Gill Meller's raised pork, chicken and parsley pie
If you fancy a cooking project this weekend Gill Meller's raised pork, chicken and parsley pie from his new book Outside would be perfect.
Gill writes: There are two pleasures here. The first is pie making. The second, pie eating.
Pie making is the kind of cookery you settle into, like a good book, so give yourself time. Each stage of the recipe is a chapter, in a sense, and the finished pie, cooling on the sideboard, is the last page, the conclusion.
Eating the pie, particularly this pie, is equally enjoyable. You are like an architect at this point, stepping back and admiring your work, although in this case you get to eat your own building. A big pie like this needs to be made the day before your picnic – it gives everything time to cool and find its place.
‘For the hot water crust pastry
200g (7oz) pork lard
500g (1lb 2oz) plain (all-purpose)
flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon sea salt
For the filling
1.5–2kg (3lb 5oz–4lb 8oz) organic
or free-range chicken, preferably with giblets
350g (12oz) fatty pork belly, cubed
200g (7oz) bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
a large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
a handful of chives, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
a good pinch of grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
You’ll need an 18–20cm diameter by 7–9cm (7–8in x 2¾–3½in) deep pie dish or cake tin.
To make the pastry, put the lard and 170ml (5½fl oz) of water into a pan and warm them over a low heat until the fat has melted and the mixture is warm – it doesn’t have to boil.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Crack one of the eggs into a bowl and beat it lightly.
Pour the lard and water mixture into the flour. Add the beaten egg and bring everything together to form a dough. Gather up the dough and place it on a work surface. Fold the pastry four or five times until smooth.
Allow the pastry to cool in the fridge. It’ll be much easier to work with if it’s not warm.
While the pastry is chilling, make the pie filling. Place the chicken on a board. Remove the giblets from the cavity.
Use a sharp knife to remove each leg from the bird. Divide the drumsticks from the thighs. Carefully remove the chicken breasts. Try not to leave any meat on the carcass. Remove the skin from the legs and breasts – you can save this and all the chicken bones for making a delicious stock.
Cut the leg and thigh meat away from the bones and place it in a bowl with the cubed fatty pork belly and the lardons or chopped bacon. Trim the chicken liver and heart and add this to the other meats.
Give everything a good mix, then put it through a mincer. Or, if you don’t have a mincer, chop the meat to a relatively fine consistency by hand. (This can take time but it’s worth the effort.) Place the minced chicken and pork back into a large bowl and add the parsley and chives, along with the ground white and black pepper, nutmeg and salt.
Cut the chicken breasts into 2–3cm (3⁄4–1.in) cubes and add this to the minced pork and chicken, too. Carefully turn the chunks of chicken through the minced pork, herbs and seasoning so everything’s really well mixed and evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Set aside a quarter of the pastry for the pie lid. Form the remaining three-quarters into a round and, on a floured surface, roll it out into a circle, roughly 35cm (14in) in diameter. Lay the pastry in the pie dish, carefully bringing it up the sides and smoothing out any pleats (of which there will be many) as you go, to make the pie case. Leave a very slight overhang of pastry all round.
Fill the lined tin with the chicken and pork mixture, making sure you don’t leave any unfilled gaps. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come all the way to the top of the pie dish; it’s fine.
Roll out the smaller portion of pastry for the pie lid. It should have the same diameter as the pie dish itself.
Crack the remaining egg into a bowl and beat it to make a glaze. Use a pastry brush to brush the rim of the pastry with a little beaten egg. Carefully ease the lid into place and crimp the edges together in a tight, neat fashion. You’ll have to trim any overhanging edges back to the crimped seam at this point. Use the tip of a knife to make a small hole in the middle of the lid.
Set the pie in the middle of the oven and bake it for 20 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 160°C/140°C fan/315°F/Gas 2–3. Brush the top of the pie all over with beaten egg and return it to the oven for a further 1 hour 10 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is cooked through. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool, then refrigerate it for 6–8 hours or overnight before slicing and eating.
What to drink: I actually think a pale or golden ale or a medium dry cider would be perfect with this dish but if you fancy a glass of wine a light red like a Beaujolais would also work well.
Extracted from OUTSIDE: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £30) Photography: Andrew Montgomery
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