From Mike Houghton.
MAY I, through your esteemed newspaper, make this appeal: To all restaurants, public houses and all other eateries in our fair island, a pot of meat with a bit of puff pastry slung on top is not a pie. When Simple Simon met a pie man, he wasn’t offered a pot with a puff pastry lid and when Desperate Dan sits down to a nourishing Cow Pie, he does not see a pair of cow horns protruding from a puff-pastry top floating on top of a bowl of cow.
Four and twenty blackbirds were not baked in a little pot and topped with puff pastry.
A pie has a base and sides, and a neatly crimped-on lid. It is filled with meat or chicken, or even vegetables if you must, but, most importantly, it can be picked up in two hands and eaten – that is a true pie (and the pastry is short crust).
When was an apple pie served as a pot of stewed apples with a puff pastry top? And about that puff pastry – nasty bought-in frozen circles of the stuff best left frozen and used as frisbees on the beach. If I see pie on a menu, I will order it and if a pot of meat arrives, I will send it right back. Try serving pots of meat (with a delicious puff pastry lid) at any football ground in the UK. Any pie stand doing that won’t make it to kick-off. What next, a bowl of meat, potatoes and carrots with a nice puff pastry lid? Oh yes Sir, that’s how we do Cornish pasties, and don’t even start me on pork pies or Sweeney Todd. No!
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