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When is a pie really a pie?


Katie

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I'd really welcome some opinion on this, and where I might find further information.

When you order steak and ale pie off the menu (or indeed any pie), what are you expecting to receive? I am expecting, or at least hoping to see a pie that has a top, sides and base. That to me is a pie. How can a ceramic dish balanced on a dinner plate, containing the heated up insides of a pie, with a seperately cooked lid placed on the top at the last minute, possibly be classed as a pie? Further more, these types of 'pies' served in this manner, make it very difficult for the pie to be interactive with accompanying veg and mash.

There is something very wrong in trying to eat out of a small bowl on a plate. Surely a pie should have top, sides and base, and the whole thing cooked as one, so that it all intermingles during cooking?

Just because you can, does'nt mean you should.

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I'm with you on this, pies have sides!!!

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I recently became a pie maker for the very first time, so can answer this as a new expert Katie. See, as a bachelor (I can't afford to maintain Lottie AND a woman) I tend to make food in batches - it's pretty much as easy to make a dozen portions of beef chilli or chicken curry as one, so I make loads, eat one and freeze the rest in those resealable plastic containers my Chinese and Indian take-aways arrive in.

Anyoo, last week I decided I'd make a big batch of steak and kidney (dunno why - hadn't had any for ages and I just got a taste for it). So I bought 4lbs of stewing steak and a pound of lamb kidney, spent an hour trimming all the fatty and nasty bits off it, tossed it in flour and fried it first, then put the meat in my big stockpot with 3 pints of Guinness, some dried onion granules which melt (I hate slimy onion) and a couple of Oxo cubes, and left it on a low heat for a few hours.

Then I had the brainwave that I should actually have a go at making proper S&K pies. I used to enjoy those Fray Bentos 'bake in the tin' ones, but I had a nasty one (with fatty, rubbery lumps) recently, so have sacked them. But I've never tried making pastry, so cheated and bought some ready-made shortcrust and some puff pastry from the supermarket chiller cabinet. I then buttered and lined some foil containers (rice portion size) with the shortcrust, added lots of meat and gravy, and then put flaky pastry lids on them and froze them. Would have made around 10 pies, but I ran out of pastry after 4, so just 'potted' what was left over.

Had one tonight. 45 minutes in a very hot oven, and it was the best meat pie I ever tasted. 'Kin delicious. Heston Blumenthal can eat my shorts...

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How can a ceramic dish balanced on a dinner plate, containing the heated up insides of a pie, with a seperately cooked lid placed on the top at the last minute, possibly be classed as a pie?

I think its just caterers being too lazy to make a proper pie. I guess its easier to pour pie mix out of a big pot into the small dish and slap a ready made top on as a lid. If it was being sold as pucker home cooking I would be miffed, if it was a Beefeater type job I would still be miffed but its probably as I would expect.

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My Mum used to make "top crust" pies...but, in her case, the steak and kidney were cooked for a while the day before; the pastry was her own creation (sadly, the method died with her...WHY didn't I take notes?!) and was placed over the filling in the pie dish and the whole was baked together. Delish!! My own personal taste would have pastry all round the contents..I agree with pies having sides, in general. A dish of gloop sumounted by a puff pastry hat is NOT a pie.

When I get an all consuming need for steak and kidney...I make an S&K PUDDING!! Nothing, but nothing can beat steak and kidney completely surrounded by a suet crust, steamed for hours...aaaaahhhhhh!!!! And it's a piece of p*ss to make, too.

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From my earliest memory, my default meal at any chip shop was steak and kidney pie and chips.

It was only later, in adult life that i came to discover other stuff there like, err, fish and spring rolls.

If i had to choose, my pie would be what i'd call a 'stand alone' pie, with sides, lid, made as one.

However, one of my local finer eating places does a pie in a dish that is one of the best i have ever

tasted, in fact so good it's hard for me to order anything else. Steak mushroom and guiness, cooked

by an actuall proper chef (rather than microwaved by someone to thick for B&Q), and topped with the

only pastry allowed: A beautiful shortcrust.

This is where most ceramic held pies fail IMO, by having a puff pastry bap whacked on the top.

My pie, or the one i speak of, has this almost pudding like shortcrust. i cut a bit away and then dip my

veg and that in the gravy and meat below. With mash, i get some mash on my fork, roll it in my peas

and then actually spoon some gravy over from the pie, it's superb.

What i don't like so much are the puff pastry topped ones. They can still be good but even the most

skilled attempt to cut the thing sends flakes all over the place. Shortcrust is a more controlled eat.

Ah Katie, the steak and Kidney pudding. If it is on any menu then i'd always go for that. Same with

liver and onions, dumplings and stuff like that. Thankfully the places i walk to to eat have very varied

and constantly changing menus (led by whats in season/what they can source), have gone out thinking

i'd have pie, only to be sat in front of a rabbit (i mean on the plate).

:harhar:

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Apart from the weather, lower taxes, swimming daily, buming around Uni, and other loafing pass times there is another reason to be grateful for living in Oz, the food, the Asian food, Italian food, sea food, the huge variety of delicatessens, actually going down to the wharf to buy fish off the boat.

Yet we have this one device, a journey in hell to hell, it's called the XPT it's the high speed train up the eastern seaboard. An embarrassment of epic proportions, it now takes longer than when the train was introduced in 1987, why do I mention this?

Well it's because it has a restaurant car, it's actually a political ploy the only people that use the train on a regular basis are the pensioners and the restaurant car is deviced to kill them off, thereby saving the taxpayer further expense. I even take coffe bags with me on the trip, even the coffee is unfit for human consumption.

