Pork pies come with a crisp crust
, mildly spiced and filled with chopped pork
in a lining of pork jelly, which the people of Melton Mowbray
, Leicestershire, Britain
insist originated with them. The good people of this sleepy market town claim that their pork pie making dates from the 1830
s. In 1831, Edward Adcock was recorded as making pork pies in a small baker
's shop. By 1840, the first pork pie bakery on factory
lines was in production, started by Enoch Evans, in a place called the old beast market, which I'm not sure is a place I'd like to visit. Pork was in good supply, due in part to the whey produced as a by-product of the local cheese
making, most notably Stilton
, which pigs thrive on.
The traditional way of making pork pies involve hot water crust pastry being hand-raised around a wooden block. Fresh lean pork is chopped and mixed with what manufacturers refer to as a 'secret blend of seasonings' and then added to the case. This 'secret blend' probably consists of no more than sawdust and pepper. The pie is then carefully finished with a hand crimped pastry lid. The pork pie is baked without the support of a hoop or baking tin and, when cooked, takes on a bow sided appearance, which is acknowledged as the traditional shape of a Melton Mowbray pork pie. After baking, bone stock jelly is added to the pie which ensures a firm and moist eating texture.
It's probably fair to point out at this stage that I don't actually eat the damn things, as they fall way outside my dietary preferences. I do have vague and horrible memories of being forced to eat them as a child, particularly the jelly. People who do eat them assure me that these pies are lovely, but even then I've seen people leave the jelly at the side of the plate.
'Pork pie' is also cockney rhyming slang for a lie. As in 'he must be telling porkies'. Also, a type of hat, but the only example of one that springs to mind is the one that a character in The Beano used to wear. As I can't remember the characters name, and given the fact that plenty of noders will have no concept of the Beano, this really isn't very helpful. Sorry.