Pork and fennel pies with rhubarb chutney

To say pork pie is quintessentially British is a grand understatement. This OG classic is the ultimate pork showcase, a thing of beauty. A rich golden pastry crust encasing a dense, pork filling flavoured with sage and nutmeg, quietly celebrating all things pork in the best of British style: practical, restrained and elegantly simple. There have been many ventures into pork pies with more, yet purists argue that the filling must be simple, just porky charm with a hint of seasoning. That any additional flavours must come from the support act, chutneys, pickles and so on. Most often served at room temperature (jellied), we have opted for a warm version, this less common spin is perfect for autumn, served with a tangy rhubarb chutney.








Pastry and filling

  • 100g butter
  • 100g lard
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 550g plain flour, extra for rolling
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 500g pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 500g pork shoulder minced
  • 250g pork belly, minced
  • 1 x 250g piece smoked
    streaky bacon, diced
  • 15 sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • A few generous grinds black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water, for glazing


Rhubarb chutney

  • 1kg rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 medium brown onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 green apples, skinned and chopped
  • 20g freshly grated ginger
  • 500g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 600ml apple cider vinegar


1. To make the pastry

Combine the water, butter, lard and bay leaves in a saucepan, bring to a boil over a medium heat. As soon as the fats have melted remove from heat, set aside to infuse for 15 minutes. Sift the flour into a bowl, whisk in the salt, make a well in the centre. Using a butter knife or knife or dough scrapper, add the eggs, mix until combined. Remove the bay leaves from the fat mixture, return to the stove and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the hot melted fat mixture into the flour, mixing until a dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times to bring together, form into a rectangle. Cover and rest for 20 minutes while you make the filling.

2. To make the filling

Combine the diced and minced pork, along with the bacon, sage, fennel, cayenne, nutmeg, peppers and salt. Roll into 6 even size balls (approx. 230g). Set aside while you roll out the dough. If you are making the filling in advance, hold off on adding the salt until you are forming the pies.

3. To make the pies

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Generously grease 6 x 1 cup springform tins (or muffin tins) with lard or butter. Cut 1/4 dough, wrap and set aside. Roll the remaining dough into a 20cm wide rectangle about 5mm thick – cut into six 18cm circles (depending on how you roll your rectangle, you may need to gather the pastry leftovers and re-roll), line each tin with the pastry, leaving a small overhang. Fill the cases with the rolled filling, gently pressing into the base and sides. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut 6 x 10cm circles. Lightly dampen the underside edge of the pastry tops, lay over the pies and press together to seal, working around the edge, roll in the overhang and crimp edges. With the point of a sharp knife cut a small steam hole in the centre of each pie. Brush with egg wash. Put the finished pies onto a tray and bake for about 1 hour 15 mins (or until the filling reaches 70°C), and the tops are a deep golden brown.

4. To make the chutney

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil over a medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the chutney has thickened, about an hour. Transfer to a sterile jar and refrigerate.

As seen in autumn 2022

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