Traditional Lard Pastry
450 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
225 g lard, cubed and chilled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 30 ml milk for egg wash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small carrots, diced
300g minced pork
450g diced pork belly or bacon
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp each of white pepper, mace and
6 black peppercorns, ground
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
130ml chicken stock
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp whole milk
7.5cm pig-shaped cookie cutter
26 cake pop sticks
1. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Add the lard and mix on high for 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the egg to the mixture and combine again by pulsing the food processor for 20–30 seconds, until the mixture just starts to come together. It should be sticking together, not crumbly. Add a little water, if needed. Wrap the pastry with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. To make the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots, and sauté for five minutes until the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool. When cool, put the onion mixture in a bowl with all the pork meats, salt, pepper, spices, ground peppercorns and thyme and mix well. Add the stock, a 65ml cup at a time, until the liquid is incorporated. Cover and refrigerate.
3. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (Gas Mark 4).Take half of the pastry from the fridge and roll out to 3mm thick on a lightly floured work surface. Use the cookie cutter to cut out an even amount of pastry pigs, repeat with the remaining pastry and refrigerate.
4. When the filling is cool, remove the pastry pigs from the fridge and put them on a greased baking sheet, spaced 2.5cm apart. Paint the rim of each pastry pig with beaten egg, then put a pop stick in the middle of each one. Top with 1–1½ tbsp of the pork filling, 1.5cm from the edges of the pastry. Top with another pastry pig, crimp with a fork to seal the pies and coat with egg.
5. Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160ºC (Gas Mark 3). Bake for 30 minutes more, or until the pies are golden, rotating them halfway through. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Taken from Pie Pops by Carol Hilker & Steve Painter (Ryland Peters & Small, £9.99)