Hand Raised Pork Pies

Hand Raised Pork Pie

I love pork pies. I don’t eat them very often because I’ve had plenty of bad ones, but every now and again at a farmers market or in a traditional pub, I might treat myself to one. I thought it was time to try making my own hand raised pork pies.

I’d always appreciated them, but I certainly never entertained the idea of making my own, it seemed like far too much effort. Then for Christmas last year I was given a copy of Dan Lepard’s book Short and Sweet and it contained a recipe for pork pies. After reading how to make them I decided that perhaps it wasn’t as difficult as I had initially thought and I decided to give them a go.

I’ve now made this recipe about four times and they’re delicious. So whilst these aren’t  really associated with Patisserie, they are made of hot water crust pastry, so I thought I would include them in the blog…because I can.

Hand raised pork pies originate from Melton Mowbray and they have been given protected status so that the pies which carry the ‘Melton Mowbray’ name have to be produced within a specified geographic area.

These pies are made without a tin and the hot water crust pastry is shaped around a dolly (or a jar with clingfilm wrapped round it), then filled with meat, sealed, cooked in the oven and filled with jelly and left to cool.

Hot water crust is a warm pastry made from a mixture of water, flour and melted butter and lard. This is combined to form a rough dough and left to cool to room temperature. I love working with this pastry because I have really hot hands and I struggle to work quickly enough with most other forms of pastry. However this pastry needs to be worked with while still warm, which makes it so much easier to shape and mould, it also has a really nice texture for working with.

hot water crust pastryhot water crust pastry

The pastry is then rolled and folded to smooth it out, it’s then shaped around a dolly. These are incredibly expensive to buy, so I use a clean jar with clingfilm wrapped around it. which does the job just as well.

The shaped pastry cases are then put in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm them up, before the pastry is gently eased off the mould and filled with the meat filling that has been marinating overnight. The cold temperature of the meat also helps the pie to keep it’s shape.

A pastry lid is added, brushed with egg wash, and some strips of greaseproof paper are tied round the sides of the pie to help support it whilst it cooks. The pies are then placed in the fridge for a further 30 mins before cooking for 1 and a half hours.

hot water crust pastryhot water crust pastryHand Raised Pork PiesHand Raised Pork PiesThe cooked pies are then left to cool for around 30 minutes before they’re filled with a pork stock flavoured jelly and left to cool completely. While some elements of this recipe differ from the traditional melton mowbray pork pie, they’re pretty close to the original. Normally strips of paper wouldn’t be used when cooking and I haven’t tried cooking the pies without this, but I think they would just bow outwards.

I also drew the line at boiling up my own bones to make a jelly and instead opted for some leaf gelatine to fill these pies. Perhaps that’s a cop out, but one I’m more than happy to admit to.

Dan Lepard's Hand Raised Pork Pies

Here’s the detailed recipe from Dan Lepard’s book, which I highly recommend, it’s got some great recipes and the bread section is fantastic.

Hand Raised Pork Pie


Dan Lepard
This recipes produces a delicious traditional pork pie. The pies are made using a hot water crust pastry, they're hand raised and finished off with jelly.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Pie
Cuisine British
Servings 6


  • ***Hot Water Crust Pastry***
  • 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • 325 g Strong White Flour
  • 325 g Plain Flour
  • 125 g Lard
  • 175 ml Water
  • 2 Tsp of fine Salt
  • ***Pie filling***
  • 175 g Gammon
  • 1 Tsp Dried Sage
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Mace
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 75 ml Cold Water
  • 675 g Boneless Fatty Pork Chops
  • ***Jelly***
  • 1 Stock Cube pork/chicken/vegetable
  • 150 ml Boiling Water
  • 150 ml Warm Water
  • 4 Tsps of Powdered Gelatine or 4 large or 8 small sheets of leaf gelatine
  • ***To Finish***
  • 1 Egg
  • Flour for rolling and shaping


