It’s British Pie Week and that means it’s time to celebrate the country’s love affair with the humble pie. Meat pies have always been popular with the British, hot, cold, small or large, there’s a pie to suit every taste. A pie can be a part of meal or a snack and for me you can’t beat the great old classic the British pork pie or a savoury cold cutting pie.
Earlier this year I wrote about ‘Acanthus Handmade Pies’ award winning pies made by Perthshire based producer Robert Corrigan and one thing I have learned on my pie journey is that the proof is in the pie when it comes to fillings. There is nothing nicer than a handmade cold cutting pie made with good quality ingredients.
At that time Acanthus pies were in the process of rebranding and now there’s a new identity, renamed as ‘Mr.Cs Handcrafted Award Winning Pies’. The pies have fantastic new look, colourful labelling and hand wrapped in waxed paper all perfectly reflecting Robert’s strong Scottish roots.
There are several award winning pies in Mr.Cs Handcrafted range, all made with quality meats from some of Scotland’s best small producers. Production started in 2010 and 2011 saw the first award, a gold at the British Pie Awards for the pork pancetta and leek pie. It was no surprise a year later when the Chicken and Ham won a bronze award at the 2012 Scotch Pie awards.
2013 has proved to be a fantastic year so far for Mr Cs pies. At the Scotch Pie Awards, The ‘Game Pie’ won a Diamond award and the McLean trophy for the best savoury in the 9 Diamond awards category.
There was a Gold award for the Scottish Breakfast pie, pork with streaky bacon, mushrooms, an organic egg with tomato juice added to the jelly, a deliciously different breakfast treat. This was also the pie that was used to launch last years Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.
The aptly named ‘Piggie Black Pie‘, pork with Robert’s pancetta and leek mix layered with black pudding on the top and bottom layers won a bronze award.
A more recent addition is the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties pie, seen here with Hardeep Singh Kohl, launching this years Scotland food and drink excellence awards.
Ingredients for the range of Mr.Cs pies are sourced with quality in mind, Shipton Mill organic flour for pastry, Scottish outdoor bred pork from Ramsays of Carluke and wild venison from Highland Game.
Robert also produces a range of bespoke Pies for some of Scotland’s high end deli’s, food and farm shops. Crombies in Edinburgh stock the chicken and ham pie along with the traditional pork pie.
Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat from Lanarkshire have pork and savoury pork pies made with their rare breed pork and these are available at the weekly Lanarkshire Farmers Markets.
For those of us who shop for quality food products on line, Peelham Farm (www.peelham.co.uk) stock a ruby veal and ham pie with wholegrain mustard and a wonderful mutton and capers Pie, all made to the same exacting standard with meats produced on their own farm.
The individual pies are normally 500g, although the six fillings are also available in French style moulds in 1.75kg and 1.85kg. The larger sizes are ideal for parties and buffets and are also popular at game shoots.
Mr.Cs is recognised as one of the best when it come to handcrafted cold cutting pies. There’s no point in comparing the pies to any of the mass produced supermarket pies,no matter how handmade they attempt to make them look. Mr.Cs pies are in a class of their own, handmade with good quality local ingredients with care and commitment through every stage. The finished product as you can see from the pictures look outstanding.
Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat Company. http://www.lochbyrerarebreedmeat.co.uk and Lanarkshire Farmers Markets.
Donald Russell of Inverurie www.donaldrussel.com
Crombies of Edinburgh http://www.sausages.co.uk
Hopetoun Farm Shop http://www.hopetoun.co.uk
Cornerstone Deli in Blairgowrie
The Wee Pie Company in Glencarse .www.theweepiecompany.co.uk
Peelham Farm ( on line and at Farmers Markets) http://www.peelham.co.uk
Loch Leven Larder http://www.lochlevenslarder.com
Gloaggburn Farm Shop http://www.gloagburnfarmshop.co.uk
For further information on British Pie Week, recipes and tips on making pies see http://www.jusrol.co.uk