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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!!!

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