The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

A Pork Pie of Sorts

Raised Pork, ham and veal pie
This was my effort for the Wildfood board picnic held in honour of the old Pirate Jim Lad. The venue was Blickling Park a national Trust property in North Norfolk. The Picnic has become a regular event on the Wildfood board calendar. Jim was a member of the board right from the very beginning, he alas died and has passed into the realms of Davey Jones, and he is gone but not forgotten. This year’s picnic is in his honour, his icon was a one eyed pirate with a pirate on his shoulder, he was a joker and a main stay of the summer picnic, traveling from Suffolk with his dear wife Kathy, lugging all manner of paraphernalia and adornments.

So Here’s to you Jim Lad, cheers

I was in a dilemma, would I use some of my game from last year’s shoot to make a game pie, only problem was, due to our move, I didn’t know what game I had frozen in the deep freezer down in the cellar. I could of course do a gala pie or just a plain old pork pie in the end I settled for a Pork and veal pie with a touch of Pistachio.

The Jelly

2 pig’s trotters (chopped)
The rind from the smoked belly
2 carrots roughly chopped
1 piece of celeriac chopped
1 small leek sliced
1 small onion chopped in half, including the skin (adds colour)
1 garlic clove crushed
12 peppercorns
1 bouquet garni consisting of sage, rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf
1 teaspoon of salt
Put the trotters and rind into a large pan cover with cold water bring to the boil and skim,
add the other ingredients, when it comes back to the boil and skim again.
Reduce the heat to a rolling boil, loosely cover (I put a wooden spoon in this props the lid open just enough to allow the liquor to reduce). Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 hours (the longer the better).  Towards the end of the cooking time (the vegetables should be mushy and the trotters falling apart, taste, if it needs seasoning use a couple of teaspoons of Marigold vegetable stock (low salt).
Strain and put into a clean sauce pan, reduce to about half of its quantity, check that it is setting into a jelly by placing some onto a saucer and putting into the refrigerator for a few minutes. If not add some gelatine soaked in water. Set aside until required.

The Pie filling


750g of minced spiced pork mett (this is a pork mince that is often eaten raw in Germany for breakfast and must be made fresh every day, it contains minced shoulder and has a fair amount of fat in it, it is also ready seasoned. As those in the UK will not be able to get this just put some quite fatty shoulder through a 5mm plate on your mincer or roughly chop in your kitchen machine.

500g of minced veal (or even beef for a stronger flavour), I bought mine from the butcher, he is very helpful in these matters, you buy the piece of veal and he minces it.
250g of juniper smoked belly, cut into 1cm dice (the rind removed and put in with the trotters)
1 medium onion (very finely diced) put the skins and tops etc. into the stockpot.
½ tsp. ground mace (if you don’t have mace use nutmeg)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. powdered garlic (I used powdered as opposed to fresh as I find that it mixes throughout the filling better)
1 tsp. of readymade Colman’s mustard (you could use mustard powder, but as mine wasn’t yet unpacked I just used what was at hand)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (you could use dried if you have no fresh)
125g of nibbed pistachios
A good grinding of black pepper
2 slices of good boiled ham (the remaining 2 slices made a nice sandwich with mustard for lunch)

Soften the onion in a little fat or oil (I had made myself a bacon sandwich for breakfast, so the fat from that done very nicely) allow to cool, put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well by hand.
 I find this is much more satisfying that putting into a mixer and your hands are easier washed prior and after the process.
When it is well mixed, fry a little patty of the filling to check the seasoning, you will notice I didn’t use any salt, this is because, the Mett is well seasoned and the smoked belly is quite salty, it needed no further salt.

I now placed the filling into a Ziploc bag and placed into the fridge, this is for two reasons, it was warm and mince goes off very quickly, but also it allows the seasoning to permeate throughout the filling.

Hotwater crust pastry

475g of flour (half strong, half normal)
100g of lard
75g of unsalted butter
(You can use all lard, but a bit of butter makes for a richer pastry, some even add an egg, I don’t, as I find it makes it a bit cakey)
1tsp. salt
125ml. boiling water
1 beaten egg

Mix   the two flours together chop up the butter into small pieces and rub into the flours until it resembles soft bread crumbs.

Heat the lard in a small pan add the salt and then the boiling water, whisk so that all is dissolved, make a well in the centre of flour and butter mixture and pour in the lard and water, cut in with a round bladed knife when it starts to come together get your hands in and knead it well (it should be cool enough by now to handle without getting blister). It should turn into a glistening homogenous ball that comes away from the side of the mixing bowl with ease. Some say rest for a while, I don’t I use it straight away, dividing the ball into 2/3 and 1/3. Roll out the larger piece on a lightly floured board until it looks as if it will fill the tin with a bit of an overhang. Place this into the tin and work it well into the bottom making sure it gets into the corners, work it quickly and form it all the way up and over the top of the tins wall.  Cover the bottom with a couple of slices (or more) of the boiled ham.  

Now take your filling out of the fridge (and the Ziploc) and put this into the pastry coffin forcing down and making sure there are no air pockets.

The top should be domed to support the top, I don’t roll out the top but form the pastry into a ball and using the heel of my hand push it down and out, I find this method gives you more control of the size and thickness (and it’s quicker). Wet the edges of the over lapping pastry in the tin and place the top on it, using finger and thumb turn a rope plait edge, sealing it.

Make a largish hole in the middle (about 1 cm dia.), decorate with swirls or if you have pastry over (I didn’t) make some leaves or little piggy’s or some other such nonsense and glue in place with a little egg, egg wash the surface.
Place in a preheated 220°C oven (200°C fan assisted) for 30 minutes, reducing to 180°C (160°C FA) and continue baking for a further 1 ½ hrs. (you can, if you wish, 20 minutes before the end remove the tin and egg wash, this does nothing to the taste but does look nice.
Remove and allow to cool slightly (if you have time), now mix 200ml of veal jus (I had some in a jar) into the jelly, heat and then pour into the hole in the top through a funnel.

Place somewhere cool (Fridge is quite cool at this time of the year and as I have a one in my motor-home, this made the perfect place to transport it.

The finished Pie was a delight, full with succulent meats of various tastes and textures, the rich jelly and crisp pastry well worth that extra bit of effort.

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