Did you know we switch up our pies (sometimes even daily) at The Pigs depending on what we get from our local suppliers and what's 'growing on' in the Kitchen Garden? Here is one of our favourite pie variations that never disappoints – pork & cider, a classic pie recipe combo that feels like a hug from the inside out. Hearty pork, rich with subtle sweetness from the cider, this one will be a real crowdpleaser for the whole family!
Pork & Cider Pie Ingredients (makes 4 pies):
Makes 4 individual pies
600g (1lb 5oz) pork, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
80g (2¾oz) butter
80g (2¾oz)flour, plus extra for dusting
200ml (7floz) New Forest cider(or any medium/dry scrumpy)
500g (1lb 2oz) chicken stock
2 celery sticks, peeledand diced
2 onions, diced
2 leeks, slit open lengthways,then washed and sliced
3 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 pack shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C, 140°C fan (325°F), gas mark 3. You’ll need an ovenproof casserole dish with a lid to braise the meat. All the veg should be diced. The pieces don’t have to be exactly equal but it helps if they’re chopped to roughly the same size so they'll cook evenly
Season the diced pork with salt. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the diced pork and seal until golden brown.
In the casserole dish, melt the butter, then add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the cider. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. You just want it to thicken up and cook out the flour. Place the pork in the sauce and add the prepared veg, the garlic, herbs, mustard and seasoning. Cover with a lid – if you don’t have one, use a double layer of foil. Cook in the oven for 3 hours until the pork is tender, then spoon into 4 pie dishes. Leave about 1cm (½inch)space at the top of the dish.
Turn the oven up to 200°C, 180°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to5mm (¼inch) thickness and cut it out so it’s around1cm (½inch) larger than the top of the pie dish. With a pastry brush, coat the rim of the dish with the beaten egg. Gently lift the pastry over the pie mixture, pressing down onto the egg brushed around the edge. Any spare pastry can be used for decoration. We, of course, do pigs!
Once the pie lid is on, make a small hole in the middle to let the steam out, then bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Serve with boiled new potatoes and braised cabbage.