HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Pie(d) and prejudice.

Reading the excellent hot dog thread i wondered if there was anything i was that passionate about? I realised that the only thing was pies.
So here is my totally subjective and perhaps unreasonable law of pi(e).

1). Pies have a top, a bottom and sides.
Sticking a puff pastry lid on a watery stew in a ceramic bowl, does not a pie make.
All you pubs ,you know who you are.

2). Jus. Do not serve a jus with my pie.
All pies should have enough sauce/gravy to not need this. If you need to serve extra sauce, call it gravy and make sure its come from making the pie. The only exception is pie mash and liquor in London

3). Pies are made from shortcrust pastry, the crumbly the better.see point 1.

4). Chips should never be served with a pie. Mashed potato is acceptable, especially to soak up gravy and in London with pie, mash and liquor( see point 3).

5). Garden peas are only acceptable for fish pies or maybe chicken. All meat pies should be served with mushy peas.

6). Thai green chicken curry or chicken tikka massala are not acceptable fillings for pies. Yes we've been influenced by many cuisines and it's great but If i want a pie I'll go for pie. If i want a curry i'll go for a curry. There's a reason why no-one has made a black pudding dosa.

7). If you specailise in pies and don't have steak and kidney then you are not a pie shop.S&K pie is the gold standard , the touchstone of pies.

8).I am prepared to make some exceptions - if someone develops a tonkotsu pie with scotch egg filling.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. #4 - messing with the pie and mash formula is just so wrong.
      Love your thread title:)

      1. Fully agree on 1, 2 & 3

        Disagree completely with 4 - but then I am northern and the need for chips is hard-wired into my genetic makeup.

        I suspect you are right about 5 but am ambivalent on the subject

        Completely agree with 6. These fillings are also inappropriate as pizza toppings.

        With regard to 7, S & K is indeed the gold standard. Frankly, there is no need for other pies. Being northern I also recognise that a specialist pie shop should also sell S & K puddings as well as pies.

        I do not understand 8 - not least as I have no idea what tonkotsu is - but I feel that I would not want it near my digestive system.

          1. If ever I opened a specialist pie shop, I'd only sell them in multiples of 3.14 pies.

            I may then open a second branch specialising in black pudding dosas. Unless I opened in Scotland, when I would also go with the haggis dosa.

            By the by, neither haggis nor black pudding are appropriate pizza toppings.

            1 Reply
            1. You don't mention shepherds pie. Is that because you don't consider it to be a pie?

              3 Replies
                1. re: mucho gordo

                  I'm sure that it will be - see 1) in the OP, with which I concur- a pie has pastry on top, bottom and sides.

                  Shepherd/cottage/fish pie may be called pies but they are really just stew and mashed potato. I'm ambivalent on whether, say, a Cornish pasty is also a pie. Certainly it meets the criteria of a filling surrounded by pastry but, then again, it doesnt really have defined top, bottom and sides, as such.

                  1. re: Harters

                    Maybe it's like koala bears not really being bears?

                2. I thought for a second I must have changed my name to Paprikaboy and started posting to Chowhound in my sleep until I got to #8.


                  1. S&K. Is that the place that sells/sold eel pies in London?

                    I hate to cheat and check the internet.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      'Fraid not. Paprika & I are both abbreviating "steak & kidney".

                      Paprika, being a Londoner (?), will know better about eel pies - but the name I associate with eels & pies in London is Manze. Dunno if they bring the two together.

                      1. re: Harters

                        Thank you for depleting my ignorance. Never too old to learn.

                        1. re: Harters

                          There are no pie and mash shops that I know of that still serve eel pie.
                          Originally all the pies were eel pie which were served with liquor (parsley sauce). This was when eels were cheap and plentiful in the Thames.
                          With the decline in eel numbers they changed to mince beef and onion pies (the only type of pie you can get in proper pie and mash shops) but they still serve liquor. If you want standard gravy you need to ask for brown gravy. If you go into a shop and ask for 1, 1 and 1 you will get 1 pie, 1 scoop of mash and liquor.
                          They still serve jellied and stewed eels but not in pies.

                      2. I'm with you on 1 and 2, but doesn't the deliciousness of a Melton Mowbray pie make an argument for hot water pastry?

                        Just had my first vegetable masala pie in buttery shortcrust pastry and have to admit, I was doubtful that CTM could work in a pie, but I have seen the light.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          I'd argue that hot water pastry is, effectively, the same as a shortcrust. If not, for the benefit if this thread, then I'd have to agree with you for an exception. A hot water pork pie (Melton Mowbray style even if not from the village) is a thing of joy - I'll happily eat even the mass produced, fairly crappy, ones.

                          Now I know you're a pork pie fan, I must do a Cheshire pork pie so I can post on "What's for Dinner". A different beast altogether.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I made a pork pie last week and did both hot water pastry and a shortcrust pastry with suet and butter. Techniques were a little similar, but the resulting doughs are rather different. I had a terrible time trying to hand raise the hot water pastry, so I just ended up potting my mince in the shortcrust and forgoing the jelly. Not bad, but hand-chopped sausage encased in jelly is just so much better.

                            1. re: JungMann

                              Mrs H had similar difficulties with raising the hot water pastry. Managed it in the end but I think has vowed "never again"