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Hot Water Pastry

About 8 years ago I helped out at a butchers in Selby and apart from learning to link Sausages by the mile and some basic butchery skills, I also anded up manning the Pie oven. Initially they were buying their Pork Pies ready filled and just cooking them. I suggested we get a casing former from Dalziels (A national Butchers equipment wholesaler) and make our own. After a few experiments we created our own recipe and pretty soon we were selling 120 pies by mid-morning which was the most we could make using the equipment we had.

We developed quite a reputation – In a good way!

Your traditional Pork Pie has a small amount of Sodium Nitrite added to the meal before cooking. This is a curing salt, but in Pork Pies it’s just added to preserve the pink colour in the cooked meat. We don’t (Yet!) have any curing salts, so my filling isn’t the traditional pink colour – Sorry!

But the filling is up to you really. Hot Water Pastry is actually pretty easy once you’ve forgotten everything you previously knew about pasty making….


110g of Lard
280g of Water
500g of Plain Flour (Gluten free in our case)
2 tsp salt
Egg, beaten


(1) In a pan add the Water, Salt and Lard and bring to a simmer.
(2) Turn the heat off.
(3) Add the Flour a little at a time and mix thoroughly as you go.
(4) Once all the Flour has been combined transfer your still hot dough to a floured surface and roughly roll out.
(5) Add dough to your pie casing and using your hands press into shape.
(6) Add whatever filling you are using allowing a little space around the sides.
(7) make a lib with remaining dough and press a hole through the middle. You can be arty and decorate the lid with additional pastry decorations if you like. Just make sure you use a fork to press the joint firmly together or your lib is likely to come off when you cook your pie.
(8) Brush generously with beaten Egg.
(9) Cook in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes at 180c. If you have a probe you are looking for an internal temperature of 80c.

My filling was far from traditional, but that’s how we roll here! The Pork mince had sliced pickled Garlic, Chilli flakes and whole grain Mustard added. I also made a Sage and Rosemary Aspic to pour into the hot Pie once it was cooked. When the Pie cools the Aspic sets around the meat. Which is kind of cool!!!

Missing Sides


It seems we’ve never actually added our Onion Rings recipe of the Pea Risotto recipe. Both are repeat visitors to our meals. So here goes:-

Onion Rings


1 Large Onion
2 Eggs beaten
Seasoned Flour (Gluten free in our case)


(1) Peal and slice the Onion into rings of about 1cm thick.
(2) Dip into the beaten Egg.
(3) Coat with seasoned Flour
(4) Deep fry on a fairly high heat until golden brown.
(5) Place on kitchen paper to drain.

Pea Risotto

When I was last in Manchester working I bought some Sticky Rice from a Chinese supermarket. It is very “Sticky”! But idea for a Risotto.


1 Onion finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Frozen Peas
Chicken Stock
Risotto or Sticky Rice
Salt & Pepper


(1) In a large pan, add the onion and gently sweat for about 10 mins until really soft.
(2) Add the Garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes on a low heat.
(3) Stir the Rice into the pan, increase heat to medium and sizzle the rice for 1 min.
(4) Add the Stock a little at a time and stirring continuously until the rice is tender and has a good creamy consistency.
(5) Add the Peas and season to taste stirring the peas in well.

We served these with marinated Pork ribs and home made Coleslaw.

Minted Lamb Kofta

Discount half price Lamb mince and “M” in our ‘Ingredients Alphabet’ had to be Minted Lamb Kofta really.

Discount Lamb Mince

Ingredients for the Kofta:-

250g Lamb mince
1 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Coriander
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp dried Mint


(1) Mix all the ingredients except the Oil.
(2) Form into Sausage shapes and push a skewer through the middle.
(3) Brush with Oil and grill until slightly browned on all sides.

We served ours with a little Chilli sauce, Turmeric boils Rice and a side salad.



Super Kiev recipe

We’ve been playing with Lacto Fermenting Garlic – Instructions here. Which if anything has made the already potent Polish Garlic even more so. Normal grated Garlic works just fine but we like our little experiments….

As we knew this was going to be very Garlicy Sue replaced the usual (Gluten free) bread crumbs with some home made Garlic bread we had in the freezer. A quick blitz in the wuzzer and it was good to go.

Our previous Chicken Kiev recipe is here.

These were really good and we served them with Chips and a home had Coleslaw. We won’t be having vampire issues in the near future!


Sweet Potato Tagliatelle Bolognaise

Bolognaise is a staple here but traditional Wheat based Pasta is off the menu as Sue has a very damaging reaction to the Gluten. So we’re always on the look out for interesting alternatives. We’ve tried and enjoyed Rice Tagliatelle which is great, but it really only want immersing in boiling water. It very quickly looses starch and congeals if you’re not careful.

So what is that strange looking grey / green stuff you may be wondering? It’s Sweet Potato starch Tagliatelle. I spotted this in a Chinese supermarket in Manchester when I was working there a couple of weeks ago. The name is perhaps a bit deceptive. Although it is made from the starch of Sweet Potatoes, it’s actually not at all sweet. It has the texture of traditional pasta and is boiled for 6 to 7 minutes without the risk of sticking together. Despite the odd colour it was very tasty.

Our general Bolognaise recipe is here


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