The Olympics are a couple of weeks away. We are a fairly realistic bunch on this funny little archipelago in the North Eastern Atlantic. We are doing our best but are not trying to compete with the awesome power of the Chinese opening ceremony of 2008 or the perfect weather in Australia in 2000.
But we are obsessing about our Games. And our obsession is all about what happens afterwards. What’s the legacy? What does that even mean? Well on TV at the moment is a programme called Twenty Twelve which essentially rips two shades out of the ‘Tristrams’ (young, well educated, over paid executives) who talk corporate bullshit bingo all day and are currently putting the Games together.
In this clip the PR woman (brilliant acting) describes ‘legacy’ and social media in a way I have heard many times before, in real life:
You almost think this is for real. And it might be.
Anyway this is supposed to be a food blog. So at the Olympics the staff and athletes (don’t forget them) will get through 25,000 loaves of bread, 31 tonnes of chicken, 100 tonnes of meat and 19 tonnes of eggs. Meanwhile McDonalds, as one of the official sponsors, has managed to get all other forms of chips (fries) banned from the venues so it can maximise sales for itself (one bizarre exception to this ruling is that chips served with fish are allowed).
I’ve now forgotten where I’m going with this post…hang on that’s it. So with all this talk of health, athletes and legacy on the one hand, sitting uneasily with major sponsors who are serving up the most unhealthy food on the other, I decided to create possibly the porkiest thing that ever came out of this green and pleasant land – the humble pork pie.
Barring sausages, pork pies are what pigs were invented for. And they are surprisingly easy to make (pies that is, I’ve no idea about making pigs). Here’s an ingredients shot:
And here is the ingredients in word form:
- 1/2 kilo pork mince
- 1/2 kilo chopped pork shoulder
- 1/4 kilo pork belly, rind off
- 1/4 kilo streaky bacon
- bunch of thyme
- Few chopped up bay leaves
- some ground mace, white pepper and nutmeg (about a 1/2 teaspoon each)
- Gelatine sheets (about 6)
- vegetable stock (300 mls)
For the pastry:
- 200g of lard
- 580g of strong flour (eg the stuff you use to make bread)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- butter to grease a 20 inch wide baking tin with high sides
- 1 beaten egg for the glaze
First off mix the meat, spices and herbs up and set aside:
Now melt the lard in 220 mls of water in a small pan:
Seive the flour and salt into a bowl and pour the melted lard over it:
Stir with a spoon to create the pastry:
Now grease and flour the tin:
Take a quarter of the pastry and roll out into a circle and set aside for the pie lid:
Now roll the remaining pastry into a thick circle:
Push into the bottom of the tin and drag the pastry up the sides of the tin:
The pastry is quite elastic and must be warm while you do this:
Now add the filling:
Brush egg round the rim and put the lid on. Seal with a fork and trim. Punch a hole in the top to allow steam to escape:
Bake in the oven at 160 degrees (fan oven – 180 if no fan) for half an hour then reduce to 140 degrees for another one and a half hours. I think it would have liked another half hour my oven is a bit cool I think. Then remove, brush with egg and put in the oven for another 15 mins until its a golden brown:
See where the juices have oozed out like a volcano!
Now leave to cool for an hour or two.
The final part. Pork Pie is famous for its jelly! To create this take some gelatine sheets:
and soak in cold water for a few minutes. Squeeze out the water:
Add to the hot stock and stir in. Now put a small funnel in the hole in the top of the pie:
Pour the stock into the pie a bit at a time:
Once filled pop in the fridge overnight to let it cool and set completely.
Pork Pie is usually served with mustard and pickles:
It should be quite crisp on the outside with a slightly creamy pastry inside with a good layer of jelly:
Another British Classic! Unfortunately it isn’t quite suitable for our Olympians.