Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

The British pork pie and its relative, the veal and ham pie, are survivals of the medieval tradition of raised pies, and have changed surprisingly little. This particular pie, simply known as ‘pork pie’, is of a form distinct from other pies which merely happen to be made with pork. The filling is of fresh pork without other major ingredients, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a small quantity of herbs, especially sage.

At Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, long famous for its pork pies, anchovy essence was added not only for its flavour but because it was thought to give the meat an attractive pink colour, while pies from other districts were brownish or greyish. In modern pies, which are always pink, the colour is achieved by the use of chemicals.