RECIPE OF THE WEEK: ENGLISH PORK PIES

Make the most of winter with these easy English pork pies with a delectable onion gravy, as sourced from The Food Fox. Try serving it with a spicy red Excelsior San Louis Shiraz that should complement the nutmeg and allspice notes of the pies really well.

recipe
Ingredients: (serves 6)
•    2 tablespoons olive oil
•    1 large onion, finely diced
•    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
•    600g fresh pork sausage (coarsely textured)
•    ½ teaspoon allspice
•    a pinch of nutmeg
•    2 x rolls puff pastry or shortcrust pastry (400g each)
•    1 egg, slightly beaten for egg wash
Method:
1.    Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion & thyme and fry until it is soft but not too brown – about 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.
2.    In the meantime, remove the sausage meat from the casings (cut it open lengthways with kitchen sears), and place in a mixing bowl. Add the fried onions, allspice & nutmeg, then mix well (you can use your clean hands).
3.    Butter/grease 6 dariole moulds, then use the pastry to line each mould, pressing down gently. Fill each pastry case with pie filling, then place a round of pastry on top of each pie and pinch it together. Trim away any excess pastry, then brush with the egg wash on the tops.
4.    Place the prepared pies on a baking sheet, then bake at 220C for 25 minutes. Carefully turn the pies out of the moulds (I use a clean tea towel to assist), then turn them upside down place on a baking tray. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown the bottoms.
5.    Remove from the oven and serve with mashed potatoes & gravy.
For the onion gravy:
•    15ml (1 tablespoon) butter
•    30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
•    4 onions, peeled and finely sliced (not chopped)
•    10ml (2 teaspoons) brown sugar
•    15ml (1 tablespoon) balsamic vinegar
•    250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
•    15ml (1 tablespoon) Worcestershire sauce
•    salt & pepper
•    10ml (2 teaspoons) cornflour/Maizena mixed with 15ml (1 tablespoon) cold water – optional
Method:
1.    In a medium size saucepan over medium-low heat, add the butter & olive oil. Now add the onions and stir well. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. You’re looking for very soft and slightly golden onions.
2.    Turn the heat up to high, then add the brown sugar & balsamic vinegar. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it reduces and starts to caramelize.
3.    Now add the stock & Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer (turn the heat down to medium). Simmer for 5 minutes without a lid, then season to taste with salt & pepper. If you like to thicken your gravy, you can now add the cornflour/water mixture and stir to thicken. If you like a smooth gravy, use a stick blender to create a smooth sauce. Transfer to a small gravy jug and serve hot.

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