The ultimate winter warmer, serve with a mound of silky smooth mash potatoes and pile of savoy cabbage and leek.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C, gas 4. You will also need a 1 litre pie dish.
Cut the liver into strips about 1cm thick. Cut the spoiltpig bacon into strips the same size as the liver. Toss the liver in the flour until lightly coated.
Heat the oil in a heavy, deep frying pan, then quickly stir-fry the liver and bacon until lightly browned. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, until lightly coloured. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes, then add the thyme and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring. Return the liver and bacon to the pan and stir together.
Spoon the mixture into the pie dish and leave to cool while making the pastry.
For the pastry; Combine the flour and suet and a little seasoning in a mixing bowl. Stir in enough cold water, about 5 tbsp, to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently roll out to an oval slightly larger than the pie dish.
Dampen the rim of the dish, then gently lift the pastry over the filling and press the pastry to the rim to seal. Trim off any excess pastry with a sharp knife, make a steam hole in the middle and press the back of a fork onto the pastry rim to decorate. Brush with the beaten egg or milk and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown, then serve hot.
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