Pork pie cut in half, next to a stack of cheeses and an onion chutney

How to Make British Pork Pies

Have a read of how to make British pork pies from scratch, from the meat filling and jelly to the pastry. This portable pie is perfect for a ploughman’s lunch or a park picnic.
Author Headshot
Olivia Higgs
Mar 4
3 mins
Mar 4
3 mins

Pies in all forms have long been a favourite across Britain - from your classic steak and ale to game pies. The pork pie though, is a little different. It’s small and stubby and is made with ground pork, a thin layer of meat jelly and a hot-water pastry shell.The hot water pastry involves heating the fat and using a high quantity of water. What you end up with is a pastry that’s easy to shape into cases and can hold wet and heavy fillings. For the pork filling, the exact recipes are often heavily guarded by pie makers but typically use a mix of warming spices like mace, nutmeg and black pepper and sometimes even anchovies.Then for the jelly, you use a mix of gelatin and a stock of your choice as a thin, delicious, wobbly layer that sits between the meat filling and the pastry crust.


For the pastry:

  • 200ml water
  • 75g / 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 75g/ 1/3 cup lard
  • 450g/16 oz all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • eggwash (beat 1 egg with a splash of water)

For the meat filling:

  • 500g/ 18 oz fatty pork shoulder or pork belly, ground
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • small bunch of thyme, leaves only
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the jelly:

  • 3 gelatin leaves
  • 250ml/ 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt & pepper to taste
A batch of pork pies fresh out of the oven on parchment paper

Get the weekly newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Practical advice, stories and tips on how you can take your creative skills to the next level.


  • On a medium heat bring your butter, lard and water to a gentle boil.
  • In a heatproof bowl combine your flour, salt and egg and mix together with a wooden spoon. Then add your hot water-fat mix. Once again, mix through with your spoon.
  • Lightly flour your worktop and tip out your dough. Knead until smooth.
  • Now to shape your dough. Brush your jam jar with a little flavorless/vegetable oil. Grab about 2/3 of your pastry and roll out to about a 0.5cm thick (wrap the remaining pastry in cling film to be used for your lids later). Cut a circle with a 10cm diameter and place over the bottom of your jam jar. Using your hands shape the pastry around the base of the jar, easing it up the sides. Wrap the jar in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Whilst waiting for the pastry to chill, combine the ingredients for the meat filling in a bowl and mix through. Now for the jelly. Bloom your gelatin by soaking the leaves in cold water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and add the gelatin to warm chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside. Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
  • Take your jam jars out of the fridge. Carefully slide the pastry off the jars. If you're having some trouble removing the pastry, add some hot water to the inside of the jar which will warm the pastry slightly and make it easier to slide off.
  • Spoon the meat filling into each pastry cup, patting down the meat as you go. Leave a little bit of free space towards the top for your lid and the jelly.
  • With the remaining third of pastry, cut out lids to fit your pies. Place the lids on top of each pie. The lid should slot inside, then crimp the edges with your fingers to seal. Pierce a hole in the center of the lid on each pie using a skewer or toothpick. Brush the egg wash all over each pie. Bake for around 50 minutes (the temperature at the center of the pies should be 80C/176F).
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and add another layer of egg wash to each pie. Next, add your gelatin-stock mix to each pie through the small hole in the center of each lid - the easiest way to do this is with a syringe. Leave to set in a cool place. Serve with a chutney of your choice.
  • The pies should keep in the fridge for up to five days or you can also freeze them.
Propel your culinary creativity
Our programs are designed to help you develop and master creative skills you're passionate about. This track has been built to help people like you propel your culinary abilities forward, regardless of whether you want to launch your own business or host the perfect dinner party.
Join a program

Join the program
Get Early Access
Be the first to get access to our
British Food Program
In this program, some of Britain’s best chefs will help you explore the food, stories and culture of the island. You’ll explore the rich, natural produce, regional flavors and master ancient techniques with support and feedback from the chefs. Pre-register for the program below.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
See all posts
Right arrow icon