As British Pie Week is in full swing, we take a look at one of the nation’s favourite dishes – the pie.
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 to tuck into.
To celebrate, 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 East Midlands rule on pork pies, the Cornish have their pasties, Londoners enjoy their meaty pie and mash 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.
But it’s the good old humble pies we all still enjoy and love!
So, if like us your taste buds are tantalised, here’s a few places to try a delicious pie and a great pint to go with it…
Served at the Knight & Garter in Leicester city centre is this fantastic baked steak and kidney pie with mashed potatoes, roasted roots, veal jus and parsley liquor.
A hearty meal that tastes great alongside a roasted Cast No Shadow stout.
You can find the Knight & Garter at 14 Hotel St, Leicester LE1 5AW.
At The Robin Hood & Little John in Arnold you can tuck into a delicious range of pork pies including Ploughmans, Stilton top, Traditional and Huntsman (pork, chicken and stuffing).
Perfect for a lunchtime bite or pre dinner snack with a side of pickle or mustard and a pint of our Tiger ale!
You can find the Robin Hood at 1 Church St, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 8FD.
At the Bakers Arms , our favourite choice is their King Richard III Grete Pie, a beautiful example of a Medieval pie. Made with suet and shortcrust pastry, Leicestershire beef and chicken are combined with dates, prunes, currants soaked in red wine, cloves, mace, cinnamon, saffron, and juniper berries. All served with a creamy mash, seasonal vegetables and bone marrow jus.
This type of pie needs a strong beer to stand up to its rich flavours so try a rich and fruity pint of Everards Old Original.
You can find the Bakers Arms at The Green, Blaby, Leicester LE8 4FQ.
Your spoilt for choice at The Swan in Braybrook with a menu of tasty freshly baked pies including steak and ale, jack fruit and craft beer or sweet potato, spinach, goats cheese all served with red cabbage, winter roots, creamed mashed potatoes and gravy.
Why not try the jack fruit and craft beer pie for something different, with a nice pint of our American Pale.
You can find the Swan at 18 Griffin Rd, Braybrooke, Market Harborough LE16 8LH.
The Cheney Arms is well-known for its delicious homemade pies and every Wednesday is ‘Pie Night’ with a menu of eight tasty pies to choose from plus a weekly special.
The Chicken and Mushroom pie would be a great choice to enjoy with a pint of Sunchaser.
You can find the Cheney Arms at 2 Rearsby Ln, Gaddesby, Leicestershire LE7 4XE.
Get involved in British Pie Week and pop down your local for a yummy pie!