Perk up your picnics: Hand-raised mini pork pies

By Tom Kerridge


From posh pork pies to pâtés and puds, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge shows you how to put together the ultimate alfresco spread

A staple of any picnic the humble pork pie gets a posh makeover

A staple of any picnic the humble pork pie gets a posh makeover

Coming from the West Country, pork pies have always been close to my heart.  They're perfect picnic food – that balance of pastry and meat is almost like a sandwich with no bread.

 

Makes 9

  • 80g (3oz) unsmoked lardons
  • 250g (9oz) pork shoulder, minced
  • 65g (2¼oz) minced pork belly (from a butcher)
  • 20g (¾oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼tsp salt
  • ¼tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼tsp ground white pepper
  • A pinch of mace or nutmeg
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 9 silverskin pickled onions

For the pastry

  • 50g (1¾oz) lard, diced
  • 50g (1¾oz) butter, diced
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) cold water
  • 275g (9¾oz) flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • Mustard, to serve

Roughly chop the lardons and mince in a food processor then mix the meat, herbs and spices in a bowl and chill for one hour. Drain the pickled onions and dry with kitchen paper.

Divide the meat mixture into 9 balls and push the onions into the middle, bringing the mixture around them like a scotch egg. Put them on a plate and chill uncovered while you make the pastry.

Put the lard, butter and water in a small pan and heat to melt. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the egg and salt, then add the warm lard and butter mixture and mix until smooth and fully combined. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge to cool for 20-30 minutes.

Divide the pastry into 9 balls, keeping them  covered while you make one pie at a time. Roll each ball out into a 3mm-thick disc. Put one of the meat balls onto the pastry then draw up the sides to form a money-bag shape.

Crimp the top together to enclose the meat and trim off the excess pastry. Turn it over so the crimped part becomes the base. Form into a round shape about 4.5cm (1¾in) high. With your fingers, gently bring up the pastry sides to extend upwards and crimp them together in a few places to form a lid. Place the pies on baking paper on an baking tray, brush over a little egg wash and chill for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Make a small hole in the top of each pie, brush with egg wash again and chill for 10 minutes. Egg-wash once more then bake for about 25 minutes until golden and cooked then cool on a wire rack. Pack into breathable brown paper bags to carry. Serve with mustard if wished.

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will serve his innovative British menu at the new Royal Ascot restaurant, On 5, from 17-21 June. For more information, visit www.ascot.co.uk