As it’s British Pie Week from 4-10th March, Cookery Editor Sue looks at the controversy surrounding the name “pie”

Luxury fish pie

Nowadays just about every week seems to be dedicated to some sort of food, and this week has been nominated British Pie Week. Since pastry makers Jus Rol are one of the main sponsors of the week it’s not surprising that most of the pies they feature are pastry topped, and I’m not going to knock that as we use a lot of Jus Rol pastry, and I particularly like the flavour of their all-butter pastries as they taste very much like home-made pastry but save lots of time.

However, the country inn group, Vintage Inns, are preparing to lobby Parliament to demand equality for pies as under current rules pies topped with anything other than pastry are not classed as real pies – so Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie don’t get classed as being pies event though that’s what they’re called.  Vintage Inns are calling it their “Pie’tition” – even though this is all a publicity stunt for the pub chain it’s getting people ob their Facebook page to talk about pies. And the company have got celebritity chef James Martin working with them on an exclusive new pie range which will be launched in almost  200 Vintage Inns across the UK.

Here at Woman’s Weekly we love a good pie, which in my opinion needs to be cooked as a complete pie, rather than having a sauce cooked separately and then a disc of cooked pastry put on top. One of our favourites is a Luxury Fish Pie.

This version has a puff pastry top, and I try to always use all-butter puff pastry, but often when I make it at home I top it with mashed potato.  I’m actually going to be making it at home this week and I was really pleased to find that all the fish that I’m going to use in it is on offer on Ocado!!!  I’ve recently discovered Young’s Easy Cook White Fish Fillet Chunks which I think are perfect for fish pies, and they are very good value usually at £2.75 for 250g, but even better this week at just £1.37 (I do like a bargain).

It’s Alaska Pollock which is a “responsibly sourced fish for life” so it’s not depleating over-fished fish stocks.   Something that I really like in a fish pie is quarted hard boiled eggs, but adding them means the pie isn’t suitable for freezing, so if I’m making it in advance to freeze then I omit the eggs and I add some drained sweetcorn instead.

Rosti fish pie

If you’re looking for a fish pie that’s a little different, then try our Rosti Fish Pie, which is smoked haddock in a hollandaise sauce and topped with grated potato to give a crisp rosti. Another new product that I’ve bought several times recently is Eriks Hollandaise Sauce.  I first tried it a couple of years ago, but then the shop that I bought it from stopped stocking it, so I even e-mailed the manufacturers to see where I could buy it and there were only a couple of places that sold it in the UK, but recently it was my “free gift” with my Ocado order as they had started stocking it so I now buy it most weeks as my baby daughter loves Pesto Pasta and asks for that every night, and I find it very quick to cook some fresh pasta and then stir in some hollandaise and fresh pesto sauce and it’s a meal ready in less than 5 minutes, with some cheese grated over it to add some protein.

Rhubarb lattice pie

And after all this talk about savoury pies, I mustn’t leave out sweet pies too, particularly Rhubarb pie as you may still just about find some Yorkshire Rhubarb around, although it usually comes to the end of it’s season in about mid March, so make the most of it while you can!  I’m not usually keen on rhubarb, but I did enjoy this pie with lots of Clotted Cream, although Cookery Assistant, Iris, preferred it with custard.

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