What a fun evening! Sculling and sailing through the creeks and marshes at Wells next the Sea, on a traditonal flat bottomed mussel boat, with our skipper Dom entertaining us with stories of the sea and a half time picnic of local cheeses, quiche, salads, bread and freshly brewed coffee. (We took our own wine). Henry from The Coastal Exploration Company has thought of everything when organising the trips and even for you landlubbers out there the three or four hour sail, on the tide, is just the most magical way to spend a summers evening.
- our boat ready and waiting for us at Wells harbour
- and we're off
- picnic time with local goodies including fabulousBrays pork pies
- and out comes the kettle to make a cafetiere of coffee
- Dom kept us entertained with his humble charm and wit
- the tide turns
- back before dark
If you are a lucky farmer, someone brings you this in the back of the car every day at tea time, until harvest is finished.
Pork pies are much easier to make than you might imagine. Just a little time needed to prepare the filling and the pastry and some patience required with the crimping and sealing of the pies.
750g of very good sausage meat
750g of pork shoulder (finely diced or quickly chopped in a food processor)
100g smoked streaky bacon (finely diced)
a handful of chopped fresh herbs. I used sage, parsely and oregano
two large pinches salt and a very generous few grinds of black pepper
Mix all this together very well in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1kg plain flour
1 tsp salt
4 medium eggs
1 beaten egg for glazing and sealing the pies.
Heat the water in a saucepan with the lard and butter until melted, gently, it needn't boil. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. I used my Kenwood mixer with dough hook and making a well in the middle add the beaten eggs. Start mixing and slowly add the water and fat mixture until you have a smooth and soft dough. Add more flour or warm water to get smooth soft dough. Cover and chill for about 1 hr.
Using a deep muffin tray grease well and line with rolled out pastry with some good overlap which you will need to crimp with. Fill with the pork and make a lid and crimp shut, using the egg wash to stick together. I had to lift the pie out of the tin to crimp and then set back into the tin. Make a hole in the middle to let the steam escape.
Bake in the oven 170C/Gas 4 for 1 hour, until golden brown.
Jelly or not? It does keep the meat moist and soaks in so you won't get a huge amount of jelly unless you keep adding more stock which is time consuming. I used 1 pint of pork stock with the equivalent amount of gelatine to set and poured it into the warm pies, no jelly layer but succulent meat.
Below are the contents of the Jubilee Hamper served at Buck House before the concert - Heston came up with the ideas and Waitrose packed it - no doubt it's now all available in their stores.
- Chilled British Country Garden soup
- Tea-smoked Scottish salmon
- Diamond Jubilee chicken
- Vegetarian option: Mushroom Parfait
- Fresh bread rolls
- Country Life butter
- Crunchy seasonal crudités
- Lemon and caraway Madeira cupcake
- Chocolate indulgence cupcake
- Sandringham strawberry crumble crunch
- Waitrose West Country farmhouse cheddar and Red Leicester
- Duchy Originals Oaten biscuits
- Duchy Originals Harvest chutney
- Extras: 12 hand wipes, clear plastic cutlery and napkin, Diamond Jubilee poncho, Union flag!
Meanwhile in Sudbury we joined friends in the park and ate our own home made couscous, watercress, orange and smoked mackerel salad, pheasant and bacon terrine, fresh strawberry cake and pretty white chocolate cake pops.