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Martha's hog roast picnic pie
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750g pork belly, skin on
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 eating apple, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ x 20g pack sage, leaves only, finely chopped
250g strong white bread flour
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6 and line a 900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment to make the pie easier to remove later.
2. Use a sharp knife to cut the skin from the pork belly and thinly slice it into strips. Arrange on baking tray, skin side up (ideally a roasting tin with a wire rack to catch the fat) and season with sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and blistered, then allow to cool on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb excess grease. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC, gas mark 3.
3. Finely chop the pork belly meat and place into a large mixing bowl with the sausagemeat. Fry the onion in the olive oil until softened, then add in the chopped apple and brown sugar, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool briefly.
4. Add the onion and apple mixture to the pork, and season well with salt, pepper and the chopped sage. Mix together until really well combined, then set aside.
5. To make the pastry, place the lard and salt into a small pan with 250ml water, and warm over a medium heat until the water is boiling and the fat has melted. Meanwhile, weigh the flours into a large bowl. Pour the boiling mixture into the flour and stir until a dough comes together.
6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth. You will need to move quickly, because as the dough cools it becomes more difficult to work with.
7. Take two-thirds of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface to a large rectangle. If you place the tin in the centre, there should be enough pastry to come all the way up its sides. Use your fingers to mould the pastry into the tin, pressing it right into the corners. If any gaps form, or the pastry looks too thin, take a small ball of excess dough to patch it up. Allow the pastry at the top to overhang at this point.
8. Fill the case tightly with the pork mixture, pressing firmly so there are no gaps, right up to the top. Use a sharp knife to cut the pork crackling into a chunky powder and sprinkle half over the top of the pork mixture.
9. Roll out the remaining pastry into a rectangle and cut into even-width strips. Brush the pastry round the edges of the pie with beaten egg and lay the strips on the top in a neat lattice. Use your fingers to press the strips onto the pie, making sure you get a really good seal. Use a sharp knife to trim any excess pastry from the edges.
10. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and bake in the centre of the oven for 1½-2 hours. If the pastry starts to colour too much, cover it with foil and continue to bake so the inside is properly cooked with no pink meat and the juices run clear. Halfway through cooking, brush the top with more beaten egg and sprinkle with the remaining crackling dust.
11. When the pastry is golden and the inside thoroughly cooked, allow the pie to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes, then carefully lift it out using the strip of baking parchment to help. Move the pie onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving with apple sauce.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in June 2019.