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Pork and girolle pie

Mon, 28 January, 2019


pork pie with girolles

Now there’s a mystery: why is pork pie the only meat pie made with mince and baked in chewy pastry? It does beat me. More – it also beats my butcher who I consulted, but that’s the way things are.

Pork pie, or a traditional raised pork pie as the English know it, is a sort of a twist on pâté in pastry, a wellington with mince or a sausage roll in the shape of a pie, only not quite as nice as any of the above. It consists as has been said already of hot water pastry – which I have nothing against personally but it tends to be quite hard if the pie is to be eaten chilled. Next comes the minced pork, a kind of uber-processed corned pork, not very flavoursome, not decisively tasty; a bit meh. The only redeeming feature for me is the jelly, but I’m a sucker for jelly of any kind.

pork and mushroom pie

Why is it supposed to be eaten cold when all other pies are hot, steaming, crusty and oozing tasty gravy? It’s not like pork can only be served as charcuterie or can’t be made into a stew, goulasch or griot. Pork is the flagship casserole member so why is it a pie maverick?

pork pie not as you know it

I do not have the answer but decided to take matters in my hands and rectify the situation. There – a pork pie to be eaten hot, with crisp short crust and tender chunks of meat mingling with wild mushrooms inside. There’s gravy. It’s delicious. Justice for pork is served.

pork and girolle pie

Servings: 4Time: 4 hours


  • For the pastry:
  • 300g (2½ cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground in pestle and mortar
  • a few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 100g (7 tbsp.) cold butter, diced
  • 50g (3½ tbsp.) cold margarine, diced
  • 1 medium egg
  • 60 – 80ml (¼ cup) iced water
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • For the filling:
  • 400g (1 pound) diced pork (shoulder, loin or tenderloin, or a mix)
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 120g (4 oz.) fresh girolles, brushed clean
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 2 dried bay leaf
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 tbsp. corn flour
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • For the fried girolles (optional):
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 120g (4 oz.) fresh girolles, brushed clean
  • salt and black pepper
  • a little chopped parsley


1. To make the pastry – which can be made well ahead and stored in the fridge or frozen – stir the flour, thyme, salt, ground fennel and mustard powder in a large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the diced butter and margarine and process or rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Beat the egg with the water and vinegar and gradually add to the flour mixture, stirring the liquid in with a large fork or a spatula. Add a little more water if it looks dry. When it starts clumping together, give it a short knead with your hands and gather the pastry into a ball. Divide it into halves; wrap both portions in cling film, flatten gently and chill for at least an hour.

3. Season the diced pork generously with pork as early as possible; it can sit in the fridge, salted, overnight if that’s feasible.

4. Heat up the oil in a large pan; add the pork and brown it well all over. Remove onto a plate.

5. Add the butter to the pan and follow with the girolles, when the butter foams. Fry them for a few minutes, stirring, over medium heat until a little coloured. Remove them with a slotted spoon onto the plate with the meat. Don’t worry if there are bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, the wet ingredients will help unstick them.

cooking pork and mushrooms

6. Add the onion to the pan, cover with a lid and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then, until it softens. Add the apple and garlic and cook for a minute. Season with the white pepper, add the bay leaf and return the meat and mushrooms to the pan. Pour in enough water to only just come up to the level of the meat, bring to the boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover with the lid and cook for 1 hour.

cooking pork pie filling

7. Check if the meat is tender; you might not need to cook it for an hour if using tender cuts of pork. If there’s still a lot of liquid in the pan, turn up the heat and cook it down for a couple of minutes. Stir the corn flour with a little cold water and add to the pan. Stir, let it bubble and take the pan off the heat. Leave it to cool completely – preparing the filling a day ahead is a good option.

8. When the filling is cold, prepare the pastry bottom and lid: roll out the bigger portion to a round of about 24cm in diameter, depending on the size and shape of your pie dish; it needs to cover the bottom with an overhang. Break the egg that will be used for brushing and use some of it white to brush over the bottom of the pie, to stop it from getting soggy. Return to the fridge while you roll out the lid to a slightly smaller circle; to cover the top.

9. Preheat the oven to 190C/200F/gas 5. Spoon the filling into the dish. Cover with the pastry lid, trim the excess pastry and fold the edges. Scrunch or crimp up the edge of the pie and brush the surface generously with the beaten egg. Cut slits to vent steam.

how to make a pie

10. Bake the pie in the lower half of the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown.

pork and girolle pie

11. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving, while you fry the remaining girolles, if using. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir fry the girolles for 5 minutes until coloured. Season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Spoon the girolles over pie slices and serve some green salad to go along with it.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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