  • Put 50g of the gammon, chopped into small pieces, into a food processor with the sage, pepper, mace and ginger. Add the cold water and blitz this to a smooth paste, then put it into a bowl with the pork chops and remaining gammon, both cut into 1cm cubes and stir well. Chill the filling for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
  • Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Place the lard and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the lard has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling.
  • Add the salt, stir until it dissolves, then pour this over the flour and mix quickly into a dough. Work it with a knife to begin with, then as soon as it is cool enough to get your hands in, knead the dough well with your fingers until it is mixed evenly and formed into a ball.
  • Press the dough out onto a plate, cover with paper or clingfilm and leave until barely warm (about 24-26C).
  • Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough out to about 1/2cm thick. Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter), then repeat this roll and fold again.
  • Leave the dough to cool to room temperature (21C),
  • To shape each pie use clean jam jars, wrap them in clingfilm. Roll the pastry out to about 1cm thick and cut out a circle larger than the jars.
  • Turn the jars upside down drape the pastry over the jars, press the dough against the sides of the jar with your fingers working it to remove any pleats from the pastry, stretch to about 5cm in length.
  • Repeat with another jar until you have 6 pies.
  • Place the pie moulds in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the fridge and carefully prise the pastry off the jars using a blunt butter knife.
  • Pack the pies with the filling, then roll out the trimmings to make a lid. Brush water around the inside of the rim of the pastry shell, then lay the lid in place and press it down so that it fits tightly against the filling. Pinch it together firmly with your fingers.
  • Wrap some strips of non-stick baking parchment around the middle of the pie and tie snugly with string, this will stop the pie bulging.
  • To finish brush the lid and lip with a little beaten egg and cut a hole in the centre of the lid, make sure it's the size of a fingertip.
  • Repeat with the other pies.
  • Chill the pies for 30 minutes heat the oven to 180C and bake on a foil lined tray for 1 1/2 hours, or until the centre of the pie reaches 75C. Let the pies cool for 30 minutes, then make the jelly by crumbling the stock cubes into the boiling water in a jug and stirring well.
  • Sprinkle the powdered gelatine into the warm water, stirring until dissolved (or cut the leaf gelatine into small pieces and soak in the warm water until soft). Stir this in with the stock and cool slightly. Pour enough jelly into each pie through the hole in the top and leave to chill overnight before eating.
  • The pies can be quite fragile when still warm, so it is best to leave them on the tray they were cooked on and fill them with the jelly and leave them there overnight.

 Hand Raised Pork PiesHand Raised Pork PiesDo like pork pies? Or are you more of a Scotch Egg or Cornish Pasty fan? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.


48 Responses

  1. Martyn Thompson

    Fantastic recipe & will definitely give it a go. I lived in Yorkshire in the UK for 8 years & a “delicacy” from “God’s own Country” (Yorkshire) is a deep fried pork pie which is eaten hot & is called a “growler”!

  2. Elizabeth

    What are the dimensions of “large” and “small” sheets of gelatine, please? I have only ever seen one size and I don’t know if they would be classified as large “large” or “small” .

  3. Pat Pierson Massey

    Thanks for this recipe I can’t wait to try it you have certainly made it easier with your instructions .

  4. Helen Bridgett

    I made these pies. My menfolk are suitably wowed!
    I’m amazed that I got success first time. I’ve upped the seasoning a little 2nd time round. Thank you so much!

  5. Ian Thomas

    FABULOUS pies but a lot tastier with proper jelly made from pigs trotters,easy to do and not messy at all,just boil the trotters (two) with some carrots celery etc any veg until the meat softens of the bone score the meat on the bone boil another 15-20 mins strain let it cool then use YUMMY

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      So pleased you liked them Ian. I have always wanted to try making my own jelly, but I really wasn’t sure of the quantities of liquid vs number of trotters to get the required amount of gelatine. How much jelly did you get from two trotters?

      • Gerry

        Just enough water to keep covered – when strained put a bit on a saucer in the fridge – see if it sets – a bit like jam making.
        If it does not set just reduce it down until it does – then season to taste before filling.

        Filling is much easier with a big syringe type implement too, dont skimp on the jelly – fill to overflowing, let settle then refill.

        If you have a small hole or crack – rub some butter into it beforehand to plug it….

        • patisseriemakesperfect

          Thanks so much for this info Gerry. I always do as you say and fill to overflowing, let it settle and then fill again. I generally use a small funnel, but will try next time with a syringe.

          Great tip about the butter too!

  6. Garry

    Angela, I’ve been making my own hand raised pot pies for at least 30 years. I discovered your recipe a couple of years ago and it’s now my go-to one. I’ve made at least 10 batches of these and it’s a really great recipe. I have one issue – I find the pastry too dry to work and always end up having to add another 100ml of water in order to make it smooth. Otherwise it’s really lovely and my family always orders me to make more. Thanks for sharing it.

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      Hi Garry,

      Thanks for your message, I’m so pleased you like this recipe. It’s funny I never need to add extra water, perhaps it’s something to do with the water content of my lard. I find resting it, makes it a lot more pliable and easy to work with, but if you’ve found something that works for you, definitely stick with it as baking is such a science.

      Thanks again for commenting.


  7. Delcie Dunbrack

    Having issues converting to Imperal Measure. Can you help? Thank you

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      Hi Delcie,

      It’s probably best to convert it using google – however most modern scales will do grams as well as ounces so perhaps you can still do this in grams as it will be more accurate.


  8. philip howell

    5 stars
    hi thank you so much for this fascinating recipe which i must try. ive made large pork pies in spring clip tins and the problem i had was lining the tins, making the crust leak proof so the jelly doesent run out as it is poured in .however with practice and some luck i seem to have overcome this .its great fun, though and delicious too.

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      That is the great thing about shaping the pork pies, you can see if there are any cracks and it makes it much easier. Definitely let me know if you try this – homemade pork pies are so much better than shop bought.

  9. Desiree Greyling

    5 stars
    I made this recipe and it was delicious it came out perfect. I did not have any jam jars so used a springform round tin. When the pie was cold I served it in thick slices to my family. I also gave one slice away to my butcher. I am going to make this pie again but using bottles as my jam jar. Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe. Oh one other thing. I did not have a mincer so just did without I just cut up all the pork etc into small 1 cm cubes. Wonderful.

