This is my twist on a traditional Somerset recipe. It serves 8 people and although the recipe may look daunting and is a little time consuming, it is actually quite easy and is truly delicious!
It is not something to conjure up for a mid-week dinner but for a special occasion with friends or family, served with fresh steamed vegetables and a nice cold cider. It is one definitely to have in your repertoire.
1hr (over three stages). Cooking time 5hrs (using a slow cooker first then hob and oven).
1kg Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
1kg pork (I use pork Steaks)
1 onion sliced
300g smoked bacon rashers (I use back bacon), chopped into small pieces
2 garlic Cloves, chopped
350ml Medium-Medium Dry Cider, (I use our Serious Scrumpy Vale Cider)
200ml of boiling water with a beef stock cube dissolved in it
3 Tbsp mustard (to your choice of hotness)
2 heaped Tsp cornflour mixed to a paste with cold water
FOR THE PASTRY:
175g salted butter, frozen for 30 min and then grated
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
400g Plain Flour
½ Tsp mustard powder
The first part of the cooking is done in a slow cooker for 4 hours. The second part is done on the hob and the third part of the cooking is done in the oven.
STAGE 1: PREPARING THE PIE FILLING AND GRAVY
- Combine the meat (pork and bacon), apples, onion, garlic, cider, mustard and beef stock in a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- At the end of slow cooking the meat should be well cooked, the ingredients well combined and the smell, heavenly. There will also be quite a lot of liquid.
- Take off excess liquid until just sufficient remains on the meat mixture for it to be a juicy pie filling. Set aside the removed liquid in a saucepan to use for a gravy for the finished pie.
- Transfer the remaining meat filling to a saucepan, add the cornflour and heat on the hob, stirring until thickened.
STAGE 2: PREPARING THE PASTRY
- Add the grated cheese and butter to the flour and mustard powder and mix by hand until the lumps of cheese and butter are well coated.
- Add enough cold water to bind the pastry together (about 200ml) and mix by hand.
- Roll out 2/3 of the pastry so that it will line a 23cm diameter, deep, springform cake tin. Leave a little pastry hanging over the sides because it will shrink when cooking.
- Put the pastry-lined cake tin and the other 1/3 pastry in the fridge to cool.
STAGE 3: ASSEMBLING AND COOKING THE PIE
- During the last half hour of the meat filling cooking in the slow cooker preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Fan oven; 200 degrees normal oven; Gas mark 6).
- When the pork mixture from STAGE 1 has thickened, use it to fill the pastry case from STAGE 2.
- Roll out the rest of the pastry from STAGE 2 to make a circle big enough to make a lid for the pie.
- Wet the edges of the pastry and put the lid on the pie.
- Cut a steam hole in the centre of the pie.
- Cook the pie in the pre-heated oven on a baking tray for 50-60min until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it stand to cool for 10 min.
- Unclip the tin. You should have a beautifully formed, golden and perfectly delicious pie!
While you are leaving the pie to stand you can heat on the hob the remaining meat juice that you took off in STAGE 1, adding some cornflour mixed with cold water and gravy browning. This makes a lovely gravy to serve with a wedge of pie and your choice of veg for a memorable meal.