Recipe: Slow-cooked pork, black pudding and five spice pies

Slow-cooked pork belly, black pudding, spring onion and five spice pie

Slow-cooked pork belly, black pudding, spring onion and five spice pie - Credit: Archant

Raised pies are in my mind the most satisfying you can make. For starters, the dough is good-tempered and can be handled more readily than, say, puff pastry – it’s fun to work with. And the result, with its crisp, toothsome edges, makes you feel like a proper baker.

If you don’t have a raised pie mould (and I’m going to assume like me you don’t), standard sized jam jars work a treat.

And try to seek out the best filling ingredients you can. I absolutely love Fruit Pig black pudding. Made with fresh British pigs’ blood (the majority of other UK-made brands import dried blood from overseas) Fruit Pig’s version is crumbly, peppery and rammed with flavour. Its softer crumb melds beautifully into this pie. You can buy it online.

Let’s get cooking.

Slow-cooked pork belly, black pudding and five spice raised pie

(makes 2 pies)

Ingredients

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For the pastry

250g plain flour, sifted

50g lard (or duck or goose fat)

60g butter

130ml boiling water

Pinch salt

1 egg, beaten to brush

For the filling

1kg meaty pork ribs

1 star anise

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, roughly chpped

1 bunch spring onions

200g black pudding

2 leaves gelatine

145ml reserved rib cooking liquid with 1 chicken stock cube

1tsp Chinese five spice powder

Salt and pepper

Method

Start the day before. Pop the ribs, onion, garlic and star anise in a slow cooker, cover with water and put on high for six to eight hours. Alternatively place all those ingredients in a roasting dish, cover with about an inch of water, double wrap in foil and cook at 140C for six hours until tender.

Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Allow the pork to cool, then remove and discard the bones, rind and most of the excess fat, and chop the meat into small bite sized pieces. Chop the black pudding into pieces of the same size and combine with the pork. Finely chop the spring onions and combine this with the mixture too. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the fridge.

For the pastry pop the butter and lard in a small pan and pour over the boiling water. Turn the heat on low to allow the fats to melt. Place the salt and flour in a bowl and add the melted fat and water, combining with a knife. Allow to cool a little. Wrap two regular sized, unfilled jam jars with clingfilm and grease the film. Remove just over one quarter of the pastry mix and set aside somewhere cool. Split the rest of the mix in two and, using your hands, mould it evenly around the jam jar (except the lid space). It’s a bit like Play Doh. Try to ensure it’s the same thickness all the way around. Pop the jars in the fridge for about 30 to 40 minutes until cool.

While they’re cooling clean out your pan. Strain the rib cooking liquid and measure out 145ml. Add to the pan with the stock cube, five spice powder, gelatine and some salt and pepper. Don’t turn the heat on yet.

Heat the oven to 200C and line a flat baking sheet/tray. Check your pastry. It should have firmed up around your jam jar. If it still feels squishy pop it back in the fridge for a spell and check on it every 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pastry from the jar, trying to keep its shape – although if you get any rips and tears it’s quite pliable and forgiving. Remove the clingfilm and pop the pie cases onto your prepared tray. Fill evenly with your pork filling but don’t compress it too much. Leave a 1cm gap at the top – ensure there are no gaps in the pastry. Split the remaining pastry you reserved in two, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into round shapes to fit inside the top of your pies. Pop a lid on each and press to seal at the edges. Pinch around with your fingers if you like to create a fluted effect. Now use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole in the centre of each pie. Brush all over with the beaten egg, then place the tray in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden.

Bring the pan of stock and gelatine to a boil and pour into a small jug. Now pour the hot mixture evenly into the hot pies. Go slowly, adding about a tablespoon at a time.

Leave to cool for a few hours so the liquid can set, then tuck in. I like to serve a shredded Asian salad dressed with rice wine vinegar, mirin, fish sauce, garlic, chilli, sesame oil and ginger on the side.

Wrapped in foil or kept in an airtight container the pies will keep nicely for a week in the fridge. They keep well in the freezer too.

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