Whether you love them or hate them, pork pies are one of those iconic delicacies that are as British as tea, Sunday roasts and fish and chips. What makes them different from your bog-standard pie is the casing; a hot water crust pastry that combines lard, flour, salt and boiling water to create a dense, rich mixture that bakes firm and is easy to shape. Inside, the pork filling is surrounded by a savoury jelly called aspic, made from stock and the reason why some people find pork pies less than appetising. However, for those of us who have fond memories of pork-pie-fuelled childhood picnics and love nothing more than working through a pack of mini Melton Mowbray pork pies for lunch, they’re a real treat.
It’s actually quite easy to make your own incredibly delicious pork pies at home (check out our recipe here), but there are so many skilled producers out there it’s worth sampling their wares too. We tasted our way through pork pies of all shapes and sizes to find the best – here are our results.