I hereby drop a clanger into the bal­lot box

It’s ver­sa­tile, it’s one of our best ex­ports – it’s time the pie was voted the na­tion’s favourite

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FOOD DRINK -

STEPHEN HAR­RIS

pas­try did not have enough short­en­ing or fat to be plea­sur­able to eat. A large joint of meat could be cooked in a pas­try case, in the man­ner of a beef Welling­ton. This would keep the meat sealed and ex­tend its life for some time. The best source we have for the con­sump­tion of meat in this form is prob­a­bly Sa­muel Pepys, who was fond of a veni­son pasty. Sadly, he doesn’t go into much de­tail.

There is a bit of a pie re­nais­sance go­ing on at the mo­ment. At Hol­born Din­ing Room in cen­tral Lon­don, chef Calum Franklin has taught him­self how to cook spec­tac­u­lar pies by watch­ing YouTube videos: he has even opened his own “pie room”. You can buy a pie to take away, as you can at any foot­ball ground, but these are made with an ex­tra­or­di­nary amount of at­ten­tion to de­tail. Peo­ple are trav­el­ling miles to eat one of the 200 pies he makes each day.

There are any num­ber of re­gional vari­a­tions on the pie and pasty, the most fa­mous be­ing the Cor­nish ver­sion; but to­day’s recipe is for a less well-known vari­ant, the Bed­ford­shire clanger. I must ad­mit that I was first drawn to it by the name, which seems to sug­gest it was seen as a heavy snack – prob­a­bly made with suet pas­try many years ago.

Although it is of­ten served as half savoury and half sweet, I have just dis­pensed with this and mixed to­gether the meat and ap­ple. I think ba­con goes in­cred­i­bly well with ap­ple as it makes a salty, slightly acidic and sweet pie.

One ma­jor prob­lem with to­day’s shop-bought pie is that mak­ers seem to have re­duced the salt con­tent, in keep­ing with Gov­ern­ment guide­lines, but to have in­creased the white pep­per con­tent. I find most shop-bought pasties to be ined­i­ble be­cause of this.

The only so­lu­tion is to make your own – and next time, don’t for­get to vote for the pie as our na­tion’s favourite food.

Stephen Har­ris is chef-pa­tron of The Sports­man in Seasalter,

Kent, whose many awards in­clude the No1 spot in the 2018 Estrella Damm Best Gas­tropub Awards

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