Friday, April 22, 2011

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

A pork pie is a traditional British meat pie made with pork and pork jelly (don't google that one) in a pastry crust.  The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is named after the town we visited, and that name can only be applied to  "uncured pork-filled pies cooked without supporting hoops and made within a 1,800 square mile zone around the town. Permissible ingredients are fresh pork (pies must be at least 30% meat), shortening (usually lard), pork gelatine or stock, wheat flour, water, salt and spices (predominantly pepper). Artificial colours, flavours and preservatives are not allowed."

When we were in Melton, we visited Dickinson & Morris's Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, the oldest pork pie bakery in town, operating since 1851.

We bought a couple of individual pies to try.  First up, a plain one:

Check out the nutritional information:
 542 calories in this thing.  It's dense.  (And just for reference, that's a small salad plate, not a regular dinner-sized plate.)

We learned that pork pies are always eaten cold.  Cold.  Everyone we talked to looked at us like we had a third eye when we suggested that it might be yummy heated up.  No.  Pork pies are never eaten warm.  Just cold.  (I think they were originally created to be lunch that men took to work with them.  No need to worry about heating it up.  Nice and hearty; very filling and compact.)
Alan and I liked it.  The crust is really quite buttery and flaky, and the pork is good, even cold.

Sometimes pork pies are eaten with mustard or with some kind of onion relish or chutney.  We bought one that was baked with stilton cheese (a type of bleu cheese) on it:
Also quite tasty!

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