  10. David

    “Oooops” to the succulence of the inner pastry surround the plus factor being the pork was NOT concrete slab hard and dry. As for the previous mention of strawberries today’s punnets are just the same including the non taste.

  11. David

    Now here’s the way I see it, finding a succulent pork pie is like trying to fined a yesterdays strawberry, every time I am forced into the Supermarket I am tempted to buy a pork pie, in remembrance of days gone bye, only I am unable to as every one that I have tried has the consistency of a paving slab and just as bad, including Melton Mowbray concoctions. From past days as I remember the pork fill was not jammed crammed into the pastry case but room was left for the Gelatine fill that added to the succulence of the inner pastry surround the plus factor being the pork was concrete slab hard and dry. As for the previous mention of strawberries today’s punnets are just the same including the non taste.

  12. Tony Weir

    Boiling up your own bones certainly seems like going above and beyond the call of duty.

    Any recommendations for a recipe using pig bones to make the stock? I’ve got to try this pie, but I’d prefer the authentic jelly.

  13. Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe

    Wow these looks fantastic!! So delicious x #FoodieFriday

  14. Helen Costello

    Oh wow! These look amazing – I’ve never been brave enough to attempt proper pork pies but I’m convinced that perhaps they are not as difficult as I though. Great tip about the cling film covered jar too! Thanks so much for joining in with #FridayFoodie x

  15. Jodie

    I remember chatting about these a while ago and I’m dying to try it. Unfortunately I would have nothing to compare it to. I need to look around the city, see if I can find an authentic English restaurant. So are these pies eaten cold? As I read through the recipe you say to let them chill overnight after filling with the jelly. This crust looks like it would make a great pot pie too. Love those!

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      I always forget that some foods which seem so common and obvious here are completely alien abroad. Pork pies are pretty much always served cold. The jelly sets and forms a really soft layer between the meat and the pastry, keeping it all moist and tasty.
      The pastry can be eaten still hot, but needs a long cooking time, so I’m not sure how well that would fit with how long it takes to cook pot pie. You could try to experiment with timings.

  16. Lucy @SupergoldenBakes

    I have been meaning to make hand raised pies for years and somehow never coming round to it. I made it as far as buying the lard… but not any further! I can’t say I am a huge fan of pork pies but I have seen a lovely recipe which contains beef and Asian spices that I must try. Your pies look perfect. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

  17. Diane Ugo

    They were making hot water pastry on the Great British Bake Off last week. I’m eager to try and make it, just thinking of a filling to use. I’m not a fan of pork pies bjt these look nice. Diane @ Mrs U Makes.

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      You could fill these with other meats, or use the pastry to make a pasty of some sort. Definitely give the hot water crust a try as I think you’ll really like it.

  18. Kitty- Glamorous Mummy

    I know exactly what you mean! I really love a good pork pie, unfortunately I’ve had far too many poor ones also. I recently found an amazing independent butcher/ baker who makes the best I’ve ever eaten, but it’s a 70mile round trip- not quite worth that but if I’m in the area….! I really thought they were ALOT more complicated to make, so I think I’ll have to give them a try! Do they keep well? I found you through #TastyTuesdays & I am *so*glad! Kitty x

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      There are some foods that I won’t necessarily travel for, but I definitely make sure I stock up on them if I’m in the area, so I know exactly what you mean 🙂 These are very easy to make, like so many recipes you just need to be organised and do things in stages over a couple of days. They keep really well actually, I haven’t frozen them, I’m not sure how well that would affect the jelly, however in the fridge they’ve lasted over a week wrapped in clingfilm and they still taste fresh. Thanks for linking up through #TastyTuesdays. x

  19. My Family Ties

    These look perfect! I have never made pork pies but love this recipe and will have to give it a try, I do fancy trying the hot water crust too 🙂 #tastytuesdays

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      Dan Lepard’s recipe really does make the pies seem so easy to make. If you do give them a go, be sure to let know how you get on. Thanks for commenting.

  20. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

    Pork pies are ones of the first things I eat on arrival in UK – I live in France! They are probably my kids favourite English food (along with fish and chips) and we often bring some back with us to France. But I don’t think I’d ever try and make them. I know I couldn’t get the pastry right and it’s almost the best thing about them. I wouldn’t want to ruin a good thing!!!

    • patisseriemakesperfect

      They’re delicious aren’t they Phoebe, and strangely enough the pastry is probably my favourite part too! You have so much good French food I’m in awe. I was in France last summer for the Tour de France and I couldn’t get enough of Tartiflette and the pastries, not to mention the wine! Bliss. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  21. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)

    Beautiful! This reminds me of bake british bakeoff when they made pies. Hot water crust is something ne wto me and I am getting to know it more. Thanks for the great info and sharing your recipe =) #TastyTuesdays

  22. Anne

    Hi Angela. Tks for all the tips in your post and the recipe. Am really tempted now to give it a try but if it turns out better than M’s I might have a problem… 🙂

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