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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Meat Pies

   Meat pies fascinate me! We have nothing in the States which come close. Only Swanson's or Maria Callendar frozen "pot" pies which are a short crust pastry filled with smallish chunks of gristly beef, dark meat chicken or turkey, with slivers of potatoes, carrots and peas in an insipid gravy. They may be found in the frozen food section. They are cheap but there is nothing cheerful about eating one.
Meat pies from Burland, Llangollen canal

   British pies on the the other hand are thick, crispy shells of short crust pastry browned to perfection and filled with a choice of Steak and Ale--large, tender chunks of delicious English beef and a rich brown gravy flavored with Ale; chicken and mushroom--again large, tender chunks of chicken, and a white, creamy gravy flavored with the merest hint of nutmeg, perhaps a bit of tarragon, and plump, juicy mushroom pieces.
   There are other flavors--Steak and Kidney, minced beef and onion for example. Mmmm! Also available are cold pork pies to eat with a cold salad. I found those too lardy tasting for my appetite.

9 comments:

Chris Hills said...

When the rain rattles on the roof, and the wind blows a gale, there is nothing better than a good meat pie full of tender meat and rich thick gravy. I've been following the "Meat Pie Diet" for years, it doesn't work!

Chris Hills said...

How rude of Me!
I have posted on your blog without introducing myself.
Hi Les and Jaqueline,

Regards

Chris (nb Tilly May)

Bryce said...

Hmm I know of two local independent butchers (both English bred) who do a similar decent meat pie, they are not frozen rather chilled and you should use them within a day or two of purchase. A meal in itself. Think the last time I looked they C$5.99 each for a piece roughly eight inches in diameter. Thin crust, big chunks of well done steak and beef
peas, carrots, and corn. Reading about the English meat pies tells me I need to go by my butcher
and purchase some pies. I freeze them when I get home and keep one for the day of purchase. Sadly narrow boats don't have a stand alone freezer do they Jaq?

John Witts said...

Hi Jaq and Les!

Hee hee! You have discovered pies!

Wondrous!

If I may offer some advice re: cold pork pies... Buy the very best on offer, made with actual pork, not some nondescript mechanically reclaimed meat.

Melton Mowbray pies are interesting, and gala pies have an egg running through them!

Pork pies aren't intended to be eaten whole by one person (though believe me, it can be done!).

Better, they go with a nice buffet style salad. Or try on their own with English mustard, pickled onions, piccalli, or gherkins. (The vinegar in all the above ameliorates the lardy overtones of the pie beautifully.)

Having said that, I'm just about to tuck into fish and chips!

:-)

John

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hello Chris,
Lovely to make your acquaintance. I don't think I will try the meat pie diet but I certainly will be on the look out for good shops to purchase them occasonaly for dinner!
Jaq

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Bryce,
I am not surprised Canadians have access to something very British in nature while your lesser U.S. cousins are left clueless.

It is the same with candy I am sad to report. In Canada, Nestle's sell Coffee Crisps. They do not market or sell those in the States. I was euphoric to discover Coffee Crisps in BC some years back; devastated to discover the U.S. candy company wouldn't even consider selling them in the States.
Jaq

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hello john,

Thanks for taking me in hand and providing some tips for eating pork pies. I will give Melton Mowbray's a try. The ones we bought were of a generic Tescos variety. It was like eating a pig flavored rock!
Jaq

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Carol
Not sure what your comment meant but the link says page not available on this blog. Not put the link on here just in case. So a bit puzzled about your comment.
LES

Carol said...

Hi Les - it was a copy of the title of one of your postings that came up on my blog when I opened it - on the left side - blogs that I follow. But when I opened it it was a blank page - just thought you should know about it.
regards to you both
Carol

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs