We have some of the best pork in Europe (and the world) and where I live in North Yorkshire, there are some wonderful free-range pig farms close by; so, fresh free-range pork as well as gammon, sausages and bacon are readily available in the local farm shop, plus it’s lovely to see the pigs happily playing in and munching on grass in the fields nearby, it’s a real field to fork enterprise.
I always buy British pork, and why wouldn’t I? It’s local and the quality is excellent. Most of the comforting dishes that I serve throughout the winter months are pork based, such as my recipes for Pulled Pork with a Spicy Rub, Marmalade Glazed Ham/Gammon, Bangin’ Bonfire Bacon & Banger Burgers & Sausage Casserole. But whereas pork used to be seasonal, it’s now readily available all year round and I also have lots of lighter recipes for pork and ham such as Pork Sausage and Orange Terrine and Raised Chicken and Ham Pie.
Pork is also a very cheap and nutritious meat and a large pork joint or piece of gammon makes an affordable meal for Sunday lunch, as well as for family suppers during the week. I love roast pork when served with apple sauce and a batch of home-made sage and onion stuffing, plus there’s all the leftovers for sandwiches, salads and pies too – it’s meat that keeps on giving.
In celebration of British pork, the recipe I am sharing today is for a British pie classic, Gala Pie, made with gammon and fresh free-range eggs, beautifully seasoned and encased in a crisp, golden hot water pastry case – perfect for picnics, buffets, Christmas, Easter, family get-togethers and the school or office lunch box. Gala pie is normally made with pork, but I have a recipe that uses gammon (or ham) which we all prefer, so that’s the recipe I am sharing today.
My recipe calls for hot water pastry, which contrary to popular belief is easy to make, as well as prime cuts of gammon, bacon, sage, spices and lovely free-range eggs. I don’t add jelly to my pie, as is often the case for a classic Gala or Pork Pie recipe, mainly because my family aren’t keen on the “jelly” that surrounds the meat if you make the pies this way. I always try to add decorative pastry leaves and swirls to my pie; it really makes it look special, especially for those times when you need to impress!
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