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Ale and cider pork party pies

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for ale and cider pork party pies.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 35 mins cooking plus cooling, chilling
  • Serves 20
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Ale and cider pork party pies
These party pies are extraordinarily addictive. A topnotch chutney or organic tomato sauce are the only accompaniments needed - apart from a glass of golden ale, such as 3 Monts, of course.


  • 2.5 kg pickled, skinless, boneless pork shoulder, cut into large pieces (see note)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 20 gm butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 ml golden ale
  • 500 ml apple cider
  • 75 gm (1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 50 gm Dijon mustard
  • 1 fresh bay sprig
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 4 Italian-style pork and fennel sausages, skins removed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash
Hot water lard pastry
  • 550 gm plain flour
  • 150 gm lard


  • 1
    Place pork in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour, drain and set aside.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil and butter in a casserole over high heat until foaming. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (5-10 minutes). Add ale, cider, sugar, mustard, herbs, peppercorns and pork, cover with a lid and bake, turning pork occasionally, until pork is very tender (2 hours). Cool, drain (see note), then shred meat (discard half the fat) and refrigerate until chilled.
  • 3
    Combine sausage meat and shredded pork in a bowl. Season to taste, set aside.
  • 4
    For hot water lard pastry, combine flour and ¼ tsp salt in a warmed heatproof bowl. Combine lard and 340ml water in a saucepan, stir over low heat until lard melts. Increase heat to high, bring to the boil, then pour over flour and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth, place in an airtight plastic bag and keep warm until required.
  • 5
    Halve dough, then, working with one half at a time (keep remaining covered until required), divide into 20 walnut-sized pieces. Roll each to a 4mm-thick circle. Line 20 holes of two buttered and floured 12-hole, 80ml-capacity muffin pans, allowing pastry edges to overhang. Divide pork mixture among moulds, brush edges with eggwash. Divide remaining pastry into 20 pieces, roll each piece to a 4mm-thick circle and cover each pie. Cut away excess pastry with an 8½cm-diameter cutter, then cut a hole in the centre of each top with a 2cm-diameter cutter. Seal edges with a fork, brush with eggwash and bake until golden (20-25 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes in pan and serve with sauces.


Note You'll need to order pickled boneless pork shoulder in advance from your butcher. If you want to serve the party pies cold, reserve the liquid from step 2, strain and chill, then spoon a little into the hole of each pie after baking to help keep the filling moist, then refrigerate pies.

  • undefined: Lisa Featherby