For the unaware visitor, Pie & Mash is a picturesque, stereotypical, generic British dish, however it is neither generic not ubiquitous.
But Pie & Mash are indeed a most beloved institution in east London where this working-class staple was both a weeknight meal and also a weekend treat.
In victorian London, eels and other river animals were fished for food, many ended in pies served with a generous portion of “mash” that is mashed potatoes with a pool of either beef gravy or green sauce called liquor, made with parsley and the flavoured with eel stock. Other classic fillings include minced beef or pork.
Pie & Mash shops became a social hub where friends and families would meet and socialise over a pint of ale and a hearty and affordable meal.
Then again fried chicken, kebabs and pizza shops have displaced many “Chippies” (Fish & chips shops) and Pie & Mash shops, but there are still some that are very much alive but will only continue to do so as long as they’re still relevant to their communities.
I know its a big temptation to go to the flashy bistros and restaurants in London but do give Pie & Mash a go, a good day out in Walthamstow must include visiting the Willian Morris Gallery then walk down the high street and enjoy a heritage lunch at L. Manzes, the best Pie & Mash shop in town!
I came up with this autumnal pie as we had loads of apples and some good quality pork mince, the filling is beautifully balanced by the sweet moistness of the apples, warmth from the cayenne pepper and a mellow touch provided by the fresh and soft new potatoes.
It wont disappoint! and I do encourage you to use a hot water crust as it will have a rather flakey and flavourful bite.
To make this irresistible sweet pork & potato pie you will need:
- 500g new potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 300g minced pork
- 25g butter
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 Granny smith apple, peeled and grated
- 1tbsp mustard
- 1 egg for glazing
- smoked paprika
- 1 tsp herbes du provence
- 1 tsp fresh sage chopped
Hot water crust pastry
- 450g strong flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 200ml water
- 100g vegetable shortening
Sauté the onion with the butter, add the potatoes and grated apple, cook for 10-15 or so minutes until they’re almost cook but still firm at the centre.
Add the meat and herbs, season and cook for another 7 minutes.
let the filling cool until just warm before baking.
Taste and rectify the salt and add more paprika if necessary, it should taste sweet, spicy and rich.
Now get started with the pastry:
Combine the dry ingredients together, add the egg and rub the ingredients as if you were making a shortcrust pastry.
In a pan heat up the milk and shortening and simmer until its very hot but don’t let it boil.
Remove and add gradually kneading the dough, the final texture should be smooth and pliable.
Preheat the oven at 180C
Weigh the dough and save a third of it for the upper crust, roll out the rest on a dusted surface enough to cover loosely the bottom of a pie dish.
Gently push the pastry against the mould and prick the base with a fork, set aside.
Roll out the rest of the dough, save some dough to cut out some decorations.
Transfer and distribute the filling, put the uppercuts crimp and place some decorations.
Beat the egg and brush the crust liberally.
Bake fro 40 to 45minutes.
Serve hot with a buttery mash and gravy.