Mention the Leicestershire market town of Melton Mowbray to food-lovers and many will make an immediate connection with the infamous pork pie.
Historians believe that the pork pie evolved from a pasty. Many parts of the country used to cure the pork filling before using it in a pie thereby creating a pink colour on the inside. In Melton Mowbray, the pie contained uncured fresh meat. Once roasted, the filling was grey resembling uncured roast pork. Many pigs in this area were reared and fed on the whey from the local Stilton Cheese production.
The local hunting aristocracy adopted the pork pie in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. They took the pies out with them whilst riding. Housewives and stable lads, rather than bakers, made the pies using bottles and later a wooden ‘dolly’ to raise the pastry. The addition of bone stock jelly preserved the pie and the hot water pastry gave it strength. This made them perfect for stuffing into pockets! There were no supports for the pie before going into the oven. Consequently, it would have sagged during baking. The end result was what we know today as the traditional bow-shaped Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
Brockleby’s Pies are proud to continue the tradition making delicious pork pies from our Bakery in the borough of Melton Mowbray.
The defining features
The distinctive hand-formed crust of hot water pastry envelops our secret recipe of uncured chopped pork and seasoning. Today we encase our filling with a layer of pork gelatine to replenish and retain the moisture in the meat after the baking process.
We hand-raise our pies in our pie making workshops using the traditional wooden ‘dolly’ which creates the identifiable bow-walled appearance.
With our passion for provenance, a Brockleby’s pork pie contains the highest quality free-range pork sourced from our local producers. The quality of the meat we use contributes greatly to the defining taste of the pies we create.
So when is a pie the real deal?
We are members of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association whose aim it is to protect the Melton Mowbray recipe.
The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie has ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ (PGI) status which means that to be genuine it must been made within the defined geographical location.
We feel privileged to be a part of continuing this age-old tradition which is increasingly popular today.
Fancy having a go at making a traditional pie? We love to share our skill and teach others how to make their own pies. Book on to one of our Pie Making Workshops and have fun making yours!