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The Hirshon Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • 2 ¼ pounds boned pork shoulder, reserve bones for stock
  • 9 ounces pork belly
  • 9 ounces streaky bacon
  • 2 bushy sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sage leaves
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 good pinches ground nutmeg
  • 6 fillets of anchovy, Ortiz brand strongly preferred
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
  • ***
  • For the pastry:
  • 200g lard
  • 220g water
  • 575g flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 8 inch/20cm cake tin
  • ***
  • For the stock:
  • bones from the pork
  • 2 pig’s trotters, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small carrot, cut into pieces
  • 1 small bunch of parsley stalks
  • 1 rib of celery, cut in half
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • Water to cover


  1. Make the filling:
  2. You need to chop ½ the pork into small cubes, about 5mm in size. Blitz the other ½ of the pork and the anchovies briefly in the food processor.
  3. Finely chop the bacon.
  4. Remove the thyme leaves from their stems, add the sage leaves and chop both finely. Mix the herbs into the chopped meats together with the spices and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Make the pastry
  6. Put the lard and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Sift the flour with a good pinch of salt into a large bowl. Pour the hot lard and water into the flour, mix with a wooden spoon, then leave until cool enough to handle. The pastry must be warm when you start to work it.
  7. Set the oven at 350F/180C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease and flour a cake tin with a removable bottom.
  8. Pull off a quarter of the pastry and roll it into a lid that will fit the top of the cake tin.
  9. Roll the remaining pastry to fit the base of the tin.
  10. Lay it in the bottom, then firmly push the dough up the sides with your hands. It should spread quite easily. If it slides down, leave it to cool a bit more.
  11. Make certain there are no holes or tears. This is crucial, as the jelly will leak out. Spoon the pork filling into the lined cake tin and press it down. It should come almost to the top of the pastry.
  12. Brush the edges of the pastry above the meat with beaten egg. Lower the lid into place and press tightly to seal with the edges.
  13. Poke a small hole in the lid to let out the steam and put the tin on a baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 320F/160C/gas mark 3 and bake for 90 minutes until the pastry is pale gold. Brush with the beaten egg and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Make the stock:
  16. The day before you make the pie, put the bones into a deep saucepan with the stock ingredients.
  17. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave the liquid to cook for an hour, watching the water level carefully and topping up where necessary.
  18. Remove from the heat, decant the liquid into a bowl and leave to cool.
  19. Refrigerate overnight. If it has set very firmly, simply remove the fat from the top of the stock, transfer to a saucepan and bring to the boil. If it is still on the runny side, then remove the fat as before, pour into a saucepan and boil hard until it is reduced to about 400ml.
  20. Season carefully with salt.
  21. When the pie is ready, pour the stock into a jug and then pour it carefully through the hole in the top of the pastry. A funnel is invaluable here.
  22. Leave the pie to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature with good English mustard on the side and perhaps a bit of Major Grey’s chutney.
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