And Yey but the only thing on the menu that will not kill you is the meat pie. Please may god preserve the meat pie! (it's the only time I eat one)

Roger :harhar:

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There was always something glamourous about the way Pukka Pies were portrayed on the posters in the chip

shop, this poster is the one i always think of when i think of Pukka pies. I always wondered if they managed to

chop into the pie and share it using the wooden chip forks they are using, without getting pastry flakes and gravy

all over the interior.

SocialisePukka.jpg

Also, (i want a picture to prove it, anyone can just blindly guess) i wondered what car pictured above actually was?

:harhar:

Pukka pies have always represented some achieved goal in life, something to aspire to if you will:

q-photo-pukka-pie-poster-wedding-piefectionists.jpgq-photo-pukka-pie-poster-stand-up-cornish-pasty.jpgq-photo-pukka-pie-poster-all-steak-full-filling-experience.jpg

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You've got wrong Paul, these are impending divorce posters, eating in your car! clearly the woman has no respect! Next thing you know she'll be wanting to have sex in it!

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Also, (i want a picture to prove it, anyone can just blindly guess) i wondered what car pictured above actually was?

:harhar:

I need to go find proof, but they used to use TVRs in the Pukka ad's. Someone might beat me to it if Im lucky!

Edited to say one of the Griffith family iirc http://www.kstroud.eclipse.co.uk/Images/Ca...VR/Interior.jpg

Edited by tinywillyuk
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Best pies that I have tasted to buy ready made are Waitrose own deep crust, Chicken and Mushroom or Steak and kidney, though beef and ale pie is nearly as good.

My wife makes a mean pie and it has sides and a roof. There's absolutely nothing like a pie thats been cooked whole and the juices have mixed in with the pastry! One of the local pubs, the Queens head...name and shame time....do the whole ceramic dish then plonk a puff pastry top on. It's soulless and even though the filling is tasty it misses that ......essence of pieness, lets say.

I love pie me! and it shows unfortunately. Had to start exercising and being careful what I eat for teh first time ever!

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pies, love em, pork pies are my fave, best pork pie in the world used to come from a small butchers called Liveseys in Earby on the Yorks Lancs border A56, unfortunatley Mr Livesey died and his pie recipe went with him.

2nd best pork pies come from "the celebrated pork pie establishment" othetwise know as Stanforths Pork butchers in Skipton Yorkshire just across the road from the castle, people often queue round the block to get pies here, they are great early morning just out of the oven and all runny with the juices...

pieshop.jpg

more comments on the pies

Edited by Howard

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On the pork pie subject (another one close to my heart), a big favorite of mine

comes from David John Butchers in Oxfords historic covered market. It's like a

pork pie but is 'game pie', and is different all year round according to game.

I see now it's a TVR cheers.

:)

Maybe Lotus could pick up on this and have an Evora in the next Pukka pie ad.

Although i have to admit, climbing into a tan leather car with a steak and kidney pie

and a chip fork is just insane...

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I was served a buffet lunch recently with the meat/pastry separate situation going on. It was a new one on me and I wasn't impressed, lucky it was a 'free' lunch while I was doing some training or I'd have been upset, or angry.

Proper pies need pastry. Shall we petition No 10?

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Now I don't often eat pies because I don't like the pastry very much but do like the filling so perhaps this non-crusty effort caters for weirdos like me who would rather just scoop the filling out the middle of a pie.

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I'm with Katie, a pie must have sides, a lid and a bottom to be a pie. My experience of those ceramic dishes topped with puff pastry is just soul destroying.

I'm very lucky in that my local does proper S & K pies and puddings. The butchers are named in the menu and behind the bar.

The puddings are so huge that it can be struggle. Loosening the belt on the trousers is usually called for.

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It seems the general opinion is that pies should have sides, and folks would prefer pies to have sides. I am just struggling to find an official description as such that I can draw reference to in a letter of complaint. I'm not sure that ''in my opinion'' carries much weight. I just wish menus would state they they are serving a proper pie, and not the crappy ceramic dish puff pastry lid after-thought affair.

Paul, the site you have linked to is fabulous, I am finding it difficult not to order one of everything....but must stick to the diet.

Just because you can, does'nt mean you should.

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Paul, the site you have linked to is fabulous, I am finding it difficult

not to order one of everything....but must stick to the diet.

The Oxford branch is in the covered market. The genius is the simplicity:

Go to counter, ask for pie, get handed back a plate with pie, mash, peas and gravy.

Go sit down and eat.

No waiting. No waiting for order to be taken. No waiting for food to arrive.

(they also do ace takeaway boxes too)

:)

I used to think it was just an Oxford shop, but Trentham, Bristol and Derby

have a Pie Minister too:

Link again, in case any pie fans missed it: http://www.pieminister.co.uk/

:)

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What a fantastic thread !! The pie is one of man/womens finest creations. It must have a pastry base, sides and flakey pastry top with a slight wipe of egg yolk on the top for colour and optional seasame seeds or cheese depends on whats in it. It shall contain only fine cuts of meat. Tts shall not bear lips and a$$holes as we call it. There shall be no preservatives, artificial colours or flavour inhancers. Natural quality ingredients are what I call a pies best kept secret.

I am partial to a bacon and egg pie myself and have a treat once a week from the local bakery around the corner from work, washed down with some locally made fizz.

IMGP0425.jpg

Bring on the pie ....delish :)

350.gifNo.23
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