Tweaking, variety, steak, pork, minced meat, mashed potatoes, chicken, cheese, cream, and onions can never be found missing in our classic English Meat pie recipe.
This savory pie, also known as Cornish Pasty, was brought to life in Northern Europe and has been a glorious, good-old pie since then. More to its gloriousness is the filling that comes with rich and healthy constituents such as mashed potatoes, minced meat, pork, onions, cheese, cream, veggies, and so on.
The British meat pie was originally known for its oval shape, but in recent times, its recipe and shape have been amazingly tweaked, creating variations. We are happy, glad, and appreciative of this classic pie. Thus, we’ll be sharing in this article things we love about British meat pie and three awesome recipes for British meat pie that you are sure to love.
Things We Love About English Meat pie
Pies, whether meat, fish, or fruit, are great comfort foods. The traditional British meat pie is a nation’s favorite. Here are things we love about British meat pie:
The first awesome feature of taking a bite of a British meat pie is its crispy, crusty with a touch of fluffy texture. This texture is usually due to refrigerating dough before usage.
‘Go to’ is the perfect term for a British meat pie. This baked goodness is a good food on the go with freshly cooked ingredients as filling. It can be eaten anytime and anywhere.
Quality and Richness
Carnivore or Vegetarian? Never to worry; British meat pie satisfies your diet. It presents a variety of veggies like carrots, peas, onions, garlic, mushrooms, fruits, and so on for a vegetarian and a variety of meat like beef, steak, pork, and so on for you, our carnivore reader.
What it Symbolizes
Traditional British meat pie symbolizes love, union, and comfort. Truthfully, there is union and love, where there is a British meat pie. Also, the crusty, flaky, and crispy pastry and the savory taste of its filling provide comfort with every bite.
2 English Meat Pie Recipes You’ll Love
Variations of British meat pies make it exciting to make and enjoy. As we always say: what’s a recipe without a variation here and there J.
Here are our two most loved British meat pie recipes. We are sure you’ll share this feeling.
English Meat Pie Recipe — Why we Love British Steak PieCourse: SnacksCuisine: EnglishDifficulty: Medium
Variations of British meat pies make it exciting to make and enjoy
- Ingredients for Pastry
400g of All-purpose flour
160g of water
1 large egg
1 tsp of salt
90g of butter
1 tbsp of milk
100g of lard
- Ingredients for Filling
500g of lean stewing beef
1 pint of beef stock
20g of gravy granules or cornstarch
½ tsp of ground white or black pepper
- Preparation of the filling
- Pour the beef stock into a pot and heat it.
- Cut the lean beef into small, tiny cubes and pour them into the simmering beef stock. This does not need any added seasoning because the beef stock and the pastry contains salt as well as the gravy granule (if you’ll use it).
- Add the pepper and cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The beef will have attained a well-done texture, just right for the pie. Then reduce the heat.
- While the beef is cooking, prepare the pastry.
- Preparation of the pastry
- Pour the water into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Then, pour the butter and lard into the water to melt
- Pour the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Mix until well combined
- Make a well in the middle and pour the mixture in step one. Then, mix well.
- Place dough on a floured surface and mix it altogether using your hands.
- Cut dough into two sizes, one large one for the pie base and one small one for the top. Wrap each dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Preparation of the pie
- Add the gravy granules to the filling (melt corn starch in water if gravy granules are not available) and mix to get a consistency that is not too thick and not too runny. Then, let it cool.
- Bring out the dough from the fridge and roll out each on a floured surface until it is about a quarter inch thick
- Place the upper part of your pie pan (4” diameter and 2.5” depth) on the flattened dough and cut out four round-shaped doughs to fit in the pie pan. Do the same for the smaller dough but use a smaller pie pan. Then, keep them aside. You can keep the leftover dough in the refrigerator for later use.
- Coat the pie pan with little oil or butter. Then, place the pastry base in the pie pan, ensuring it fits perfectly into the bottom corners, leaving no air holes. Also, make sure you have a leap of pastry around the edges.
- Spoon the filling into the pastry case leaving the edges filling-free
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add the milk. Then, whisk until well combined, creating the egg wash.
- Preheat your oven to 170°c
- Brush eggwash around the filling-free edges and place the smaller round dough on it. Gently press it down at the edges.
- Coat the pie top with the egg wash and use a knife to create two holes for all-round doneness.
- Place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy.
Traditional Pork Pie – Our Second Best English meat pie recipe
Prep time: 3:30minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total cook time: 4:15minutes
Ingredients for the filling
- 1kg of pork meat (cleaned and cut into 2cm pieces)
- ½ cup of corn flour
- ½ tsp of ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 medium-sized onion (finely diced)
- 2 star anise
- ¼ cup of BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp of salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Ingredients for the pastry
- 3 frozen short-crust pastry sheets (thawed)
- 2 frozen puff pastry sheets (thawed)
- 2 large eggs
Preparation of the filling
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pork and mix for an even seasoning. Then, pop pork into the corn flour and toss well.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil into a hot pan and place each coated pork to slightly fry, enhancing its flavor. Then, remove from pan.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, followed by the onions and salt to sauté. Then, add the garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Then stir.
- Add the tomato paste, dark-sweet soy sauce, BBQ sauce, and beef stock. Then leave to simmer.
