This week is British Pie Week and, as a Brit (from Wigan, the capital of pies), I really think this is a dish we should celebrate for its uniqueness.
Other cultures and cuisines have their own varieties-think samosas and empanadas but there is something about the great British pie that just makes you feel all warm inside.
The history of the pie (in all its forms) goes back to a time when people-working men especially, needed a quick and convenient, filling lunch which was easy to transport. Just as the Cornish had pasties, the rest of the country had pies.
There are many varieties-pies where you only have a top. Pies which have Protected Geographical Indication
like the Melton Mowbray pie.
Most tarts could lend themselves to be called pies in most places. If you think, a classic lemon meringue pie is what many other countries-like France would call a tart.
So to celebrate all things pie, I have come up with my own recipe-the British Breakfast Pie.
My thinking was, you can’t get anything more British than a cooked breakfast, so why not include it in a pie?
Why not indeed.
So here it is.
You will need:
Enough shortcrust pastry to cover your tin. I used a 7-inch loose bottom, deep pie dish.
500g of British sausage meat
4 rashers of British, smoked bacon
Around 12 chestnut mushrooms, chopped.
Make and blind bake your pastry in the tin (held down with foil or clingfilm and baking beans), leaving enough pastry for the top.
Meanwhile, have your sausage meat cooking in a lidded pan. I didn’t add any oil as it is fatty enough but you can if you wish. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Take off the heat and take the pie case out of the oven.
I allowed both to cool.
When the sausage meat is cool, spoon it into the pie case and make 4 little holes in the filling.
Crack an egg in each of the holes.
Cover the sausage and egg with two rashers of bacon (if you use a wider tin, you may need double the bacon. The idea is to cover the bottom mixture with the bacon).
Place a layer of chopped mushrooms on top of the bacon, layer another two bacon rashers on top of that.
Layer the sliced tomato on the top of the bacon and then put the lid on, making a few little air holes in the top.
Bake on 180 degrees for 40-60 minutes.
What’s your favourite pie filling?