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I love pies that have the treat of whole eggs hidden inside. This is a picnic classic and a generous slice would be perfect for a lunchbox too. Don’t be daunted by the idea of using hot water crust pastry – the pie is moulded in a tin, which makes it very easy to put together.
Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6. Grease a 1kg loaf tin (measuring about 10 x 20cm across the base) with lard, then strip-line it with baking parchment (i.e. cut one long strip of parchment, the width of the tin, and place it in the tin so that there’s an overhang of parchment at each end, which will help you remove the pie later).
First make the filling. Put all the ingredients, except the hard-boiled eggs, into a large bowl, seasoning lightly. Mix together thoroughly (the easiest way to do this is with your hands). Cook a little nugget of the mixture in a frying pan and taste it to check the seasoning. Put the mix in the fridge while you make the pastry.
To make the pastry, combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips. Heat the water, salt and lard in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the mixture onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.
Working as quickly as you can (the pastry will become more crumbly as it cools), roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, leaving the excess hanging over the edges.
Press half the meat filling into the pastry-lined tin. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each boiled egg (this helps them sit next to each other and makes slicing the pie easier), then place the eggs lengthways down the middle of the pie. Add the remaining meat filling and pat it down.
Brush the overhanging pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Pinch the pastry edges together to seal and trim the edges neatly. Make 3 steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.
Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 180°C/gas 4 and bake for a further hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
To remove the pie, turn the tin on its side and use the parchment paper to slide out the pie. Serve in thick slices.
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