British Pie Week has played a key part in our food calendar since 2007, taking place annually in the first full week of March. Running from 1st – 7th March 2021, this fun awareness event is a great excuse to get all the family involved in cooking one of our nation’s favourite dishes.
According to pastry experts Jus-Rol, around 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month, and whether you’re a fan of savoury or sweet, us Brits are certainly a nation of pie lovers. We’re known for our amazing selection of pies, from family favourites like Shepherd’s Pie and Fish Pie, to the classic Apple Pie. Though pies have been around in various forms since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
To celebrate British Pie Week, we’ve put together some of our favourite recipes so you can try your hand at making a pie or two. Whether you make an old favourite or you want to try something new, a week gives you plenty of time to sample many variations of this delicious treat. And why not have a competition among your household to see who can make the best pie?
1. Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
As traditional as they come, this classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe is topped with mouth-watering golden-brown crisp potato. Swap the lamb for beef mince if you prefer and you’ve got yourself a delicious Cottage Pie.
Time: 1 hour 30 mins | Serves: 6
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 150g butter
- 1kg lamb mince
- 1 lamb stock cube
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 500g potatoes, boiled
- 1 tsp fresh parsley
- 100ml milk
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Place one tablespoon of the oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until softened and beginning to turn golden-brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Add the carrots and celery and fry until softened and starting to turn golden-brown. Remove and set aside with the onions.
- Heat the remaining oil and 50g of the butter and allow the butter to foam. Add the minced lamb, stirring it until it browns. Then stir in the carrots and celery.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water and crumble in the stock cube. Add the carrots and celery and stir well.
- Mash the potatoes with the remaining butter in a clean bowl. Season with salt and black pepper and add the fried onions.
- Transfer the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread it out to make an even layer. Spoon over the mashed potato and tease the surface with a fork to create some peaks.
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and crisp. Serve at the table in the dish.
2. Easy Fish Pie Recipe
This simple fish pie recipe is quick and easy to prepare. Ideal for a family lunch, why not add prawns or muscles too to make a super posh version of this classic dish.
Time: 1 hour | Serves: 6
- 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved
- 400ml milk, plus a splash
- 25g butter, plus a knob
- 25g plain flour
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 x pack fish pie mix (cod, salmon, smoked haddock etc, weight around 320g-400g depending on pack size)
- 1 tsp Dijon or English mustard
- A small bunch of chives, finely snipped
- A handful of frozen sweetcorn
- A handful of frozen petits pois
- 50g grated cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and pour over enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and then simmer until tender.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain thoroughly and mash with a splash of milk and a knob of butter. Season with ground black pepper.
- Put 25g butter, 25g plain flour and 4 finely sliced spring onions in another pan and heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring regularly. Cook for 2 mins.
- Gradually whisk in 400ml milk and bring to the boil, stirring to avoid any lumps and sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.
- Take off the heat and stir in the mixed fish, 1 tsp mustard, the chives, the sweetcorn and the petits pois, and spoon into an ovenproof dish.
- Spoon the potato on top and sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese. Pop in the oven for 20-25 mins or until golden and bubbling at the edges. You can also make individual pies rather than one big pie if you prefer.
3. Comforting Apple Pie Recipe
For the sweet treat lovers, this classic apple pie sure is a family favourite. Whether you enjoy eating it on its own, with cream, ice cream or custard, it’s sure to transport you back to your childhood.
Time: 50 mins | Serves: 10
- 3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 225g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
- 100g butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 50g blueberries or blackberries
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Put the apples in a pan with 4tbsp water and cook gently until tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Take off the heat, stir in 1tbsp of the sugar and the nutmeg, then leave to cool.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles very fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and use a blunt-bladed knife to mix it into a ball. If it’s too dry, add up to 1tbsp cold water.
- Divide the dough into 2 halves. Roll out one piece on a floured surface to fit a 21cm round pie dish. Line the dish with the pastry, leaving a 2cm edge overhanging, and add the apples and blueberries. Dampen the edge of the pastry with cold water.
- Roll out the other half of the dough into a 24cm round and lay it on top of the filling. Press the pastry edges together firmly, then trim off the excess.
- Brush the top of the apple pie with cold water and sprinkle on the remaining caster sugar. Use a cookie cutter to cut out a few shapes from the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 mins until golden on top. Serve warm or cold with your choice of cream or custard.
4. Quick Chicken & Mushroom Pie Recipe
A delicious chicken and mushroom pie is ranked among our top favourite pies. Save time with shop bought puff pastry, and serve with seasonal veg for a tasty and filling meal, any day of the week.
Time: 1 hour 15 mins | Serves: 4
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 8 rashers streaky bacon, cut into large pieces
- 1 onion, sliced
- 250g mushrooms
- A handful of thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 400ml chicken stock
- 200ml milk
- 500g pre-made puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Season the chicken thighs and fry for 6-8 mins until golden brown, turning occasionally. You may need to do this in two batches if your pan isn’t big enough.
- Lift the chicken onto a plate and tip the bacon pieces into the pan. Fry for 5 mins until crisp. Add the onion, mushrooms and thyme sprigs, then fry on a high heat for another 3 mins until the onions start to colour. Tip the flour into the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 min.
- With the pan off the heat, gradually stir or whisk in the chicken stock, followed by the milk, then add the chicken back to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins.
- Spoon the filling into a large pie or baking dish (approx. 20 x 30cm) with a lip and leave to cool. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to a thickness of around 6mm.
- Cut a long strip as wide as the rim of the pie dish and use a little of the beaten egg to fix to the edge of the pie dish. Brush with beaten egg, then lift the rest of the pastry over the pie, using the rolling pin to help. Gently press the edges with your fingers, trim with a sharp knife, and brush lightly with egg to glaze.
- Bake for 30 mins at 220C/200C fan/gas 7, or until the pastry is risen and a golden brown colour. Then serve.
5. Delicious Steak & Stilton Pie Recipe
If you’re looking for a hearty pie for a weekend lunch then you won’t be disappointed with this steak and stilton treat. With a deep rich flavour, it’s super simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious.
Time: 2 hours 30 mins | Serves: 6
- 500g Beef Braising Steak, cut into 3cm cubes
- 3tbsp plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 1tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1tbsp tomato purée
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 beef stock pot
- 200ml golden ale (or 200ml extra stock
- 50g Stilton
- 500g ready to roll puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- Toss the steak in the flour. Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meat in batches to brown. Set aside.
- Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the onion for 4-5 mins until starting to colour. Keep back a few of the thyme leaves then add the rest to the pan with the garlic and fry for 2 mins. Return the meat and any juices to the pan.
- Add the tomato purée, bay leaf and stock pot, then pour over the ale and 300ml water. Season with black pepper and mix. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hr 30 mins, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is tender.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Crumble the Stilton into the filling and stir through. Remove the bay leaf.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Halve the pastry and roll into 2 balls. Roll one out on a floured surface to approx. 34cm round x 4mm thick. Line a 23cm round pie dish, pushing the pastry in with your hands. For the lid, roll out the other ball to 25cm round x 5mm thick.
- Spoon the filling into the pastry case. Brush the rim with egg and cover with the lid. Trim the edges and crimp to seal. With a knife, score a pattern in the lid, cut a small hole in the middle to let out steam and brush with egg. Sprinkle with thyme and bake for 40 mins or until the pastry is golden and flaky. Serve immediately.
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