“Meet the Face of British Pie Week”

Has ever a non-fast food been so maligned by the masses?

Suggest a pie to most people in this gym and looks obsessed age (newsflash – humankind have always been looks obsessed) and they’d often react like you’d plonked down a slab of lard in front of them and handed them a knife and fork.

I’m not marketing for the British Pie Federation (though it would be great in a 70s kitsch way if there was one). I don’t expect people to go back to the old days and eat pie three days a week (other four days: fish and chips, bangers and mash, chops and dripping sandwiches. But let’s lighten up. A little pie once in a while won’t turn you into Mr Creosote.

I'll have the steak and ale...

What it is above all is a great way to use up leftovers. In the tradition of Monday night dinner that includes shepherds pie, cottage pie, faggots and rissoles, the pie is king.

Take this example – I made a roast dinner for two a few weeks back: chicken, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, parsnips and gravy. The spuds and nips were all demolished, but there was some of the others left over. Come Monday I nipped out and brought some shortcrust pastry because I’m a lazy bastard. The leftover chicken and veg went in a pie dish, with some extra mushrooms I picked up, were cover with the leftover gravy and then had the pastry lid put over the top. Twenty-odd minutes later it was done. And it was ace.

The point is you don’t have to go out and buy pie, or even plan specifically a pie, you can use it as a cost-effective way of using up odds and ends.

The reason I bring this up is that it is British Pie Week this week, one of those marketing gimmicks that try to tap into our inner nostalgia. There’s even a “Face of British Pie Week”, which somehow isn’t James Cordon. Given the presence of “Jus-Rol” around the website suggests a hint of corporate push. It pushes me to urge people to try their hand, despite my admitted laziness, at making their own pastry.

But you should eat a (savoury) pie once in a while. If you are still too lazy after this gentle haranguing to make your own pie, you can buy locally made pies. Pieminister tick my boxes as combining local produce, a great idea, good business acumen and top-class punning. They do them at The Raven in Bath, where I dined on Valentine’s Day weekend.

But while their pies are good, and a decent alternative to transfat-laden fast foods, there is no reason why we can’t make our own tasty pie once in a while. It has sod all to do with some false historical nostalgia, and everything to do with eating good food and getting maximum value for money out of your shopping.

See you at the gym.

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