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This iconic symbol of Leicestershire has adorned many a luncheon table through out time right up the the present day. It has been enjoyed by both rich and poor alike uniting their passion for this savoury classic. It says a lot for a bit of pastry and minced pork!
- 300g pork belly
- 125g lean pork
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 × hotwater crust pastry
- For the aspic:
- 300ml pork, chicken or vegetable stock
- 6 leaves of sheet gelatine
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Make the hotwater crust pastry and let it rest while you make the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 160°c.
- Chop the lean pork into a fine dice and mince the pork belly.
- In a bowl combine the minced lean pork, minced pork belly and cayenne pepper. Then season it with salt & black pepper and put the pork mixture into the fridge.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge, cut off about a third of it to use for the lid and set it to one side. Then roll out the rest of the pastry to a thickness of about ½cm.
- Grease the inside of a pork pie tin with a little vegetable oil and then line the tin with the rolled out pastry.
- Put the pork filling into the pie tin and push it down tightly so that there are no air pockets (the pork mixture should come to just below the top of the tin). Then trim off the excess pastry.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to about ½cm to make the lid. Brush the edge of the pastry in the tin with cold water and then place the pastry for the lid on top of the pie and push it down to seal and tuck it in. Trim off the excess pastry and, using a fork, press down the sides to thoroughly seal it (and create a pretty pattern). Cut a steam vent into the top of the pie.
- Place the pie onto a baking tray and put it into the oven for 1½ hours. To check that it is cooked, stick a knife into it trough the vent in the top, the juices that run out should be clear and not red.
- To make the aspic, about 10 minutes before the pie is due to come out of the oven, heat up the stock so it has just come up to the boil and then remove it from the heat. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes until it is soft, then squeeze out the excess water and place the gelatine into the hot stock. Stir the stock until all the gelatine has dissolved and keep it to one side.
- When the pie comes out of the oven, either put a small funnel into the steam vent and carefully pour or, as we did, syringe the aspic into the cavity between the meat and the pastry at top of the pie. Fill it as much as possible and continue doing so every half hour until the pie has absorbed as much aspic as it can take. The aspic helps to preserve the filling. Place the pie into the fridge over night to set.
- Serve with salad and perhaps a generous blob of home made mayonnaise.