We don’t really need a special week to celebrate the wonder that is pie, but perhaps it’s no bad thing.
Many of us love pies, and I ‘m sure I’m not alone in being drawn towards a properly made pie, when I see it on the menu.
But how many of us make the effort to make pies at home?
Oh I know some do, and the photos shared on blogs and twitter look glorious. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll often cook dishes that would make great pie fillings (my beef cheeks bourgignon, for example) but seldom take it to the next step of putting that filling into pastry to make it into a pie.
We’ve only made pies a couple of times, prompted to do so by recipes in cookery books I was reviewing. (Admiring gasps for my pie there, please, doesn’t it look good?)
Last week, Pete and I were invited to sample some of Britain’s best pies at The Windmill pub in Mill Street, near Oxford Circus.
Carl Smith has a well-deserved reputation for making and serving fine pies, at The Windmill and sister pub, The Guinea. There’s even a Pie Club of over 6000 members who enjoy special events, cookery demonstrations and pie dinners.
During our visit, we sampled his lovely fish pie (made with a selection of fresh fish, the unusual but successful addition of crayfish and some smoked salmon trimmings to add texture and depth of flavour). Rich, creamy, indulgent, it was definitely one of the nicest fish pies I’ve tasted.
The steak and kidney pie was smashing too. In fact, it’s won the National Pie award three times!
To celebrate the recipe’s 21st anniversary, Carl has created a video in which he shares the recipe, tips and tricks, which you can view on his youtube channel, along with video recipes for some of his other pie creations.
The steak and kidney filling was excellent, but so was the parsley-flecked suet pastry, which was a great match to the rich meaty goodness inside. And, three cheers for it being a proper pie, with the filling fully encased with pastry!
Pudds, for those who had space, were individual apple and rhubarb pies, served with custard.
British Pie Week is 5th – 11th March and The Windmill is offering a pietastic menu including beauties such as Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie or how about Beef Bourguignon Pie or the Fish Pie and that glorious Steak and Kidney Pie. Veggies have not been forgotten, and can opt for a Spicy Feta, Lentil and Chickpea Pie.
Contact The Windmill for further information.
I hope you’ll be enjoying some fine pies this week!
I leave you with one of my favourite cartoons, over to Weebl and Bob!
Kavey Eats dined as a guest of The Windmill.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!8 Comments to "British Pie Week 5 – 11 March"
Every week should be pie week (on second thoughts, that’s probably a very bad idea). You should make pies more often judging by your pic – it looks delicious!
mmmmmmmmm – pie!… I think that anything topped with pastry should be a legal requirement in the UK… pies are so good, such a great and filling meal. Did you know that the history of the pie and the pie crust comes from a time before plates were common place and ovens were communal… you would make you meal and then only wrap it in pastry to carry it to the local oven where it would be cooked. The pastry was usually discarded… and that’s your factoid for the day!
We do all like pie, although I rarely make them.
I went to a birthday party at the Guinea, best pie ever. Lovely!
Few stews that couldn’t be improved by the addition of a pastry lid and some mushy peas. I’m lazy as anything, I normally just plonk the stews in ramekins and then affix some store bought puff over the top. It’s not the same as the full monty, but it works as a quick fix…
Darn it, girlfriend, a whole post on different pies? Now you’ve done it – I’m going to have to make one again soon.. 🙂 I make pastry in the food processor, then stash it in the freezer. Then whenever there are really good stewy leftovers, I can throw over a pastry lid and have an instant dinner. Can’t help but think that (your) Pete’s beer and sausage stew would be magnificent under a pie crust! 🙂
Jennie, when you come, you bring pie, mkay?
Katy, Ha, every week as pie week and I’d be even larger than I am already!
Dom, yes I’d read that! Probably a good way of transporting it too, like the Cornish pasty, but they only discarded the handle-seam-bit I think…
Helen, sounds like a good place for a party!
Tori, I’m thinking that every time I make stews from now on, I should reserve half to put into a pie later!
Celia, that’s a cracking idea, that sausage and ale WOULD make a great pie filling!
I used pie week as an excuse to eat more pies, it’s something I have not nearly enough but really adore a decently made one.
I’ve been in the windmill before but not tried the food, will have to next time I’m there! Thanks for the tip!