Today we decided to do Sunday lunch, Hairy Bikers style. Dan picked up one of their books last week…and it’s all about glorious pies. Not great for the waistline…but…it does contain an abundance of highly tasty pie recipes (Dan found their reference to the book as the ‘Pieble’ very amusing). Having flicked through earlier today, I can confirm that it contains a pie for every occasion.

I’m sure everyone is now aware of my love of eggs. I may not have mentioned, however, that one of my guilty pleasures is the scotch egg. This dates back to early childhood when my mum would make her own, adding a delicious homemade touch to a huge family buffet (she always put on an impressive spread, my mum). I digress. Anyhow, this pie was really quite something and the full ingredients list plus cooking method can be found in The Hairy Biker’s wonderful book ‘Perfect Pies’. As the title of this post suggests, it’s basically a deconstructed scotch egg in pastry. Needless to say, I was all over it.

To make this pie (serves four) you will need a 23-25 inch pie plate plus:
– Six medium eggs (fridge cold)
– 450g of good quality pork sausages (we used Porky Whites)
– 75g of fresh white breadcrumbs
– A good pinch of dried sage (our addition)
– Black pepper

To make the pastry:
– 300g of plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
– 100g of cold butter (cubed)
– 75g of cold lard (cubed)
– One large egg (beaten with one tablespoon of cold water)
– Beaten egg (to glaze)
– A pinch of salt

– Boil the eggs in a pan for nine minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water.
– Squeeze the sausage meat into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Add the sage and season well with black pepper. Combine until well mixed, using your hands.
– Preheat the oven to gas mark six/200C. To make the pastry, whiz the flour, butter and lard up in a mixer on the pulse setting until the mixture becomes like breadcrumbs. As it’s running, add the water, salt and egg, and keep mixing until it begins to form a ball.
– Divide into two halves and shake into flattened balls. Roll out one on a floured surface until it is roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Use this to line the pie plate, making sure to leave some excess overhanging the sides. Spoon half of the sausage filling into the base and spread evenly to the sides.
– Make six hollows in the filling with the back of a spoon, making sure they are evenly spaced. Peel the eggs and place them in the holes, with the pointy ends facing the middle of the pie. Then cover with the remaining meat.
– Roll out the pastry half that you have left to make the pie lid. Brush the edges of the pastry case with the beaten egg and gently lift the lid over the filling. Press the edges together firmly, then trim and seal. Brush the top of the pie with some more beaten egg and make a small hole in the centre.
– Place on a baking try and cook for forty five to fifty five minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, plus the filling is thoroughly cooked all the way through.
– The pie can then be served immediately hot, or left to cool and served cold.

We had ours with some lovely mustard mash, a helping of very sweet, whole Chantenay carrots, gravy and a good dollop of English mustard on the side. It is fair to say that this is a real ‘family favourite’ and the trick is to use the best quality sausages that you can find. It does make all the difference. It’s worth mentioning that the pastry is also surprisingly very light.

This pie wouldn’t look out of place as part of a picnic or a cold buffet selection, served with a nice spoonful of Branston! Eaten hot or cold, it certainly won’t disappoint. Especially if you’re partial to an egg, or two.