What an weekend. On Saturday, I attended the Abbey Medieval Festival for the first time as a re-enactor. Originally I had planned to be there for the whole weekend, but sickness got in the way and my body was just not up to handling two full days out. I spent Friday evening throwing together everything I needed and packing my car – ready to be up early to get out to Abbey and set up. I rose on Saturday morning at 5.30 (urgh), dressed in my 15th Century gown to the best of my ability and got on the road. It’s not an easy task dressing in a tight side lacing kirtle by yourself, especially when the eyelets are a bit too tight for the lacing aglets. At any rate, I arrived on site just after 6.30am, unloaded my car and got into setting up my shade and table (after having one of my fellow re-enactors lace up my kirtle). We got the site all set up in no time and had enough time before the public arrived for a touch of shopping and purchasing food.
600g – 800g pork steak
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red / white wine
2 Tablespoons Honey (omit if you are using a sweet wine)
2 Tablespoons Gravy Powder
1 tsp gelatine (to help the pie set properly)
½ cup diced dates
½ cup raisins
4 Tablespoons fresh grated Ginger
Cornflour to thicken
2 cups plain flour
2 cups self raising flour
22cm spring form pan
Dice your pork into small pieces and put in a saucepan with a little oil to brown slightly. Add the beef stock, wine and honey and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 – 40 minutes (will help soften the meat). Add gravy powder and gelatine. Add enough cornflour to thicken your mixture enough to satisfy – you want the innards of your pie to hold together when cool. Allow the mixture to cool. Meanwhile make your pastry. Mix the flours together. Rub the butter through with the tips of your fingers. Add water and mix into a dough (you may need more water to get it to come together). Roll mixture into a ball, cover in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Line the bottom of your springform pan with baking paper and heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (moderate). Roll out 2/3 of your pastry on a lightly floured bench and place into the springform pan as the base. Stir the diced dates, raisins and ginger into your meat mixture and pour into the pastry. Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top as the lid of your pie. Trim off the excess pastry leaving a 2cm edge. Roll the edges in to seal the pastry. Cut a few slits in the pie lid for steam to escape. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. You can either serve it hot or allow the pie to cool before refrigerating. We ate mine cold the next day, and it was lovely.