Celebrate British Pie Week

Posted on: 04 March 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

A pie is a glorious thing – there’s crispy pastry which releases a plume of steam when the crust is broken, then the delicious oozing filling nestling underneath.


Meat pies first appeared in England in the 12th century, and are probably still our favourites today. But there are lots of little touches to bring them bang up to date.

Try heightening the flavour of a beef and mushroom classic with a spoonful or two of hot horseradish stirred into the gravy – plus extra to serve on the side for the real hotheads in the family.

Ready rolled pastry takes all the hard work out of baking pies. You can also forget about peeling and coring apples if you are making a creamy pork and onion filling - simply add half a jar of organic apple sauce made with subtle cider vinegar instead.

Meanwhile, Ashley Robins at The Keystone in Guildford won the 2009 British Pie Week Challenge with his hearty pie mixed with locally sourced game meat, mushrooms, bacon and topped with mouth-wateringly flaky Jus-Rol pastry.

Judging the competition was John Porter of The Publican, Martin Bates of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Mike Green 2008 British Pie Week winner and Sally Baxter of Jus Rol. The rigorous judging process awarded points for originality, regionality, simplicity, creativity and passion – and all agreed that The Keystone Game Pie was the unanimously the best.

Why not try making your own Keystone Game Pie or our original Turkey, Red Onion & Pepper Pie.

Keystone Game Pie


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, peeled & diced
  • 120g field mushrooms, sliced
  • 120g smoked back bacon, diced
  • 1 kg of mixed game meat (incl. venison, rabbit, pheasant & pigeon), boned & diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled & crushed
  • Zest & juice of 1 orange
  • 70ml port
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 30g plain flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1.2kg Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • Round metal skillet, 33cm diameter


  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil, brown the game in batches, keep on one side.
  2. Heat the rest of the oil, sweat off the onions until starting to soften but not colour. Add the garlic, bacon & mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour & cook for 2 minutes. Season well & stir in the bay leaves, orange juice & zest, redcurrant jelly, stock & port.
  4. Bring to the boil, add the meat & simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Allow to cool.
  5. Heat the oven to Gas 5.
  6. Flour the inside of the metal skillet – do not grease. Roll out pastry base & press into the skillet, leaving an overhang of 1cm. Fill with the meat mixture. Roll out pastry lid & attach to the base using an egg wash. Press down edges with the end of a spoon. Cut a steam hole in the centre. Glaze with beaten egg.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes on bottom shelf, followed by 30 minutes on top shelf, until the pastry is golden & the filling over 75°C.
  8. Cut a generous wedge & serve with creamy mash, steamed savoy cabbage & red onion gravy.

Turkey, Red Onion & Pepper Pie

Preparation  Time: 12 minutes (plus 30 minutes chilling)

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4


  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 450g/1lb diced British Turkey thigh meat
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 225g/8oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tbsp English Provender Very Lazy Caramelised Red Onions
  • 2tsp Very Lazy Red Chilli
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 300ml/1/2pt chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 sheet Jus-Rol Puff Pastry
  • Beaten egg, to glaze


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the turkey. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the pepper and mushrooms to the pan, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the Very Lazy Caramelised Red Onions. Mix the cornflour with the stock until smooth and pour into the pan. Add the Very Lazy Red Chilli and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened and smooth.
  3. Add the turkey back into the pan, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Tip the pie filling into a 1.1 litre/2pt pie dish, reserving some sauce if necessary.
  5. Cover the pie with pastry and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
  7. Heat any remaining sauce and serve with the pie

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