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Recipe: Shropshire fidget pie

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Simple, cheap and traditional, Shropshire fidget pie makes an easy, warming dinner

Shropshire Fidget Pie

The curiously named Shropshire fidget pie is one of the county’s best-known regional dishes and is commonly made using apples, bacon or gammon, and Shropshire potatoes. There are a number of theories as to the origin of the name: it’s thought it relates to the ingredients’ tendency to shuffle around in their pastry case when baked, or it could be that it was once ‘fitched’ – five-sided. A less palatable origin is that it smells like polecat (known in Shropshire as a ‘fitch’ or ‘fitchett’) while cooking. Whatever its origin, it’s a delicious meal served hot with buttered greens and a glass of local cider.

Rustle up this tasty pie for a warming meal in autumn and winter.

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Ingredients

For the filling

  • Gammon steak 375g (13oz)
  • Bramley cooking apples 2 medium, peeled
  • Cider 160ml (¼pt)
  • Shropshire potatoes 750g (1lb 10oz)
  • Wholegrain mustard with honey 1 tbsp
  • Butter 50g (1¾oz) butter
  • Double cream 80g (3oz)
  • Cheddar cheese 100g (3½oz)

For the pastry

  • Plain flour 75g (2½oz)
  • Self raising flour 75g (2½oz)
  • Butter 75g (2½oz)
  • Salt a pinch
  • Water 50ml, add a tiny amount gradually until the pastry forms a ball

Method

Pastry

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C/375°F/Gas 5. Make the pastry by sifting the plain and sel-raising flour and salt into a bowl. Dice butter and rub into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in water until pastry forms a ball. Wrap pastry in cling-film and rest in fridge 20 mins.

Filling

  • Step 1

    Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks and cook in salted boiling water for around 20 mins. Dice the gammon and sauté in a pan until sealed. Add the cider to the pan and simmer for 15 mins until tender.

  • Step 2

    Dice the apples, add to the gammon and stir to coat the apples with the sauce. Cook 2-3 mins then remove pan from the heat to cool.

  • Step 3

    Drain the potatoes and mash with the cream, butter and mustard until smooth.

  • Step 4

    Remove pastry from the fridge. Roll out and line a deep flan dish. Add gammon mix and top with grated cheese. Pipe or spoon the mustard mash on top to create topping. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 mins.

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