I’ve been dying to attempt this recipe for ages, the only thing that was holding me back was trying to get hold of vege friendly gelatine. As a kid, the gelatine in the pork pie was always my favourite part. If we were having guests round at Christmas, my mum would put on a buffet which included pork pies cut into quarters – I would go around when no one was looking, removing the meat, stealing the jelly, then replacing the meat into the pastry as if nothing had happened… bleurgh!
I couldn’t find any suitable gelatine in our local shops or supermarkets so I was forced to go online. I eventually bought “Vegeset” (link here: http://vegeset.co.uk/) which did the job very well.
Unfortunately, despite my efforts, the “Jellying” of the pork pies was probably the least successful part of my creation. I used seitan instead of pig which unlike real meat, doesn’t shrink when cooked. Also, the pastry seemed to fluff up in the oven. These two unfactored factors meant that there wasn’t actually a whole lot of room for jelly in between the layers.
Next time I am going to press the pastry more thinly! And there will be a next time because these little pies are DELICIOUS!
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside pastry, with a ridiculously “porky” centre, these bad boys are super sexy served up with a bit of vegan mayo, or maybe a nice chutney.
Vegan pork pie recipe:
1 x small onion
1 x tin red kidney beans (400g)
1 x stock cube
1 x tsp minced garlic
1 x teaspoon veg*n Worcestershire sauce.
2 x tsp dried sage
1 x tsp salt
1 x tsp black pepper
1 x tbsp oil
1 ½ x cups wheat gluten
Into a small pan add the contents of the kidney bean can (including the juice) and add cold water until the pan is ¾ full. Crumble in the stock cube. Chop the onion into halves and add to the pan. Heat until the onions are soft.
Whilst retaining the stock, drain and transfer the beans and onion to a bowl and add a tablespoon of the stock (keep the rest, you will need it). Mix in the garlic, sage, salt, pepper and oil and then blend to a thick puree.
Add the wheat gluten and garlic powder and mix until a dough is formed. You might need to use your hands towards the end.
Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, longer if you have time (I cheated and used the kneading tool on my food processor).
You want the “meat” to be firm and kneading is the key to this.
Using your hands, try to mould the kneaded dough into 4 x “pork pie middle” shaped lumps. Then roll up each middle in foil and loosely scrunch up the ends. Put in a steamer for 1 hour.
After one hour, remove from the steamer and leave in the tin foil until cool enough to handle (about 45 mins).
Once cooled, the seitan can either be kept in the fridge until ready to be used. You may need to trim the sides to make the seitan a good fit for your pies. I kept the off cuts so I could use them in a curry. Yum!
Hot water pastry
3¼ x cups plain white flour
1x tsp salt
1x tsp ground nutmeg
½x cup vegan butter (I used Vitalite)
½x cup vegan lard (I used Trex)
200 x ml water
Although I altered the ingredients slightly, to make the recipe vegan, I basically followed this: http://gourmetdough.com/pastry/how-to-make-hot-water-crust-pastry
Apologises, this link is NOT to a vegetarian friendly post, but the method described is really good and nicely illustrated..
But to summarise:
Put flour into a bowl and stir in the nutmeg (don’t forget the nutmeg if you follow the above link!).
Put the water into a pan and add the salt, lard and butter (I made up some of the 200 ml of water with the left over stock). Heat until all the fat is melted and beginning to boil.
Pour the fatty mixture into the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon.
Place a clean tea-towel over the bowl and leave the pastry to rest for 1hr.
Lightly knead the dough and flatten it out onto a rectangular tray. Take the right-hand-side of the pastry rectangle and fold over to the centre. Do the same with the left-hand-side. Press down to re-mould into a rectangle and turn over and repeat (the link describes this process so much better than I do!). When done pressing and folding, put the pastry into the fridge to firm up.
Once firm, take chunks of the pastry and press into your chosen dish (I used metal pudding tins) until you have created the pie shell. Make sure to leave an edge which over laps the dish. To create the lids I pressed down chunks of the dough until the right thickness, then used a pastry cutter to cut out a circle.
To assemble the pies:
Pre-heat the oven to 200oC.
Place the filling into the pastry shell. The “meat” should be able to rattle – especially if like me you want to have a jelly
Add two teaspoons of stock to each pie – the seitan won’t release liquid like real pork would – then add the lid.
Attach the lid by pinching its edges together with the edge of the body of the pie.
Add a hole to the centre of each lid and brush the tops with a little dairy-free milk.
Add the pies to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drop the temperature of the oven to 180oC and
cover the pies with a little foil before cooking for a further 15 minutes. When cooked and golden brown, the pies can be taken out of the oven and left to cool.
They should easily slip out of the tins if removed whilst still slightly warm, due to the fat content.
Gelatine layer (Optional)
200 x ml boiling water
½ x stockcube
2 x tsp sage
½ x tsp Vegeset
Dissolve the stock cube into the water and add the sage. Leave for a couple of hours to cool.
Using the end of a spoon, or a chopstick or whatever, wiggle the hole that you made in the pie lid to make sure there is room for the gelatine.
Strain the stock to remove the sage and transfer to a saucepan.
Sprinkle the Vegeset over the cold stock and turn on the heat.
Whisk constantly until boiling.
Transfer to a jug and pour into each pie, until each appear to be full. I used a funnel.
Pop into the fridge for half an hour to make sue the gelatine has set.
And finally, the money-shot!: