Lunch in London: Time For Pie and Mash

Time for lunch in London. Whether you are in the mood for home-made scotch eggs or home-made pork pies, head down to your local pub to find the best in great British food. There is no better lunch than traditional English pies and mash.

Pie and Mash Ingredients

Pies in London contain only minced beef and come served with a dish called mash plus parsley liquor. Mash is simply potatoes, boiled and then mashed with only a pinch of salt. No milk, cream or butter needed. Traditionally, the parsley liquor contained water and stewed eels. Today, it is more commonly made with butter, water, vinegar and flour plus salt and pepper.

Pie Eating Etiquette

How to eat these great pies is another controversy in British fast food. Some shops offer a knife and fork while others offer a spoon and knife. Many rumours surround this controversy but all of them seem false. To eat with a fork and spoon, use the fork to split open the top of the pie and then mix with vinegar or other seasoning you want and eat with the spoon.

History of Pie

Traditional English pies and mash began as food for the working class. The first pie made from eel, simmered in water. This water was then used to make the liquor. Because the working class were poor, they needed meals that were cheap, filling and easy to prepare and transport. By itself, this pie was a great meal on the go. Adding the potatoes and liquor made it a hearty sit-down meal. As eel became more scarce, mutton and later plain minced meat become a new source of filling.

Traditional Pie and Mash Shops

Today, pie and mash shops are a plentiful and popular choice for British fast food. The shops typically feel clean and Victorian with white, tiled walls, marble table tops and easy to clean floors. They serve few alternatives beyond the great pies. These often include such great British food as home-made scotch eggs and stewed eels. Many have started offering many fillings as well, including vegetarian.

Hurry in to your local pub and order a ‘two and one’ or two pies and one scoop of mash. Otherwise friends may ask “who ate all the pies?”

Photo credit:wonker

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