An amalgam of rare breed meat, sweet tomatoes and citrusy Wensleydale
The expression ‘pie eyed’ is largely used to denote staggering levels of drunkenness—or at least it was. Such euphemisms aren’t quite so innocent these days. But it would be a shame were this charming, almost whimsical expression to fall entirely from common use. One look at the saucers with which we surveyed our pork pies this morning would suggest the perfect opportunity for its redefinition as ‘adjective: the size of one’s eyes when looking at pies’—on the premise that the higher the quality of the pie under observation, the larger the eyes will be.
Our pies were Ginger Pig pies; our eyes the size of a bush baby’s—one whose been caught off guard in flagrante. In short, they were enormous. Their diameters denoted both the provenance of the pork they contained—rare breed, reared outdoors on a natural diet of homegrown cereal—and the pastry: handmade, shortcrust and baked on the farm in Yorkshire before being transported fresh to Borough Market the next day.
The flavours vary throughout the year. Hot to trot now is tomato and cheese, a sweet, teasingly tart amalgam of pork meat, ripe tomato and, almost as an afterthought, the crumbly citrus of Wensleydale cheese.
We warmed ours up in the office—you can’t buy them hot on the stall, but if you’re blessed with an oven or microwave they will reheat nicely. That said, Christina at the Ginger Pig is a big fan of these pies as Famous Five would have had them: cold, with a fluorescent dollop of piccalilli.
“If you like pickles, then gherkins or piccalilli are great with it,” she explains—the piquancy of the pickle cuts the pork meat like a knife through butter. “Tomato chutney, the one Ginger Pig sells, is also very good, but chilli jam is my absolute favourite,” she grins. We take her word for it—and another pie so we can experiment, our pie eyes wildly overestimating how much we can eat.