Saturday, 7 May 2016

Homemade Raised Pork Pie

Football fans the world over will be rejoicing today when Leicester City Football Club are presented with the Premier League trophy and are crowned champions of England. With odds of 5000-1 at the start of the season it has truly been an epic and historical journey, today is great day for English football. Coincidentally we are staying on a small CS site in Leicestershire so in celebration I have made a Pork Pie. The world-famous pork pie has it's home in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire so I cannot think of a more apt celebration of Leicestershire's greatness.

I cannot take the credit for this recipe as it is taken from The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Every year at Christmas my great mate Pete would make a batch of these pies and we would always look forward to sampling his creations on Pork Pie Day. Pete used to be a chef in the RAF and a lot of my inspirations to cook came from our long chats over a beer or two. Sadly Pete is no longer with us but I like to think he would be proud of my attempt at the humble Pork Pie, maybe I'll make one at Christmas.


1kg Pork shoulder, hand cut into small cubes
250g Sausage meat
250g Bacon, diced
12x Sage leaves, finely chopped
1tsp Thyme leaves, finely chopped
1tsp Salt
1tsp Black pepper
1tsp White pepper
1/2tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2tsp Mace powder
250ml Stock
2x Bottles of beer

For the pastry:
100g Lard
100g Butter
200ml Water
550g Plain flour
1tsp salt
3x Eggs, 2 for the pastry and 1 to glaze


1. In a saucepan warm the water, butter, lard and salt until it has all melted then take off the heat.
2. Put the flour and 2 beaten eggs into a mixing bowl and stir until combined.
3. Pour in the melted fatty water and mix then knead to make a warm soft dough. Cover in cling film and pop it in the fridge for an hour.
4. Sit down, put your feet up, enjoy drinking a bottle of beer.
5. In your mixing bowl add all the meat, herbs and seasonings and combine well.
6. Cut off 1/4 of your pastry and leave it in the fridge then with the remaining 3/4 line a cake tin (I used a 21cm tin). Simply work the pastry with your fingers, flattening it and poking into the edges until the tin is evenly lined.
7. Its not hard this bit, put the meat into the pie.
8. Brush the edges of the pastry with a bit of egg then roll out the remaining 1/4 of pastry and lay it on top of the pie. Crimp the edges with your fingertips and cut off any excess, also cut a small hole in the centre of the lid.
9. Bake in the oven on gas mark 4 for 30 minutes then turn down to gas mark 3 for a further 75 minutes.
10. Sit down again and have another beer.
11. Remove from the oven and remove the pie from the tin. Brush the beaten egg over the top and sides and pop it back in the oven for a further 15 minutes so the glaze sets.
12. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
13. Warm your stock and gelatine in a saucepan then pour it into the small hole in the centre of the lid. Use a small funnel, turkey baster or flavour injector and slowly fill until the pie is full to the brim.
14. When cool put the pie in the fridge. Serve it cold with English mustard, it cannot be beat.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Yorkshire Savoury Ducks

Most people in the South of the UK will probably be thinking "what on earth is a savoury duck?". A savoury duck is what the endearing folk oop north call a faggot. It does get a bit confusing though because there is absolutely no duck meat whatsoever in a faggot as it is usually made from pork off-cuts and offal.

Traditional faggots, sorry savoury ducks, are wrapped in caul fat, which is like a spiders web of fat that surrounds the internal organs of the beast. You can see some pictures of caul fat by clicking here. Now caul fat is not something you will get in your local supermarket, indeed a butcher will probably have to order it in unless you get your meat direct from the abattoir, and as it is our last day on holiday here in Yorkshire I have a cat in hell's chance of getting some. We are staying on t' moors so it is kind of appropriate that my savoury ducks are not made from pork but lamb instead (just to add more confusion to the pot).


500g Lamb mince
160g Lamb liver
4x Anchovy fillets, chopped
1x Small onion, finely diced
1x tbsp Fresh oregano (you can use dried but use a little less)
1x Slice bread, leave it out to go stale then grate into crumbs
1x Garlic clove, crushed
1x Egg


1. Mix all the ingredients together and form 16 round savoury ducks in your hands.
2. Place the ducks in a roasting tin and pop in a preheated gas mark 4 oven for about 40 minutes, turning half way through.
3. Plate up with mushy peas, mash and onion gravy.

Onion Gravy Recipe:
(also available here)


2x Large red onions, sliced
1x tsp Sugar
1x tbsp Plain flour
1x Lamb stock cube, made up with 500ml hot water
2x tsp Marmite
Oil for frying


1. On a low heat on the hob cook the onions and sugar until caramelised, for about 25-30 minutes.
2. Stir in the flour and cook through for another couple of minutes.
3. Add the Marmite and stock then bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals

Fat rascals are a type of fruit scone that originated in Yorkshire in the 1800's. Traditionally they are topped with almonds and cherries but as Mrs Larry doesn't like almonds, and isn't particularly fond of cherries either, I've topped mine with left over cranberries from our Wensleydale and Cranberry Mash the other night. As the name suggests the scones are full of a big blob of fat in the form of lard but if you are a vegetarian please substitute the lard with an equal amount of butter. I don't often bake cakes as we could easily be a bunch of fat rascals ourselves, but these are 'reight tasty' and were well worth doing as a holiday treat. We are in Yorkshire after all.


150g Plain flour
150g Self raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
65g Lard, diced
65g Butter (unsalted), diced
150g Dried fruit mix
1/2tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2tsp Nutmeg powder
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
100g Caster sugar
50ml Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
Dried cranberries


1. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. Add the butter and lard and work it through the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Pour in one of the beaten eggs and the milk followed by the dried fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon and orange zest, and sugar. Mix well.
4. Pull the dough apart into 6 large pieces (or 8 smaller) and form into rascals with your hand.
5. Place the rascals on some grease proof paper on a baking tray then brush the tops with the remaining egg.
6. Finish off with a sprinkling of cranberries then pop in a gas mark 6 preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Watch the temperature of that caravan oven though as the tops of the rascals can easily burn with the bottoms remaining a bit soggy.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with real butter.

They will be quite crumbly when served hot from the oven but if you allow to cool they will take on a denser texture, just like cold scones.