100g strong white flour
100g plain white flour
50ml boiling water
500g turkey thigh
500g gammon/bacon joint
200g Lincolnshire sausages
Herbs: 4 fresh leaves sage, few sprigs thyme ( or dried herbs)
2 tablespoon double cream
Prep to Cook:
Microwave basin, 2 x 13cm (5 ins) spring clip tin or deep sided ovenproof dish, wooden spoon, carving knife and chopping board.
Prep the pastry:
Weigh the flours and place in mixing bowl and stir.
In an ovenproof dish ( or on the hob in a pan) melt the butter and lard.
Boil the kettle and measure 50ml freshly boiled water and add to the fat.s
Quickly add to the flour and stir vigorously until a paste is formed.
Work the paste until it is smooth and pliable, incorporate a little more flour if needed.
Divide the pastry dough into two.
Press out the pastry to form a circular portion and drop into the spring clip tin.
Using your fingers gently press out the pastry to work it up the sides to the top edge.
Patch up any holes that appear as you go so that the pastry is an even layer all round.
Repeat the process on the other tin and set aside whilst you make the filling.
Prep the filling:
Using a carving knife slice the meats into slices about 1 cm thick
Dice the meat into 1 cm cubes.
Chop the sage leaves and strip thyme from stalks.
Slice the sausage casing and peel off the skins.
Place in the mixing bowl and add grated zest of lemon, 2 tablespoons cream and herbs.
Mix well and then pack the pastry tightly with the meat right to the top.
Mound the top slightly as the meat will shrink back.
Cover the tops with double layer of tin foil and make a small vent hole in the top to allow the steam to escape.
Cook in a hot oven, 200 C or Gas Mark 6 for 30 mins then reduce to 190C or Gas 5 for a further hour.
Remove the pies and take off the foil.
Leave for 15 minutes to firm up and allow the juices to be absorbed.
Remove the tin carefully.
Top with cranberry sauce or poached conference pears and allow to cool.
Serve in wedges.
Deep pies are full of meat and flavour. The pastry is known as hot water crust pastry. It is crisp and firm when cooked.
Good for picnics, outdoor food, parties.
Cooks Know How:
Preparation for making these deep meat pies relies on cooked meats, in this case turkey thigh and a gammon joint. Cooking the meats with plenty of water and flavouring such as bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and whole garlic cloves and helps the meat to take on some flavours. Cool the meat and let it firm up before slicing into cubes. Additions to the meat are there to moisten and add further flavour. The sausages do this alongside the herbs, cream and lemon zest. The filling must be packed into the pie to fill the space without air pockets. It is surprising just how much meat will pack into deep pies.
Hot water crust pastry:
Deep meat pie pastry is traditional hot water crust pasty. The boiling water immediately causes some of the starch in the flour to gelatinise. The flavour and colour comes from the melted butter and the use of lard prevents the pastry from sticking and aids a smooth texture. The pastry is handled and worked to make it pliable and smooth. The extra gluten coming from the strong flour helps the pastry to form a rigid shell during cooking that subsequently holds the shape of the pie. No rolling pin is required for this type of pastry. Pressing out the dough enables you to feel whether the pastry is even on thickness all round the tin. When a top to the pie is required another one third of the original amount of pastry needs to be prepared. In this recipe the lid to the pie is replaced by stewed fruits, cranberries and pears. Using fruits in this way helps to seal the top of the meat filling and to prevent it from drying out, whilst also adding extra flavour and decoration.
Meat pies supply protein, fat from the pastry and the sausage meat and starch from the pastry. They are full fo flavour and slice up well.
Any cooked meat can be used up in a deep meat pie. Try slow roasted lamb with rosemary and top it with redcurrant jelly. Replace the pork sausage with lamb sausage meat.