Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

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Recipe for the highly acclaimed Wye Valley Pie!

Goat Major: Wye Valley Pie

The Goat Major’s Wye Valley Pie won top honour at the British Pie Week awards in 2010.  Described as “heaven in a pie” by judges, the pie is combines locally sourced buttered chicken, asparagus and new potatoes, topped with a layer of Tintern Abbey cheese and puff pastry.

The Goat Major has become famed for its pies and now offers a pie only menu. The daily changing menu includes mutton and rosemary pie, butternut squash, spinach and goat’s cheese pie, and rabbit pot pie. And on the bar there’s a great range of real ales to match your pie.

For more information visit www.sabrain.com/goatmajor. Or for pie updates follow the pub on twitter @TheGoatMajorPub

Wye Valley Pie recipe

Ingredients
½ x 500g pack chilled puff pastry
2tbsp olive oil
1 large leek – washed and sliced
400g chicken breast meat – cut into large cubes
250g new potatoes – washed and thickly sliced
500ml chicken stock
2tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 x 125g pack asparagus spears
1tbsp cornflour
3tbsp creme fraiche
Black pepper to season
50g Tintern Abbey cheese (or a mature cheddar), thinly sliced
semi-skimmed milk, to glaze

Method
Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, large sauté pan. Tip in the sliced leek and gently fry until just soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks and set aside.

Pour the rest of the oil into the pan. Add the chicken and fry over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes to seal all sides. Drop in the potatoes and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. With the heat still high, pour in 450ml of the stock with the thyme, stirring to scrape up any sticky bits on the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat slightly, then lightly boil, uncovered, for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, lightly blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, reserve 12 of the tips and chop the rest along with the stalks.

Slacken the cornflour with 1tbsp of water. Stir this into the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes to thicken. Stir in the reserved leeks, the chopped asparagus, crème fraîche and some pepper to season. You may not need salt. If more sauciness is needed, stir in the rest of the stock. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220℃, (200℃ for fan assisted), Gas Mark 7.

Divide the cooled chicken mixture between 4 small, individual pie dishes, or pour into 1 larger family pie dish. Lay the sliced cheese on top of the chicken filling. For the individual pies, divide the pastry into 4 and roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface so it’s large enough to make a lid for the dishes, with enough to cut off a thin strip of pastry to sit on the rim of each dish. (If making one large pie, roll out sufficient pastry to make one lid, plus the side strips.)

Press the strips of pastry on the rims, brush with water, then lay the lids over the top. Pinch the edges well to seal. Score lines across the top of each lid and make a small hole in the corner of each pie (or in each corner of the pie if making a large one). Brush the pastry with milk.

Place the dishes (or dish) on a baking tray and bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size, or until the pastry is risen and golden and the filling is bubbling. Just before the pies are done, re-heat the asparagus tips in boiling water. Place them in the pie holes to serve.

Pie Making Tips!

You’re reading my British Pie Week posts so I’m assuming you are a pie lover but do you love baking pies as well as eating them?

I love making pie but I’m not too keen on the pastry part. I find it a bit tedious and quite frankly, my pastry is rubbish! I’ve been in touch with a professional from Clark’s Pies who has provided us with some tips on making the perfect pie. Take note!

“Here at Clark’s Original Pies we are specialists in pie manufacture and if you follow our simple guidelines you too can produce top quality pies
The best pies start with top quality pastry; Clark’s Original Pies make all their pastry from fresh ingredients blended on site. Mixing the ingredients is important, as over mixing can be as much of a problem as undermixing giving resultant problems with texture.
Accompanying the pastry is the filling. Using only the best ingredients, be mindful not to underfill the pie. However overfilling can give other problems. When the pies are heated to the required centre temperature this can cause the filling to boil over and result in a “messy” pie with the filling bubbling out. consistent baking is essential. At Clark’s Original Pies all our pies are baked for the same amount of time which helps us to achieve consistent results. All in all practice makes perfect, and with nearly 100 year of just that under our belts we can definitely say that is the way to achieve successful baking and quality pies”
Freddie Rosoman- Bakery Manager for Clarks Pies.

Freddie Rosoman- Bakery Manager for Clark's Pies

Do you have any tips for making the perfect pie? Please feel free to leave them below.
We have an exclusive competition with Clark’s Pies running today. Please see www.yourlastmouthful.com for more details.

Clark’s Pies- A Cardiff Institution

Not being from Cardiff, I had never heard of Clark’s Pies until I moved here and over the years, I have been amazed by the popularity of these pies. They have become a somewhat of a Cardiff institution and the people of Cardiff are very proud of them.

As it’s British Pie Week, I thought it only fitting to include a post on Cardiff’s best loved pie and give you a short history of how Clark’s Pies first began in 1912.

The Clark family

The history of Clark’s Pies can be traced back to the early part of the 20th century.

Mary Clark was the founder of Clark’s Pies and the association with the city of Cardiff began in 1912.  Mary, along with her husband Arthur and children moved here and by 1913 had opened the first Clark’s Pie shop at 93 Donald Street in Roath.  Unfortunately this was later closed due to meat rationing in the First World War.

It was not until the early 1920’s that Mrs Clark was able to recommence making the pies again.  The family which comprised of seven children were then living at 40 Union Street in Cardiff, and it was here that Mary Clark made pies in her kitchen.

The pies were so popular that in 1928 Mrs Clark opened a shop at 110 Paget Street in Grangetown.  This success was closely followed by her daughter Winfred and her husband Arthur Dutch opening a shop at 454 Cowbridge Road West in Canton.

During the 1930’s further shops were also opened by Mary’s other children in Swindon, Reading, Newport, Gloucester and Bristol.  Unfortunately the shop at 110 Paget Street, Grangetown had to close due to food rationing in the Second World War and did not re-open afterwards.

Winfred and Arthur Dutch had four children, Stuart, Dennis, Joy and Paul who then all carried on the family tradition and became the third generation to continue the business.  Dennis, Stuart and Joy worked at 454 Cowbridge Road West after leaving school.

Dennis took this tradition a step further and was the only one of Mary Clark’s grandchildren to open his own shop.  This was opened in 1955 in Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown and is situated closely to the previous shop at 110 Paget Street.  His younger brother Paul also joined him in this new venture and he left school and came to work for Dennis.

Dennis Dutch

The 1970’s proved a devastating time for the family with the death of Winfred in 1974, Arthur in 1975 and Stuart in 1976.  This resulted in Paul leaving his brother Dennis’ business in Grangetown to take over the running of 454 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff.

The 1990’s saw the fourth generation of the family becoming actively involved in the company.  Now in the 2000’s, the Clark’s Pies Cardiff bakery and shop is still located at Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown and is run by Dennis’ two daughters Beverley and Amanda. Dennis still plays a part in the running of the business.

A recent photo of Dennis Dutch

Clark’s Pies in Grangetown, Cardiff is now the only Clark’s Pie shop in Cardiff. There are also two Clark’s Pie shops in Bristol. As Clark’s Pies fast approaches its centenary, the fifth generation of the family are also beginning to work within the business.

Clark’s Pies has now become an institution in Cardiff and South Wales and are heralded as Cardiff’s traditional pie.

Tomorrow’s post will include tips from Clark’s Pies on how to make the perfect pie. We will also be running an exclusive competition in association with Clark’s Pies! Please see the website for further information on British Pie Week!

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