Pie’s the limit ... with 1.8 tons of meat

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DENBY DALE, Yorkshire’s famous ‘pie village’, has recreated a 3.8-ton pie made in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

The mammoth modern-day pie, containing 1.8 tons of meat and gravy, 185kg of shortcrust pastry and 300kg of potatoes, was created in the West Yorkshire village for a TV show which celebrates traditional Northern fare.

Villagers, led by pie maker Andrew Hayes of Denby Dale Pies, cooked the pie in 10 hours. They used a pie dish weighing in at 1.5 tons to give it the look of a proper pie.

They avoided the disaster which befell the 1887 pie makers who took so long to prepare the ingredients that the pie was inedible.

According to Mr Hayes the finished pie was delicious.

“It was quite an operation to get all the meat prepared and ready and properly cooked.

“We kept a careful eye on cooking temperatures, as the original pie made in 1887 took so long for the villagers to make, it went rancid and had to be buried in the woods in Denby Dale.

“Mercifully, with the wonders of a modern kitchen, the 2012 pie took 10 hours to cook and it tasted delicious.

“The whole village came out to feast on the pie and the whole process of making the pie brought the community together.”

The 1887 recipe used 435kg of beef, 63kg of turkey, 34 pigeons, 36 fowl, three hares, 49 rabbits, 10 grouse and 21 ducks.

The finished 2012 pie looked like a patchwork quilt as villagers personalised their own pastry squares to reflect events in the year, including using Olympic-style rings and Jubilee coronets which celebrated the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The pie project will feature on a new Channel 5 show, Great Northern Cookbook, which is presented by former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson who is also a cheesemaker and chef. The pie features on the January 3 programme at 8pm.