Melton Mowbray Pie

melton mowbray pie
The good thing about Melton Mowbray is not only that it sounds like a place in Leicestershire, it actually is a place in Leicestershire. It’s also modifies the noun ‘pie’ to make a pie from said town that uses fresh rather than cured pork. The addition of eggs makes it a ‘gala’ pork pie and if the first thing you thought of was Dali’s wife, you’ll probably enjoy this.

Melton Mowbray pie has EU Protection of Desginated Orgin protection so this, technically, isn’t that.

The model recipe I used is the V-Tol Veal Ham and Egg Pie Recipe, which was made by Gordon Bedson, who also designed aircraft and the Mackson. Anyone like to drive a car built by Nigella Lawson? Didn’t think so.

The recipe isn’t hard but it does require doing several different things correctly. They are – making a hot water paste, boiling some meat, boiling eggs and making a jelly. The V-tol recipe explains the technical details well.

As I was using fresh pork (a bit of fillet) rather than ham, to bump up the flavour I marinated it for a few hours in white wine and a mix of bay leaf, thyme, parsley, rosemary, juniper berries and peppercorns.

The pork went into a saucepan with the marinade and herbs along with a small rack of veal and a pig’s trotter. It was then filled with water to cover and simmered for 30 minutes – skimming as necessary. After removing the pork, I kept the veal bones and the pig’s trotter in there to make a heartier stock and boost the natural gelatine. I let it simmer for another 30 minutes before filtering the stock in a seive with some paper towel in it and then reducing the filtered stock to just two cups.

By this stage you should have a pile of cubed pork and veal. Allow it to cool.

Take the reduced stock and add a leaf of gelatine that you’ve dissolved in a little heated sherry and white wine (actually it might have been calvados and white wine but I can’t remember).

Make the hot paste. It’s actually very similar to a choux pastry but with lard instead of butter, and no eggs in it. The boiling water/lard combo smells, but kneading the warm fluid dough to smoothness is surprisingly relaxing. Roll out and line a greased springform pan with it – reserving some dough for the top of the pie.

Boil the eggs – 10 minutes in boiling salted water and cool them under cold running water to stop the cooking.

So… a covering layer of meat, then encircle the eggs around the middle and fill with meat. Place pastry on top, seal the edges with a back of a spoon. Decorate suitably with the excess pastry and brush with an egg wash. It’s important to make a couple of breathing holes. Put a foil trumpet in them to allow steam to escape while cooking. These holes become useful later.

Place it all in a 200C oven for 80 minutes – just keep an eye on it to make sure the pastry doesn’t burn.

Now you just need to pour the stock into the pie via the breathing holes. It’ll take a couple of goes as it settles. Leave the pie in the fridge to cool and then serve as part of a low maintenance all meat cold buffet as illustrated below.

cold buffet

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11 comments

  1. santos.’s avatar

    that's the most reading i've done this year. i would personally love to drive a car built by nigella lawson; you know it will have 36" headlights and trunk so roomy you could fill it with a thrift shop.

    1 cup of water to 3/4ths cup lard equals dough not scary paste? i can't find lard here (oh i have tried), could you suggest a decent substitute? and don't say duck fat.

    i thought melton mowbray won the 1956 men's doubles at wimbledon.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    It's the most writing I've done all year. Mmmmm high beam.

    It is scary. I've seen margarine as a substitute but margarine is that kind of automatic recipe turnoff like "1 can of cream of mushroom soup". You could always render your own but it looks like one for the http://www.ehow.com/how_4687381_render-lard-kitchen.html
    What about asking that friend of yours that wers bags of pork scratchings.

    Melton "Mellotron" Mowbray played keyboard for the Dave Clark Five.

  3. Jeanne’s avatar

    Vintage Spiceblog. This amount of text is why I first started visiting ;-)

    Love the YouTube clip & the buffet table looked spactacular!

  4. Ted Nugent’s avatar

    I think Melton Mowbray is a queer. But his pies, and his pal s 5 kick ass. So God bless him.

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Jeanne! Once I found out that words were free on the internet, it was one big all you can eat prolix buffet.

    Dali, he makes a mean holiday flick.

    Ted! I've on good authority that Melton's had more women than you've had hit singles.

  6. Gracianne’s avatar

    Oh, my favorite British recipe. Impressive! I tried making mini pork pies once, they were quite tasty though a bit dry.
    Love the video. I have a cat called Gala.

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    I made mini pork pies but found the gearbox a little on the crunchy side.

  8. jason’s avatar

    Wow that meal [banquet] looks truly epic.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    [supper]

  10. Nakku’s avatar

    Damn. Prepare yourself for a proposal of marriage from my dad.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    Does he have a suitable dowry?

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