Eaten hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, on the football terrace, slumped on the sofa, or with a nice pint at the local, the pie is a definite favourite of the nation.
To celebrate ‘British Pie Week’ 4-10 March, we’ve looked into the history of the good old pie, and some of the best places you can tuck into this delicious dish.
Pie-like dishes can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians, but it’s believed that the first example of a meat filling enclosed in a basic pastry made of flour and oil, originated in ancient Rome.
However, the pie we know and love today has its roots in Northern Europe. Back in the day, olive oil was scarce to non-existent in the region. So, butter and lard were the fats of choice in the harsher and colder climes north of the Mediterranean. The use of these solid fats created a pastry that could be rolled and moulded – and so the true pie was born.
The pie comes in many forms and variations across the country. The Cornish have their pasties, Londoners enjoy their meaty pie and mash, the East Midlands rule on pork pies, and further north you will find the Wigan delicacy, The Pie Barm (a pie in a bread roll).
Savoury pies have been the backbone of English cooking for centuries, with the likes of Shepherd's Pie (made with lamb) and Cottage Pie (made with beef) both topped with mashed potatoes still popular today. With such a wide variety of filling and pastry options, pies give chefs a great opportunity to be creative with ingredients, linking flavours to specific seasons and exploring ingredients from across the world, keeping pies interesting.
But it’s the good old humble pies we all still enjoy and love!
A yummy pie and gravy.