English Pork Pie
Recipe courtesy of Michael Ruhlman
Servings: Serves 6–8
  • 24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp. ice water
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 cup diced smoked ham
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned broth , plus 1 cup for aspic (optional), chilled
  • 2 tsp. gelatin for aspic (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. whole milk
To make dough: Dice butter. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and butter. With your fingers, press butter into flour until the mixture looks mealy. Crack egg into a dish; add 4 tablespoons ice water. Beat just to combine. Add to flour mixture and mix just until a paste forms (if dough isn't coming together, add remaining ice water as needed). Alternatively, put flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, add egg and water through feed tube until mixture just comes together. Shape 1/3 of the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic; repeat with remaining 2/3 dough. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before using.

To make meat filling: In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until soft but not at all browned, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool; refrigerate until chilled.

Put pork, ham, salt, pepper, thyme, and onion-garlic mixture in a bowl. Using a spatula (or your hands), mix well. Slowly add chicken stock, a few tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°. On a floured work surface, roll larger piece of dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Brush off excess flour and place on a baking sheet. Shape meat mixture into a 5" x 2 1/2" disk and place in the center of the dough. Carefully lift edges of dough and wrap around meat so that it partially covers top of meat. Roll out remaining dough until it's 1/8 inch thick; cut a 6-inch circle from it. Cut a 3/4-inch hole in the center of the circle; set aside.

To make egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk egg, egg yolk, and milk until uniformly blended. Using a pastry brush, paint the edges of the dough encasing the meat, then paint one side of the 6-inch circle of dough. Lift the circle and place egg-wash-side down on meat. Crimp edges of dough together with bottom crust to seal. Brush entire top with egg wash.

Bake pie 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust begins to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake until pie reaches an internal temperature of 150°, about 50 minutes longer. Remove pie from oven and let sit 15 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled (see below).

To serve chilled, make aspic: In a measuring cup, combine chicken stock with gelatin. Microwave until hot and gelatin is dissolved. Slowly pour through steam vent in top of cooked pie. Let cool; refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.