Making A Traditional British Pork Pie! I Tried Chef Callum Franklin’s Incredible Recipe! “The Pie Room” Rules!

Behold Some Incredible British Meat Pies!

My wife Alex has been following Chef Callum Franklin on Instagram…this Executive Chef of Holboern Dining Room in London is an incredible culinary wizard, as his collection of meat pies above attest!

We bought Chef Callum’s cookbook called “The Pie Room” – and I cracked it open to take on something I’ve never cooked before:

A Traditional British Hot Pork Pie!

It all began on page 59, as the Hot Pork Pie recipe called for “Hot Water Crust Pastry”…so I began by gathering the ingredients and making a batch of dough!

I combined 200ml water, 160g butter instead of lard, and 10g salt in a saucepan and brought to a boil, then added it to my flour 500g worth – you know how that goes:

Once combined, you refrigerate it while the pork pie filling is made.

One reason I wanted to make these pork pies? Well, look at this:

Yes, I had just made Chef David Chang’s incredible Momofuku Bo Ssam – and had some delicious leftovers to take advantage of!

The Hot Pork Pie recipe is on page 86 of the cookbook – and the filling is fairly simple: as much of that delicious pork as I needed – the recipe calls for 500g, half of it minced and half roughly chopped.

Chef Franklin’s recipe also called for 120g of smoky bacon, but since my Ssam butt was already nicely seasoned and fatty, I didn’t add more…instead, I added a teaspoon of fennel seeds, a teaspoon of mustard, salt, pepper, lots of sage and more butter – 100g worth!

I then took out my dough, rolled a few balls out, and flattened one into a round shape…now it was time to make my shell…which called for an cooking tool I didn’t have!

My Pie Dolly Alternative!

I had NO idea what a “pie dolly” was, but the cookbook reveals it to be a round cylindrical took that allows you to shop the dough and create a “bowl” for the filling…so I used a wine bottle!

Go ahead, have a laugh. I’ll wait.

It actually did what it needed to do: allow me to slowly stretch the dough until I had a vessel for my filling…now, Chef does these freeform, but I wasn’t confident that my dough would hold, so I put it in a ramekin once ready to fill:

I made sure it had a nice lip for sealing later, then it was time to take my filling and pack it in – I will admit I left my a bit looser than I should have, but live and learn, right?

Once filled, I rolled out my “cap” and next up was to top the pie and then “crimp” the edges to not only seal the pie, but to give it a bit of design.

Then, I “washed” it with pure egg yolk to give it that golden hue:

I cut X’s into the top of each one, in order to let steam escape, and on one I added some chopped rosemary as well.

I baked them for 35 minutes in my 350 degree oven – and then it was time to take them out:

Without even taking a bite, I was very happy with the results of this recipe…they looked terrific!

After they cooled a bit, I could actually life them out easily – the dough on the sides wasn’t golden brown, but otherwise it turned out exactly as I expected:

I actually pulled some of the filling out for this picture: it held together very well – as I said earlier, packing it tighter would have been better, but it tasted great, and once again, I really love how it looked!

This was really delicious: the crust was crispy but flaky, the filling rich with flavor…I will try these again to fix my mistakes, and then it will be on to trying more of Chef Franklin’s pie recipes – including a vegetarian “Beet Wellington” and a “Salmon Pie” as well!

I also made a “bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin” from the late Chef Anthony Bourdain – here’s that recipe:

I tried to cook dishes from around the world last year, and that included this Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie!

Here is a recipe for a traditional “Basteeya”:

And I also shared an easter feast thanks to the terrific Chef / Author Patricia Wells:

Click here to see this “Gigot D’Agneau” recipe in detail:

I also made a really fun burger with a truly unique bun:

Here’s the recipe for “oopsie” bread!

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Check out Chef Callum Franklin’s terrific cookbook and let’s make some meat pies!

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7 replies

  1. I love meat pies and the Brit’s have it mastered

  2. John, a traditional ‘Melton Mowbray’ pork pie is a real treat, if quite unhealthy. The pork pies sold here usually have a layer of gelatine inside to keep the contents tightly packed, but you did a great job with your version. They are always eaten cold, and usually with the addition of a pickle of some kind. (Mostly this one)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. HI John, you did a great job. The pies look delicious. A most interesting way of making pastry. All my recipes require the mixture to be cold and to keep it as cold as possible throughout the pastry making. You definitely live and learn by reading different books, recipe or otherwise.

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