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Author Notes: Pork pie is one of those extremely genius ideas that the Brits should get more credit for than they do. It's about as perfect a meal as they come: rich, flaky, deep-dish pastry encasing the most lovely combination of seasoned pork, apples, and onions imaginable. And, if you weren't convinced yet, there's bacon as well. Not to mention pouring hard cider over the whole thing, and adding some brown sugar and butter just for kicks.
Pork pie is also quite the practical food, as it tastes even better cold (!) the next day (!!). And if you want to eat less meat, or just be a bit more economical, you can use more apples and onions and less pork, or even add in some potatoes. The true-blue version, however, fulfills the "meat pie" description to a T, in that it contains meat and hardly anything else. I prefer a pie with about sixty percent meat, the other forty being apples, onions, and either bacon and/or ham for extra flavor.
This recipe is adapted from Theodora Fitzgibbon's wonderful series, A Taste of England in Food and Pictures.
Note: You can make this with regular piecrust as well; just use your largest pie-pan. —Kallie Hwang
- 1 1/2 pounds lean, cooked pork, cut into small cubes (boneless loin/tenderloin/ribs)
- 6 pieces bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- pinches salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup hard or regular apple cider
- Milk for brushing on top
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup lard
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Cut up pork, bacon, onion, and apples. Fry bacon until cooked; remove and fry onions in bacon grease until soft. Remove from heat; add bacon back to pan and mix.
- For dough, combine flour and salt in a large bowl; lightly grease a 10" springform pan. Bring the butter, lard, water and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring until butter and lard are melted. Pour mixture into bowl with flour and salt; mix quickly. If the mixture doesn't form a cohesive dough, add a bit more boiling water until it does. Then, use three-quarters of the dough to press and mold around the inside of the springform pan, going all the way up to the top and leaving a small overhang if possible.
- Preheat oven to 350. Roll out remaining dough to fit top; place, cut, and crimp. Cut one large or a few small vent holes; brush with milk. Bake pie for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, covering with foil for the first hour. Remove to wire rack to cool. Unmold carefully if you dare; if the pie isn't perfectly sealed, however, you may end up losing all the good juices!