American Pork Pie

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 7 hours


6 pigs feet (split)

2 onions (large diced)

2 carrots (peeled, large dice)

2 stalks celery (large dice)

6 garlic

2 bay leaves

1/2 bunch thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon peppercorns

water (As needed)

1 pound pork shoulder (1/4 inch dice)

1 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

575 grams flour

200 grams lard

190 grams water

1 egg (beaten)

1. For the trotter gear: Rinse the pig’s feet under cold water and if necessary, remove any errant hairs. Place the pig’s feet in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, then drain and rinse the feet under cold water. This initial blanch of the feet will help to remove any impurities. Return the feet to the pot, cover with enough water to cover the feet by 2 inches. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for 5 hours, skimming regularly. Add the cut vegetables and aromatics to the pot and simmer for an additional hour. Strain the feet and vegetables (if desired, you can pick the meat from the trotters and add to your finished trotter gear,) strain the liquid again through a chinois and cool. Your final product, when cooled, should set very firmly.

2. For the filling: Cut the shoulder into ¼ inch dice and combine with the ground pork meat. Add the chopped thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground pepper and mix to combine. Cover and set aside until you are ready to fill the pies.

3. For the dough: Heat the lard and water in a small pot until the lard has completely melted and the mixture has come to a simmer. Place the flour in a large bowl and pour the melted lard and hot water over top. Stir the dough mixture to combine and when it has cooled enough to touch, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough enough so that it comes together in a large ball. Cut away ¼ of the dough and return it to the bowl and cover. While the dough is still warm, roll it out to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut circles 6 ½ inches wide, so that when the dough has been pressed into the pan, there is a small overhanging edge. Repeat this process for your remaining pans. Roll out the remaining ¼ of the dough and cut 4 inch rounds to serve as tops for each of pies. Cut a small round vent hole out of each of the tops (a round pastry tip or straw works well for this.)

4. To assemble and cook the pies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Fill the pies with your prepared meat mixture, pressing down to tightly pack the pies. Cover each of the packed pies with the 4” dough tops and pinch the edges to seal. Brush the tops of the pie with egg wash, place on a sheet tray and into the oven. Bake the pies for 30 minutes, rotate, and then again for an additional 20-30 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

5. Remove the pies from the oven and allow to cool completely. Take 2 cups of the trotter gear and heat until it is a liquid again. Pour the trotter gear into each of the vent holes of the pork pies until completely filled. Place the pies in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely before serving.

Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.