Allums Butchers, Wakefield: The pork pies which are so good it’s what keeps Jane McDonald living in Yorkshire

Every Friday Jane McDonald used to head with her mum to Wakefield market to buy their meat for a week.

Like many families back then, roasts were a regular fixture on the calendar as were home cooked family meals.

Allums Butchers owner Jonathan Allum was 16 when he first started serving Jane on his family’s market stall.

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Despite the closure of the market and relocating 100m down the road to Brook Street, loyal customers continued to buy their meat including Jane and her family.

Jane McDonald enjoys a weekly pork pie treatJane McDonald enjoys a weekly pork pie treat
Jane McDonald enjoys a weekly pork pie treat

Jane, who lived with her late mum Jean until she was 45, recently said in the press: “I’ll tell you why I still live in Wakefield: Allum’s pork pies. They are absolutely brilliant.

“It is a neighbourhood, it’s a community, it's Wakefield and it’s my safe place and my family are all there and all my friends are there so why wouldn’t I live in Wakefield?”

The former Cruising with Jane McDonald star has said previously she wouldn’t go on Celebrity Big Brother because she couldn’t give up her weekly pork pie on a Sunday night.

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Jonathan said: “She used to come in every week before her career took off.

Allums Pork Pies are Jane's favouriteAllums Pork Pies are Jane's favourite
Allums Pork Pies are Jane's favourite

“Now obviously she travels a lot but she often comes in for special occasions, parties and at Christmas time.”

Jonathan saidhe’s “only been making pork pies for 25 years.”

When he was first developing his recipe he tried lots of pork pies to get the best recipe.

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“It’s just lard, flour, salt and boiling water,” he said. “It’s about food quality ingredients not price.”

Jonathan Allum of Allums ButchersJonathan Allum of Allums Butchers
Jonathan Allum of Allums Butchers

Jonathan said Allums keeps it simple without all the combinations and “fancy stuff” people add to pork pies.

“If it’s a good pork pie, it’s a good pork pie. Why change it?”

Before the recession hit in 2020, Allums were selling around 4,000 handmade pork pies per week at their shops in the city centre and Altofts.

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“Now it’s around 1,500,” Jonathan added. “People want cheap fast food these days.”

The pork pie trend may have dipped but Jonathan said being a butcher is much more fashionable and ‘cheffy’ nowadays.

He said: “I’m Wakefield born and bred. I’m the third generation of butchers. It used to be seen as a dead end job but now it’s much more trendy with all the cooking shows.”

Although sadly less people are cooking now, making it a hard slog getting enough customers.

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“Jane’s mentioned us on The One Show, on Instagram and on Loose Women. It’s a bit of a thing. It makes your day,” he said.

“Retail is hard at the moment, everything helps.”

Despite changing times, Jonathan is adamant that this humble pork pie is here to stay.

He added: “Traditional, simple, good quality ingredients and the ultimate fast food. It’s easier to make a good one than bad one.”

Jonathan recommends eating them cold as he does.

He added: “Nowt with it, just as it is.”

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