It’s British Pie Week. Can you think of anything more British than the pie?

According to British Pie Week founders, Jus-Rol, new research has revealed that 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month, with 79% willing to pay more for a home-made version.

We couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing better than making your own pie and the beauty is it is so easy to do. And what is even better is that pies offer so much variation, so if you are not keen on savoury, there’s always plenty of sweet version to choose from.

Pie is, obviously, not just a British institution (although did you know Oliver Cromwell banned it in 1644 because he said it was a pagan form of pleasure?) and given our background in world cuisine it would be remiss of us not to look at other types of pie that people enjoy in different countries.

If you ask an American what sort of pie they like, 9 times out of ten it will be the sweet version. Meat pies are not common in most US cuisine (they don’t know what they are missing!) but when you think of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, key-lime pie and cherry pie, there is only one country that springs to mind isn’t there?

The Nigerian “meat pie” is similar to the Jamaican beef patty (don’t ask us why!). It can be baked or fried, and the filling can be almost anything from corned beef (the most widely used) to just onions and tomatoes.

If you are in the Middle East they called meat pies ‘Sfiha’ and they usually contain ground beef, olive oil, plain yoghurt. tahini, allspice, onion, tomatoes and pine nuts. If you have holidayed in Greece, you will no doubt have tried their cheese or spinach pies made with filo pastry, and if you have ventured further afield to either New Zealand or Australia, you will know their pies are very similar to ours, although they insist on a big dollop of ketchup in the middle.

In Mexico, open pies are popular. These are made with shortcrust pastry, but without tops, and filled with anything spicy, such as chilli beef  In Latin America you are likely to have an empanada which granted is more like a pasty, but they are still very tasty. Empanadas usually contain lots of onion and green or red pepper, in combination with meat or fish.

Indians love their pies too. Whether they are vegetable samosas (they are made with pastry so we are claiming them as a pie) or a potato pie, one thing is guaranteed and that is they will contain lots of nice spices.

We end this British Pie Week blog by providing one of our recipes for a quintessential British pie – chicken, ham and leek pie.


  • 1 oven ready chicken
  • 1 whole ham hock
  • 1kg leeks sliced thinly
  • 250g block of butter
  • 1 white onion chopped into small dice
  • 1tsp freshly grated mace
  • 1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g chopped sage
  • 1 litre béchamel
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 5ml white truffle oil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shop bought ready rolled pastry


This recipe is done in a few stages:

  1. Roast the whole chicken. Chill and shred the meat off the bone
  2. Boil the ham hock for 3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone, then shred and set aside with the chicken.
  3. Make a basic white béchamel sauce.
  4. In a large pan melt the butter and sweat the leeks, onion, sage and the spices down until soft.
  5. Add the chicken, ham, truffle oil, English mustard and béchamel, simmer until 80’c season with salt & pepper.
  6. Put into your serving dish and top with short crust or puff pastry and brush with a egg wash for a glaze.
  7. Serve with some spring greens and buttered mash potato.


About Neil Shaefer
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.