Can You Freeze Pork Pies? – The Complete Guide
If you are at all familiar with traditional British dishes, then you’ve most likely heard of pork pie. Some of the best family dinners have come about from traditional English and British dishes.
The pork pie is one such dish.
These dishes are uniquely made and often make a lot of food for one meal. Most likely, if you make a pork pie for a Sunday (or any day, really) dinner, you are going to have leftovers to contend with. It’s the leftovers that get messy because you have to handle everything with such care.
What do you do with your leftover pork pie? Can you freeze pork pies? The good news is you can freeze pork pies. It’s all about getting them wrapped properly. If you get your pork pie prepared just right, you should be able to freeze it for up to 4 months.
In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process for freezing pork pies. We will cover some information about how they are made and give you detailed instructions for the freezing process. When we’re finished, you will be fully prepared to freeze your pork pies.
Keep reading to learn everything you should know about freezing pork pies and more.
The Complete Guide to Freezing Pork Pies
Pork pies herald from the British. It’s a traditional meal in that part of the world and it’s very much like it sounds. Pork pie is a pie stuffed with various forms of pork and pork fat. Of course, it’s a bit more detailed than that but this gives you a general idea.
Pork pie is typically served at room temperature rather than piping hot out of the oven. Also, pork pie is commonly used as a snack food or served with a side salad for a meal option.
Pork pie is essentially a myriad of pork meat that has been ground or roughly chopped. The pork meat is combined with pork fat and then covered in jellied pork stock. This entire concoction is then covered or dished into a hot water crust pastry crust that covers and surrounds the pork.
Pork pies can be made in one large pie or split into pies that are designed for individual servings.
How Pork Pie is Made
To give you an idea of what we are working with, we thought we should walk you through the process of how pork pie is made. Here we will share a simple recipe for traditional pork pie. Keep in mind that not all recipes are exactly the same and this recipe is simply used as an example.
Pork pies are made in 3 parts: the pastry, the meat, and the jelly. Each part has its own methods and instructions to get to the end result. It does take some devoted time to successfully make pork pies from scratch.
For the pork, you can use various cuts of pork but a pork butt or pork shoulder is one of the recommended options.
- Start by making the hot water crust pastry. In this case, the pastry is best to work with slightly warm. Start by heating your oven to 350. Measure your flour into an oven-safe bowl and place it in the oven. You are not cooking it, only warming it slightly.
- Place water and lard into a saucepan, bring to a boil and melt the lard. Add flour and salt to mixture once the lard is melted. Use a wooden spoon to combine and stir.
- As soon as the dough mix is cool enough to handle, knead the dough.
- Spread out your pie crust or section into individual crusts. Place into an oven-safe dish.
- Proceed to make the pork jelly. Use either gelatin sheets or pork trotters. The best way to cook it is to place the trotters into a slow cooker for 4-8 hours and drain to get jelly and pork stock. Or you can simply purchase pork stock and use that.
- Now it’s time to prepare the meat and assemble the pies. Chop your chosen pork meat into small chunks and season to your preferences. You can also chop fat into the mixture.
- Place the chopped meat into the pastry crust. Spread it evenly or heap into a dome shape in the center. Cover with the top layer of pastry crust. Pierce a good-sized hole into the center of the pastry so you can later add the jelly. Cover the crust in an egg wash.
- Bake the pies in the heated oven for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake an additional 50 minutes. Be sure pork reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Let cool slightly at room temperature. Place in the fridge to finish cooling. Completely.
- When pies are cold, use a funnel to pour pork stock into the hole you left in the pie center. The pork stock should be hot.
- Place the pork pies in the fridge and cool again. You should let them sit overnight in the fridge for the pork jelly to solidify.
- Serve cool and enjoy.
The process of making pork pies is fairly simple but it takes quite a bit of work and time to complete. If you’re going to work that hard for something delicious, you need options to preserve them!
How to Store & Freeze Pork Pies
Storing your pork pies once they are complete isn’t terribly challenging. If you are storing them in the fridge, you should wrap them in parchment paper and place them into a sealed container.
You can store your pork pie in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you’re not going to get those pork pies eaten or used within 5 days, you should consider freezing them. They are easy to freeze and will last for several months in the freezer.
You can even make up large batches of individual pork pies and pull them out of the freezer one at a time when you’re ready for them.
Here are your steps to freezing pork pies.
- We recommend a triple wrapping process for your pork pies to best preserve their integrity. Start by wrapping the pork pie in a simple layer of parchment or freezer paper.
- Once you have the first wrapping layer, wrap the pork pies in a layer of aluminum foil to seal them well and maintain the crust and jelly well.
- By now, you have 2 layers of wrapping around your pork pies. Now place the double-wrapped pies into either a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Store pork pies in the freezer for up to 4 months when you follow these steps accordingly.
Freezing pork pies is incredibly simple. Yes, they are frozen with 3 layers of protection but it’s still a simple process.
Using Pork Pies After Freezing
Since pork pies are served either chilled or at room temperature, the process of using them after freezing is quite simple also. You will want to allow ample defrosting time.
Here are your steps for using pork pie after freezing it.
- Remove pork pie(s) from the freezer.
- Remove pork pie from its outermost protective layer, which should be an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Leave the pork pie wrapped in its paper and foil while defrosting.
- Place the wrapped pork pies on a plate and let them defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours.
- Approximately an hour before serving pork pie, remove it from the fridge and unwrap it. Let it rest at room temperature up to 1 hour prior to serving for the best flavor.
We hope that you find this guide to freezing pork pies to be quite helpful for your pork pie purposes. You should be fully prepared to make, freeze, and enjoy those delicious pork pies.
We invite you to take a look at the following questions and answer section to see if there may be any further information that you might find valuable for your processes.
What is the Purpose of the Pork Jelly in Pork Pie?
You might be surprised to find that many new recipes leave out the pork jelly layer.
However, the traditional British pork pies and anything made to mimic those will still have it. The purpose of the jelly is to keep the pork and fat meat mixture moist and flavorful.
Can You Eat Pork Pie Warm?
Many people now prefer their pork pie served warm because it is a meat dish. While it is traditionally served cool or at room temperature, it stands to reason that it might also be enjoyed warm. After all, it’s full of meat and delicious flavors that are pork-related.
You can eat your pork pie fresh from the oven if you prefer to eat it that way. You can also reheat it in the oven at 400 degrees if you want it to be warm after it’s been stored.