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Easy pork pies
snacks and sides | serves 8 as part of a spread (makes 4 small or 2 big pies)
These pies are so satisfying to make. The pastry is easy, as is the filling (just good pork sausages, the coarser the better) - the only effort involved is in making the frilly edges! You can make these pies in any small, round dishes you have, but straight-sided ramekins work best.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. In a pan, heat some olive oil and sweat the onions. After 3 minutes, add the thyme, cook for 2–3 minutes, or till soft and sweet, then take off the heat.
2. Put the lard into a saucepan with 250ml water and a teaspoon of salt, and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a bowl, then make a well in the middle. Pour in lard mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Leave till it’s cool enough to handle but still warm.
3. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 equal balls. Take a quarter of each ball and wrap it in clingfilm. Roll out the bigger bits of pastry until you have circles to line your ramekins, with a little over. Gently tuck a pastry circle into each ramekin, making sure you push it into the bottom of the ramekin so there are no air pockets. Trim the pastry so it just hangs over the top edge.
4. Pop the sausages out of their skins and mix the meat with the cooled onions, allspice and a good grating of nutmeg, then season well with salt and pepper. Divide between ramekins, pressing right down to make sure that they’re well filled.
5. Roll out the reserved pastry to be just larger than the ramekin tops. Brush the pastry around the top of a ramekin with beaten egg then place a pastry circle on top. Press down around the edges to seal, then trim off any excess, use your finger and thumb to pinch the pastry together and crimp it into little waves. Use a small knife to cut 1cm-diameter circles in the middle of each top – it’s easiest to turn the ramekin and keep the knife still.
6. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then loosen around the edges with a knife. Covering your hands with tea towels, carefully ease the pies from the dishes, put back on the tray and brush with beaten egg. Put back into the oven, covering the tops with foil if you don’t want them to get too brown. After 20 minutes, your pies should be done. Cool completely before serving.
Recipe Anna Jones
Photo Myles New
from Issue 4
ingredients• Olive oil
• 1 red onion, finely chopped
• A few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
• 6 (approx 400g) best-quality English-style pork sausages
• A pinch of ground allspice
• Freshly ground nutmeg
• 1 egg, beaten
• 150g lard or butter
• 500g plain flour