British Pie Week

7th March 2018

It’s British Pie Week, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the joy that is pie! We are a nation of pie lovers, with research showing that 75% of us enjoy one at least once a month.

Tip Top Pie Trivia

The Guinness World Record for the most expensive meat pie ever sold goes to the Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire which sold its pie for £1,024 a slice to eight guests on 14th November 2005.

It was made from £500 worth of Japanese wagyu beef fillet, Chinese matsutake mushrooms, Winter Black truffles, French Bluefoot mushrooms, gravy made from two bottles of vintage 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine and was finally topped with edible gold leaf.

Held at Harry’s Bar in Wigan, the annual World Pie Eating Championship has been going since 1992. Originally, contestants had to attempt to eat as many pies as possible within the given time limit, but this was changed in 2006 to a race in which competitors vie to eat a single pie in the least amount of time.

In 1644, Oliver Cromwell banned pie as he decided it was a “pagan form of pleasure”. The ban was eventually lifted in 1660.

Steak & Stout Pie

The type of weather we’ve been experiencing lately, calls for wholesome and tasty food – and there’s nothing better than a Steak and Stout Pie! If you fancy making your own, why not try this recipe courtesy of Iceland. It’s great with a puff pastry lid, but equally yummy left as a hearty stew.

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 800g diced beef, frozen or fresh
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions peeled and finely chopped, or use frozen diced onions
  • 200g mushrooms, halved
  • 500ml stout
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 500g all butter puff pastry
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt)

Preparation/cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 – 6

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss the beef in it.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the beef in batches of 8-10, turning the pieces to brown them. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the beef will steam rather than brown.
  3. Place the browned beef in a large lidded casserole dish approximately 27 x 20 x 5cm.
  4. Fry the onions and mushrooms for 5 minutes in the frying pan with the remaining oil (you may need to add a little extra). Add the stout, stock cube (crumbled) and thyme leaves, and bring to a simmer.
  5. After 5 more minutes transfer the mixture to the casserole dish, cover with the lid (or tightly fitted foil) and place in the oven for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours, check the beef is tender and falling apart easily, remove from the oven and leave to cool. When completely cool (you can leave it overnight in the fridge), pour the filling into a pie dish about 20 x 4cm and preheat the oven to 200°C.
  7. Using a lightly floured rolling pin on a floured work surface, roll the pastry to measure about 3cm larger than the pie dish and to the thickness of a £1 coin.
  8. Trim the edge of the pastry to remove some strips about 2cm wide. Use a pastry brush to brush the rim of the pie dish with egg wash and fix the strips of pastry to the dish, pressing down firmly.
  9. Brush the pastry-lined dish rim with egg wash, then place the rolled-out pastry lid over the top, being careful not to stretch the pastry too much or it will shrink when baking. Press down gently around the edges and use scissors to cut the edge of the pastry to about 5mm larger than the rim of the dish.
  10. Press the prongs of a fork around the pastry rim, then use a sharp knife to cut a cross shape 4cm in each direction in the centre of the pie. Brush the pie with egg wash and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown, well risen and bubbling. Serve with honey roasted carrots and buttery mash.

To pick up the ingredients you need for this winter warmer cottage pie recipe, head to Iceland in Garden Square Shopping Centre.