, i would like to say that i originally got the idea to do this with pork pies after i'd bought and tasted some fantastic little minced beef pies made in a similar fashion but i don't have a recipe for them. Perhaps you might cast your internet and see if anyone has. good luck and seasons greetings to you and yours. Tom.
 
Additional Recipes and Information:
Image: All Experts Logo This is where we originally found the above recipe contributed by Jennifer Bartholomew. Jennifer is a chef from London, England, who is keen on preserving traditional English cuisine. The website offers additional tips for making Rick's recipe.
 
Image: Videojug Logo This website offers an excellent video walkthrough ideal for first-timer's. The recipe given is also slightly different, as they use a composite jelly mix instead of boiling pig's trotters. The other ingredients also vary slightly, and are aimed at reproducing a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
 
Image: Hub UK Logo Another interesting website that gives a lot of historical information concerning pork pies. The recipe is also different again, and whilst similar to those above, may suit beginners rather than connoisseurs better. There is also an entertaining paragraph in Cockney rhyming slang.
 
Image: Hub UK Logo Delia offers yet another recipe, this time aimed at making individual pork pies using a muffin tin. One major difference appears to be that the cooking time is reduced, although there is slightly more preparation time.

It is well worth reading Delia's method, as she offers several very useful tips, together with the ones we have reproduced here. However, this recipe does not include jelly - which we consider to be a fundamental ingredient of a good pork pie.
China Expats Summary:
We would recommend you stick with Rick Stein's excellent recipe, and interpolate from the other sources listed here, which offer their own unique insights into the art of pork pie making. We made individual pies ourselves, and added a hint of salt to the final jelly before filling the pies. This really made the jelly taste great! However, it really is worth making the jelly from pig's trotters.
Once you have mastered the basic recipe, why not try adding other meats - as can be found displayed in a good Butcher's Shop and some supermarkets? You can also put a hard boiled egg in the middle of larger pies. Some recipes advocate making the pastry with milk, but we suggest you do not. You can use a smear of lard to line the casings for a real country pork pie taste, especially useful if browning all crusts as in Delia's method.
You will definitely need some form of oven to cook this dish. Whilst not easy to find in China, most larger supermarkets and electrical retailers will supply something suitable. However, please ensure you get one with a temperature control, and that heats to 200 degrees C. If you have the luxury of choice, we recommend you buy one that heats from the bottom, not the top. Otherwise preheat a slab of marble or granite, and place the cooking vessel on this. Cover the top as necessary to prevent burning in top heated cookers. Otherwise we found all the ingredients in Chinese supermarkets and wet markets in Foshan City.
These pies are fresh and without preservatives, therefore keep them refrigerated and expect to eat them within a couple of days. We presume you can freeze them?
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals. In addition we personally wish to thank Rick Stein for sharing with us all his excellent skills and recipe.
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