Miranda Gore Browne: "There is nothing I love more than a baking challenge and this felt like one straight off The Great British Bake Off. Make a cover shot pie, a pie to match a perfect world class Melton Mowbray, a showstopper of a pie with your own twist, a pie that no-one can resist. So I did my best and here it is…I hope you will give it a try."
- 600g shoulder of British pork (300g whizzed in food processor or mincer, 300g finely chopped)
- 150g smoked streaky bacon
- 80g of breadcrumbs
- Fresh herbs – I used sage, marjoram, thyme and some chives
- 1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp of juniper berries, crushed
- ½ tsp of white pepper
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- A good pinch of mace
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 1 organic chicken stock cube
- 6 leaves of gelatine or 1 x 12g sachet
- 1 pint of boiling water
For the pastry:
- 450g plain flour
- 450g strong white flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 300g lard
- 440ml water
- 1 egg, beaten, to brush on top
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- First prepare the filling. Use a pestle and mortar to crush the herbs and spices. Put into a large bowl with all of the other ingredients, cover with foil and put to one side while you make the pastry.
- To make the pastry, weigh and sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Put the water and lard into a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as it has boiled, remove from the heat.
- Pour the hot lard and water into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix together. Keep mixing and then put your hands in to knead in the last dry bits. The pastry should be warm and elastic like playdough.
- Take a large (7-inch minimum) deep and loose-bottomed cake tin. Break off about two thirds of the pastry and roll into a rough ball.
- Put this ball into the bottom of the cake tin.
- Use a glass, bottle or rolling pin to press down into the middle of the dough. Then use your hands and fingers to press and pull up the dough to make the base and sides of the pie. The pastry should cover all of the inside of the tin and overlap at the top – it will hang over a little. The pastry should be at least 1cm thick, patch any bits if the pastry has broken or torn.
- Stand the lined tin on a flat baking tray. Spoon the filling into the pastry case.
- Then take the remaining pastry and use a rolling pin to roll out a circle a little larger than the base of the tin. Dip your finger into a little water and run it around the pastry where it meets the top of the tin. Carefully lift on the circle of pastry and press and crimp to connect the pieces. Trim off any excess with a pair of kitchen scissors.
- Make two holes in the top with a sharp skewer – they need to be big enough to pour the liquid jelly through once cooked.
- Decorate the top with rolled out pieces of pastry (eg a Union flag as I've done) or leave plain. Use a little water to stick on any decorations.
- Put into the preheated oven to bake for 2½ hours, remove from the oven and brush the top with some beaten egg, return to the oven to go golden – this will take about 20-25 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn by checking regularly.
- Take it out of the oven and let it cool at room temperature for about an hour before adding the liquid jelly.
- Sprinkle the gelatine powder or melt the leaves according to the packet instructions. Then mix a stock cube in boiling water and pour into the gelatine. Make up to a pint with boiling water. Use a funnel or a jug to pour into the holes (you may need to reopen the holes with a skewer, if they have closed up while in the oven). Leave to cool and for the jelly to set for a couple of hours in the fridge.