- Add the pork into the sauce and leave to cook on low heat for 2 hours for fork-tender pork, stirring occasionally.
- Take out the cinnamon stick, star anise, and bay leaves. Then, leave the filling to cool
Preparation of the pie
- Place each pastry sheet on a flat surface. Then place the pie pan upside down and cut out round-shaped dough. Repeat until the pastry sheet is exhausted.
- Place short-crust pastry in the pie pan and spoon the filling into it. Then, place the puff pastry on top of it.
- Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly (you can decide to use on the egg yolks for a better golden feel)
- Place in the fridge for about 1 hour. Then, place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Let it cool and enjoy.
History of Meat Pies
Meat pies have a long and rich history in British cuisine. The first recorded instance of meat pies dates back to Medieval times, when they were known as “pyes.” These pyes were typically filled with meat and vegetables, and were often sweetened with dried fruits and spices.
During the Tudor era, meat pies became even more popular, and were a staple dish in feasts and celebrations. The pastry was often elaborately decorated, and the filling was made up of expensive meats such as venison or game birds. Queen Elizabeth I was said to be a big fan of meat pies, and her cooks often prepared them for her meals.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, meat pies continued to evolve and became a staple food of the working class. Recipes were simplified, and pies were filled with more affordable cuts of meat, such as beef or pork. Pork pies, in particular, became a favorite of the lower classes, and were often sold at markets and fairs.
Today, meat pies remain a beloved dish in British cuisine, and are enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and social classes. The most popular types of meat pies include steak and kidney, chicken and mushroom, and pork pies. They are often served as a hearty main dish, but can also be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
Serving and Pairing Meat Pies
Meat pies are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course, snack or appetizer. Here are some suggestions for serving and pairing meat pies:
- As a Main Course: Meat pies are a hearty and filling dish that can be enjoyed as a main course. They are often served with sides such as mashed potatoes, green vegetables, and gravy. For a traditional British meal, serve your meat pie with a side of mushy peas, a popular accompaniment in British cuisine.
- As a Snack or Appetizer: Mini meat pies are perfect for serving as a snack or appetizer. They can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Mini meat pies are also a great addition to a party buffet or picnic spread.
- Pairing with Side Dishes and Condiments: Meat pies can be paired with a variety of side dishes and condiments. Some popular choices include pickles, chutney, or mustard. A side salad or coleslaw can also add a refreshing crunch to the meal.
- Ideas for Incorporating Meat Pies into Different Meals and Occasions: Meat pies can be incorporated into different meals and occasions. For breakfast, try serving a mini breakfast pie filled with eggs, bacon, and cheese. For lunch, pair a meat pie with a cup of soup or a salad. For a summer picnic, pack mini meat pies along with some fresh fruit and a bottle of wine.
- Wine Pairing: Meat pies can be paired with a variety of wines, depending on the type of meat and filling used. Red wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon pair well with beef pies, while white wines such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pair well with chicken or pork pies. For a more traditional British pairing, try serving your meat pie with a pint of beer or ale.
What is the most popular pie in the UK?
The most popular pie in the UK is the chicken and mushroom pie. This classic British pie is made with a creamy chicken and mushroom filling, often with added vegetables such as carrots or leeks. It is typically topped with a buttery pastry crust and is a favorite of many Britons. Other popular types of pies in the UK include steak and kidney pie, pork pie, and shepherd’s pie (which is actually a meat pie with a mashed potato topping instead of pastry).
Why are British meat pies oval?
British meat pies are often oval in shape because they are traditionally made in ceramic oval-shaped dishes called “pie dishes” or “pie tins”. These dishes have been used for centuries in British cuisine and are still commonly used today.
The oval shape of the dish allows for a larger surface area and more filling to be added to the pie. It also allows for a larger pastry crust to be added to the top, which helps to keep the filling moist and flavorful. The shape of the pie dish also makes it easier to cut and serve the pie into portions.
While not all meat pies in the UK are oval, the traditional oval shape is still widely used and is considered to be an iconic shape for British meat pies.
What is the difference between American and British pies?
American and British pies differ in a few key ways:
- Sweet vs Savory: In the United States, pies are generally sweet, filled with fruits or custards, and often served as dessert. In contrast, British pies are more commonly savory, filled with meat and vegetables, and often served as a main course.
- Crust: American pies typically have a flaky crust made from a mix of butter and shortening, while British pies often have a denser, richer crust made with lard or suet.
- Filling: American pies are typically filled with fruit, such as apple, cherry, or blueberry, and often have a sweetened sauce. In contrast, British pies are filled with meat and vegetables, such as beef, chicken, lamb, or pork, and often have a savory sauce or gravy.
- Size and Shape: American pies are typically round and come in a variety of sizes, while British pies are often oval-shaped and come in a standard size that can serve one or more people.
- Presentation: American pies are often served in slices, while British pies are typically served whole and then cut into portions. British pies are also commonly served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, whereas American pies are typically served on their own or with a scoop of ice cream.
Overall, American pies tend to be sweet and dessert-like, while British pies tend to be savory and more substantial. The crust, filling, size, and presentation of the pies also differ between the two countries.
Read also: What Are the Ingredients for Meat Pie?