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Author Notes: The english love picnics and these mini pies are perfect for packing in a picnic. They last for ages, travel well and easy to eat! —Celine
- 160 grams lard
- 450 grams plain flour
- 200 milliliters water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 piece egg beaten
- 200 grams thick cut streaky bacon, known as ventriche in French.
- 200 grams chicken breast
- 500 grams gammon
- 1 teaspoon parsley, tarragon, chives & pepper
- So firstly, pre-heat your oven to 200c. Use a loaf tin sized 12cmx22cmx7cm and one that tapers down or smaller tins for mini pies 4.5cmx7.5cmx3cm. The small tins are very fiddly but be patient and don't rush. I've used the mini tins which are metal tins but you could try a rubber mould, just be aware this is a heavy bake, so you don't want a mould that will give way. I tried a larger and it really doesn't work, so try to keep to these sizes.
- Then prepare your filling. Cut the chicken, bacon & gammon into bite size pieces. Remove rind, bone and excess fats. Add herbs & pepper.
- In a saucepan add the salt, lard & water and bring to a boil.
- Once the lard & water boils, add to the flour mix. It will sizzle. Then work quickly with a wooden spoon to bring the pastry together.
- Flour your worktop. Roll out the pastry quickly about 1 cm thick and then gently lift into your tin. It will stay warm for a while so you can work it properly and make sure you have no holes and it's all evenly distributed. Overlap the pastry at the top of the tin, you will need this to seal it later. Then fill with your meat cuts, pressing down as you go. DO NOT break the pastry as you work it with the filling (cut your finger nails)
- The filling should fill just shy of the top, don't over fill it. Brush the top edges of the pastry with the egg wash, do spend time doing this properly, no need to rush at this point. I tried some pies where I rushed this part and the pie was a disaster, so really seal this pie and you won't have any problems, you do not want this pie to leak while cooking.
- Then roll out the remaining pastry and lay over the top. Make a hole in the top. Press the edges to seal, trim the edge with a knife and then use a fork to press the edges together. Looks nice too!
- Place on the middle shelf at 200c for 30mins. The top will get brown quickly but don't worry it won't burn. Then turn the heat down to 180c and cook for a further 30 mins. Once cooked, these mini pies will pop out of the tin, so egg wash the outside and put back for 20mins.
- Take out of the oven and let it cool in the tin.