The Weekend Matters: Pork Pies, Hebden Bridge and Me

(In which the writer visits Hebden Bridge and learns to cook a perfect summer pork pie. For readers wanting pork pie info only, please move to paragraph 4, clearly signposted below)

Hebden Bridge

We spent Saturday afternoon exploring my beloved old mill town of Hebden Bridge, nestled in the Yorkshire Pennines.

A creative haven , the town was demolished by floods at the end of last year but is bouncing joyfully back.

So there was plenty of this:

some of this

and enough of this

to know the town holds something special with community at its heart. Which is also a link to a very beautiful art gallery nestled at the centre of town.

There were some amazing sculptural pieces at the Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge including some tiny figures in glass jars and some bell jars with writing etched with acid on the glass, haunting photographs and beautiful colour paintings alongside hand crafted silver jewellery, worth a visit to stand and feel the beauty.

Sylvia Plath Hughes

My favourite part of the day was stumbing on a deserted cobbled hill that took us up to Heptonstall famous as the birth place of Ted Hughes and the last resting place of Sylvia Plath Hughes.

I can’t help thinking that Plath ended up a long way from home.

I imagine for a moment, it can be very cold and lonely up there.  Harsh.

Summer Pork Pies

At Hebden Bridge, I was inspired by these

And came home and made these:

which were delicious straight from the oven with some hot buttery mash and mint sauce.

Ingredients

Ingredients
•1 Small onion, chopped
•15g butter
•417g thin Cut Pork Loin Steaks, trimmed of fat and cut into 1cm pieces
•2 Rashers back bacon, chopped
•2 level tsp flour, plus extra for rolling out
•Good pinch ground allspice
•1 tsp dried sage
•200ml hot pork stock (or chicken stock)
•500g pack (ready made) Shortcrust Pastry
•1 Egg, beaten

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2. Cook the onion in the butter over a low heat until soft. Add the pork and bacon to the pan and cook until it changes colour. Stir in the flour.

Transfer to a casserole dish. Add the allspice and sage. Pour over the stock. Cover and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours. Allow to cool.

Increase the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out 8 x 12cm rounds. You’ll also need 8 smaller rounds for lids, so gather the scraps together and roll out again, then continue cutting out until you have enough. Use the larger rounds to line 8 deep tart tins, letting the pastry overlap the top.

Fill with the pork mixture, adding enough of the cooking liquid to come almost to the top. Dampen the edges of the pastry, then cover with the pastry lids, sealing the join firmly.

Make a small hole in the centre of each. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve up with hot buttery mash and mushy peas with mint sauce – proper end to a perfect Yorkshire day 🙂

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