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Pork Pie with Smoked Eel, Mash, and Parsley Liquor
Pork Pie with Smoked Eel, Mash, and Parsley Liquor
1.5 hours

This exquisite pork pie recipe by head chef Alex Harper is a nod to the old Victorian pie and mash shops of London, but with some very cheffy execution. Each element is fairly simple to make, but the whole dish requires precise timing and care to really pull off great results. 

Recipe courtesy of

Hot Water Dough

  • 140g lard or butter
  • 240ml water
  • 580g strong flour
  • 3g salt

Pork Pie Filling

  • 400g pork shoulder, minced
  • 5g salt
  • 50g black pudding, roughly crumbled (discard the skins)
  • 15g pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 50g lardo, cut into 1cm dice
  • 3g thyme, picked leaves only
  • 4g garlic, crushed

To Finish the Pies

  • Egg yolk beaten with a splash of milk to make an egg wash

Parsley Sauce

  • 150g parsley, leaves picked (reserve the stems separately)  
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 25g shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 50g white wine
  • 300g chicken stock
  • 200g cream

Mashed Potato

  • 400g Pink Fir potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 6g salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, melted  
  • 100g double cream

To serve

  • Smoked eel fillets
  • Crispy onions
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  1. To make the hot water dough, place the lard and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon to make a smooth dough. Cover the dough with cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pie filling. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly by hand, ensuring all of the seasonings are evenly distributed. 
  3. Once the pastry has rested, roll out to a 1/2cm thickness and cut into discs — four of 8cm diameter and four of 20cm diameter. 
  4. Weigh the filling into four 120g balls. Cup one of the 20cm dough discs in your hand and place the meatball in the centre. Lightly brush the inside lip of the pastry with water, place the smaller disc of pastry on top and crimp the pastry together to form a crown-like edge. Repeat with the rest of the pastry discs and filling until you have four pies.
  5. Brush the pies with egg yolk and milk then let them set in the fridge for 30 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, make the parsley sauce. Blanch the parsley leaves for three minutes in boiling water. Refresh in a bowl of ice water dry on kitchen paper.
  7. Add the butter to a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Once bubbling, add the shallots and garlic and gently sweat until soft. Add the wine and reduce by half.
  8. Add the chicken stock and parsley stems to the pan, reduce by half, then add the cream and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl over an ice bath and strain the sauce through a sieve into the bowl, stirring to chill the liquid quickly. Add the sauce to a high-powered blender with the blanched parsley leaves and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
  9. When the pies have been resting for 30 minutes, remove them from the fridge, brush again with egg wash, and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  10. While the pies are resting for the second time, start making your mash. Place the potatoes into a pan of water, bring to the boil and turn onto a medium heat. Cook for 25—30 minutes until tender, then strain through a sieve and set aside.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200°C with a baking tray inside.
  12. Remove the pies from the fridge and make a hole in the centre of each lid. Prepare four cylindrical tin foil “chimneys” and place into each hole (this will allow steam to escape during cooking. Carefully remove the hot baking tray from the oven and place a sheet of greaseproof paper on top (cooking on a preheated tray with baking paper will avoid soggy bottoms). Place the pies on top then bake in the oven for 15—20 minutes, until golden on the outside with an internal temperature of 75°C or above.
  13. Meanwhile, finish the mash. Pass the potatoes through a mouli into a large pan while gently heating the cream on the stove. Mix the potatoes and butter with a whisk on the stove, slowly adding the hot cream. Season to taste.
  14. While finishing the mash, gently reheat the parsley sauce.
  15. Serve the hot pork pies with the mash, parsley sauce, and a few slices of smoked eel fillet.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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