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Pork, Stilton & Port Pies

I know you boys like your pies. These are full of flavour and can easily be made ahead and kept in the fridge, so no last-minute chaos in the kitchen.

Recipe taken from In the Mood for Entertaining, Boy’s night in.

Serves 4

1 hour, plus up to 2 hours marinating

500g pork fillet

2–3 sprigs of  thyme

150ml white port (dry sherry could be used as an alternative)

2 cloves of  garlic, crushed

40g dried cranberries

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

100ml double cream

200ml chicken stock

100g Stilton cheese

500g puff pastry

egg wash, made with 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk

You will also need four individual pie dishes, about 300ml in capacity

Slice the pork into roughly 2 to 3cm pieces and place in a bowl with the thyme, port, garlic and cranberries and season with salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir around and leave to marinate for up to 2 hours. If, however, you are reading this recipe at the last minute, which is quite possibly the case, then the pork will be fine without any marinating, the flavour just won’t be as rich.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/gas 6.

Drain the marinated pork in a colander over a bowl. Heat the oil in a large frying or sauté pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it is softened. Stir in the mushrooms and fry for a minute before adding the drained pork and cranberries and cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved marinating liquid, bring to a simmer and then add the cream and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the Stilton until it has melted and remove from the heat.

Spoon the creamy pork into the pie dishes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface so it is just big enough to cut out four tops slightly bigger than the pie dishes. Brush around the rims of the dishes with the egg wash, sit the pastry on top and brush the surface with egg wash. Press around the edges to seal and cut a slit in the top for steam to escape.

Sit the pies on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the tops are golden. The pastry might fall into the dishes slightly, which is fine.

PS . . .  The pies are delicious served with a root vegetable mash and some cooked green beans tossed in butter and a good pinch of garlic salt.

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