Stokenchurch is just off the M40 and, for me, a place to travel through on the way to my parents. I don’t think there is much of note to this small town. It would seem its only claim to fame is this Stokenchurch Pie recipe. One of a scant number of traditional dishes attributed to my home county of Buckinghamshire.
I’m born and bred Bucks and have never had Stokenchurch Pie; never heard of it to be honest before I came to researching dishes for the English Traditional Foods project. The pie is a way to use up leftovers – mince lamb and eggs basically, although any meat can be used. Plus macaroni. Yep, so traditional they throw in a pie of pasta.
“In England, from approximately 1750 to 1850, a “macaroni” referred to a foppish Englishman, a dandy, who affected foreign (Italian) style by over-dressing, wearing a preposterous wig, and perhaps eating foreign foods (for example, Yankee Doodle Dandy who “stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni” and the London gentlemen’s club, The Macaroni Club).” Pasta Facts
While my lacklustre pastry skills are well open for ridicule (as are my food photography skills) the pie was actually rather good. I might take to wearing a preposterous wig when next cooking. You never know it might just improve my pastry.
Stokenchurch Pie Recipe
A traditional Buckinghamshire dish – adapted from Receipts and Relishes by Bernard Darwin
Course Main Course
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
1 lb Flour
1 1/2 lb Minced Lamb
8 oz lard
3 hard boiled eggs
4 oz Macaroni Pasta
1 Chopped Onion
1 tsp Mixed herbs
Gently fry the onion until soft. Add the meat and the mixed herbs (a touch of chilli too perhaps) and fry until browned all over. Add a spoonful or two of stock.
Cut the eggs into quarters. Cook the pasta as per pack instructions. Mix the pasta into the meat.
Make a lard pastry (cut the lard into the flour until like bread crumbs and add a little water to bind all together). Let it rest in the fridge for 45 minutes or so before rolling out and lining a pastry dish. (Or as here a bread tin).
Put in half the meat, top with the eggs, then top with the remaining meat mix. Top with a lid of pastry. Make a hole in the centre and decorate with any remaining pastry. Brush with a little milk.
Cook in a hot oven (around 200C) for 30 minutes. Serve hot.