Dave loves pork pies. A traditional English meat pie, served cold. The idea seemed strange and a bit ew to eat a meat pie cold... especially pork.... I'm not sure why exactly. I had never seen, or even heard of one until last year when we went to visit his mum in the UK. The photo below is of my first pork pie during that visit (upper center), along with some other British specialties... some I've had, some I hadn't.
That was the first and last time I'd had pork pie. But every now and then Dave wishes aloud that he could find them here in the U.S.
But as luck would have it, we found this totally kick ass cook book called "Pie"
Typically, here in the US... anything labeled "pie" is going to be of the sweet variety. But curiosity got the better of us, so we picked it up and flipped through a couple of pages. How glad we were that we did when we realized this was a VERY British Pie cookbook.
Needless to say, we bought it, and first order was Pork Pies. And I realized pretty quickly that I'd picked a more complicated recipe from the book. A jelly needed to be made from pigs feet, I worred at first I wouldnt be able to find them in our white bread markets, but thankfully the butcher at ours said he could order some, I'd just have to wait a few days.
Another complication, was that the dough had to be "hand raised" or hand formed, and held in position by parchment and string. I dont have any springform pans (though they have now made their way onto my wish list).. and I wanted to do this the traditional way anyway!
Many steps of making this included, making the jelly... making the filling... making the dough, which has to be formed while its still warm, otherwise it is unmanagable when cool. A hole is poked in the top, then baked. After it cools, only then is the jelly poured into the hole, to fill the spaces created when the meat shrinks during cooking. This is why, I learned, pork pies are eaten cold.... jelly turns to liquid when warmed... so when you eat it cool, you are treated to these beautiful little clumps of jelly scattered around and throughout the meat filling.
Dave has made a pork pie lover out of me. =)