This Pork, Egg and Ham Pie (very similar to a Gala Pie) is a very versatile pie which is great to eat in any season or on any occasion, Christmas, Easter or Summer Picnics etc. It is also a pie which you can make your own. Add in a few personal touches, depending on the season and the local availability of ingredients, like chopped apricots, wild mushrooms, green chili, or roasted red peppers etc.
The onions in the pie filling sweeten the pie, complimenting the herbs, Worcestershire Sauce and pork meat, but if more than a small onion is used the taste of onion will start to dominate. The egg is a bundle of savoury joy next to the sweetness of the meat filling; while the pastry, using the very reliable hot water-crust recipe, is predictably tasty and substantial, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Pork, Egg & Ham Pie Recipe
When choosing sausages for the sausage meat choose your favourite brand, make or style. I am using 4 award winning pork sausages from my local butcher, but I also favour good quality Lincolnshire Sausages, highly spiced and herbed.
Note on the Jelly: In this particular pie you do not have to add an aspic ‘jelly’ if you do not want to, being made in a terrine or tin you can pack the meat and pastry in tight so there are few gaps when it bakes: however, a warm stock (to form the clear jelly) is added to a traditional pork pie filling after baking, it is added because the meat expands during cooking and shrinks on cooling, leaving a gap under the pie lid. The addition of the jelly after baking fills this airspace created, which helps preserve the pie and keep it moist. You can make a simple pork stock for the aspic jelly or you can make a home-made one: Pork Stock & Jelly Masterclass.
FOR THE PIE FILLING
- 5 eggs
- 400g minced pork
- 250g good-quality pork sausage meat (or remove the skins from 4 quality sausages)
- 140g cooked or boiled ham, chopped into small chunks
- small handful of fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
- optional – some chopped dried fruits (dates or apricots etc.)
- optional – some fine diced red peppers
FOR THE PASTRY
- 120g lard
- 450g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp milk
- 150ml water
- 1 egg yolk, beaten for wash
OPTIONAL – A STOCK FOR THE JELLY
Make the Pastry:
To make the pastry sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Put the lard and milk into a saucepan with the water, then heat until the lard has completely melted. Pour this hot liquid into the flour and beat together with a wooden spoon until combined, forming a soft, pliable ball of dough.
Leave to cool while you make the pie filling, but during this time come back to it and knead it between your hands once or twice. This pastry must be used whilst still room temperature, otherwise it will become brittle and hard.
Make The Pie Filling:
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then boil the eggs for 7 minutes. Cool in cold water, peel and then set aside.
Tip the minced pork, sausage meat (remove and discard the skins if using sausages) chopped ham, sage and finely diced onion into a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper and add a few good shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Mix well with your hands and between your fingers until completely combined. Roll the meat filling up into a ball and leave in the bowl.
Lightly oil or grease a large 1.5 litre (2 pint) terrine dish (or even a 2lb loaf tin). Cut down to size a piece of baking parchment to fit the bottom and up the long sides of the terrine dish, with some hanging over the edge.
Take about two-thirds of the pastry dough and roll it out on a floured work surface into a thick rectangle, (roughly the width and length of the dish). Lay the dough into the terrine and, using your fingers, press it into the bottom, the corners and up the sides of the dish until the pastry comes to the top and hangs over the rim a little. Take a little time and care while doing this and make a neat job of it.
Take just over half the meat mixture and pat it into a shape that will fit the terrine dish, then lay it in, covering the pastry base. Use your fingers to make a trench down the middle of the meat filling and bring it up at the sides.
Use a knife to neatly trim the tops and bottoms off the prepared boiled eggs, then lay them in a row along the trench. Trimming the eggs like this ensures that each slice of pie will contain both egg white and yolk.
Take the rest of the pie meat mixture, pat it out to a rectangle that will fit over the eggs, and press it over the top. Brush the overhang of the pastry with a little beaten egg, then roll out the rest of the pastry to fit over the pie to form a lid.
Cover the pie with the pastry lid, push it down into the pie tin and tightly around the pie filling. Pinch edges of the pastry lid and the pastry overhang (from the base) together to seal the pie. Take a knife and go around the sides of the pie tin cleaning the pastry up. You can use up any left over pastry to make pastry pie leaves and other shapes etc. to go on the pie lid.
Brush the pie top generously with the beaten egg yolk and make a steam hole in the centre of the pie pastry lid. The stock to make the jelly will be poured in through this hole after the pie is baked.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the pie in its tin on a baking sheet (to catch any liquid from the pie as it bakes) and bake for 30 minutes at 200C. Then lower the heat to 160C and continue to cook for another hour and a half. After an hour and a half pull the pie out of the oven and leave to cool.
Once the pie has cooled to a room temperature slowly pour the warm liquid stock (to make the aspic jelly) into the steam hole in the pie lid – until the liquid comes to the top. Place the pie (in its tin / terrine dish) on a plate and put it in the fridge until the jelly has settled, then repeat once more. Depending on how much of a gap there is under the pie lid you will use more or less of the stock.
Leave the pie covered to set in the fridge overnight. The next day pull the pie out of the pie tin or terrine, using the baking parchment overhang, and serve the pie, cutting it into thick slices.