St George’s Day Pie……

By Simon    

April 24, 2014

I loved making this old version of a traditional English pie to celebrate St George's day, using a lovely shin of beef, diced into mouthwatering chunks, the bone to aid in a rich stock, pearl barley, a old porter ale along with a bunch of traditional herbs, English mustard and worcestershire sauce, encased in a old suet short pastry and of course a pastry Cross of St George. All washed down with a flagon of ale. Our homage to our very own English St George the dragon slayer, and a nice reminder of the amazing William Shakespeare.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yields: 6


2 tbsp Rapeseed oil

1 Heaped tbsp Butter

3 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

3 Sprig Fresh thyme

3 Bay leaves

1 Kg Shin of beef

3 Red onions

Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 tbsp Tomato puree

2 Heaped tbsp Plain flour

1 1/2 Litre Beef stock

400 ml English smooth stout

140 Grams Pearl barley

1 Heaped tbsp English mustard

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

100 Grams Strong cheddar cheese

300 Grams Plain flour

100 Grams Shredded suet

100 Grams Butter

1 Pinch Sea salt

1 Egg


St George & The Dragon

The medieval legend of St George and the dragon is over a thousand years old. The tale goes that the dragon made it’s nest by the fresh water spring near the town of Silene in Libya. When people came to collect water, they inadvertently disturbed the dragon and so offered sheep as a distraction.

After time, there were simply no sheep left to offer the dragon and so the people of Silene decided to chose a maiden from the town by drawing lots. When the results were read, it was revealed that the princess was to be the dragon’s next victim. Despite the Monarch’s protest his daughter Cleolinda was offered to the dragon...

However, at the moment of offering, a knight from the Crusades came riding by on his white stallion. St George dismounted and drew his sword, protecting himself with the sign of the cross. He fought the dragon on foot and managed to slay the beast and saved the princess. The people of Silene were exceptionally grateful and abandoned their pagan beliefs to convert to Christianity.

Step 1.  Put the oil, butter and herbs into a large flameproof casserole dish over a moderate heat, add the chopped onions and meat, season and cook for 10 minuites mixing and stirring occasionally.  Add the tomato puree, flour and giving it all a good stir, add the stout and stock and bring to a gentle simmer.  Turn down the heat to low, pop on a lid a let the filling blip away for an hour, stirring occasionally.  When the hour is up stir in the pearl barley, pop the lid back on a simmer for a further hour.  By this time the meat should be so tender and the barley plump and cooked, continue to cook with the lid removed to thicken the sauce.  Stir in the mustard, worcester sauce and grated cheese.  Season to taste, pouring the filling into an oven proof serving or pie dish dish.

Step 2.  While the filling is cooking make the suet pastry.  Place the flour, suet, butter and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, use your thumbs and fingers to rub the butter and flour together until it resembles cornflake shapes, lightly stir in 125ml cold water using your hands to bring it together into a rough dough.  Do not be tempted to overwork it.  Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest.

Step 3.  Pre heat the oven to 180c,  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, egg wash the side of the dish, then gently lay the pastry on top, trim the edges, pinch and squash the edges together to seal the edge and egg wash all over.  Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden and delicious.  Today with served with creamed potatoes and steamed carrots and of course, English mustard and Ale.

As a finale to our feast we baked a traditional old favorite, Baked egg custard tart... Check out our recipe


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