Simple Simon met a Pieman
~ Raised Chicken and Ham Pie ~
Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman “Let me taste your ware”
Said the pieman to Simple Simon “Show me first your penny”
Said Simple Simon to the pieman “Sir, I have not any!”
|Simple Simon and the Pieman|
I love pies, it’s a simple as that, as simple as Simon ~ pies conjure up images of picnics, tartan rugs, fireside suppers, scrubbed kitchen tables, wicker hampers, greaseproof paper, flasks, old cars, cold days, hot days, my mum, my dad, childhood days, brown sauce, cafés, woollen jumpers, tea time, suppers, the seaside, mustard ~ English of course, chips, salt and pepper, old serving platters, shiny pie moulds hanging up in the kitchen, floury hands, the Christmas buffet table, high days, feast days and holidays……to name but just a few.
This pie is a posh pie, not the meat and potato pie of my childhood suppers or the egg and bacon pie of simple picnic lunches ~ this is a rich and cultured pie, a pie with depth and finesse ~ a proper old fashioned pie and one that makes the mustard blush with pleasure when sharing the same table….it’s been properly raised with good manners and impeccable taste.
I will not pretend that this pie is easy or quick to make, it needs time and love, however, if you want to impress your friends or family with a sensational “posh” English raised pie then this is the recipe for you. Tender chunks of chicken with pork sausage meat and ham are encased in crisp hot water crust pastry, liberally seasoned with spices and herbs; this pie makes a simply stunning centrepiece for any Glyndebourne style picnic event or for a special celebratory cold buffet, such as weddings, christenings or anniversaries…….or for a simple supper at the kitchen table.
The pastry used in this pie recipe is hot water crust pastry, which is a direct descendant of “coffer” paste that was used to encase and protect meat whilst it cooked centuries ago – the pies then being called “coffyns”. The pastry is shaped by hand whilst it is still warm, and is excellent for using with intricate pie moulds – the technique is known as “hand raised” and pies made this way are called “raised pies”. The pastry is easy to make, but MUST be kept warm whilst you are using it – I keep mine warm over a pan of simmering water. This pastry is excellent for all types of traditional raised pies, such as Game pies, Pork pies and Veal and Ham pies.
I am posting this pie recipe today as we are in the midst of British Food Fortnight, and this is just the well raised gentleman (This pie is a gentleman I think ~ don’t you?) to showcase how wonderful our British pies are; we are a pie making nation and a nation of pie makers and long may the pie reign supreme in our national cuisine. Have a go at making this pie this Autumn ~ serve it on an old platter with a pot of salt, nose tingling hot English mustard and some crisp salad leaves……bring it out with a flourish ~ be a pie queen or king at the kitchen table ~ think PIE!
See you tomorrow and by the way, who ate all the pie???
Old English Posh Raised Chicken and Ham Pie