The arrival of Granny and an aunty to celebrate Yumblog Junior’s second birthday had the added advantage of the potential for babysitting and therefore a rare evening out for the parents. Searching for tasty and cheesy ballast with which to fortify ourselves before what was inevitably going to be a multi-pint boozy night out, we sensibly turned to the ever-dependable Hairy Bikers/Bakers. This pie was the result … and Lawks a lordy was it good.

Preparation time: about an hour plus another hour chilling
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 depending on levels of hunger/greed
Skill level: medium


For the pastry

  • plain flour – 450g – plus extra for dusting
  • baking powder – 2 tsp
  • salt – ½ tsp
  • unsalted butter – 120g – plus extra for greasing
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • parmesan cheese – grated – 50g
  • water – 120ml
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten, for glazing

For the filling

  • 2 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 onions – finely sliced
  • plain flour – 1 tbsp
  • whole milk – 100 ml
  • mature cheddar cheese – grated – 150g
  • English mustard – ½ tsp
  • cayenne pepper – ½ tsp
  • s and p

Start by making your pastry. Put the the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolk into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the grated parmesan and stir.

Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing continuously until the mixture just comes together as a dough. (You may not need to use all of the water.)

Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour.

Meanwhile, boil the potato in salted water until just tender, drain and set aside.

Bring a separate large saucepan of water to the boil, add the sliced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

Drain and return the cooked onions to the saucepan.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix to coat.

Add the milk and heat the mixture over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the liquid is smooth and has thickened slightly.

Add the cooked potato, grated cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper and stir together.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well, and aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Grease a deep 20cm/8in pie tin with butter.

Add a small amount of flour, turn the tin to coat the base and sides of the tin, then shake out any excess.

When the pastry has chilled, place two thirds of it onto a floured surface and roll out to a circle about twice the diameter of the pie tin.

Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry and lay it over the pie tin to line the base and sides – gently press the pastry into the corners of the tin. Trim off any excess, then prick the base of the pastry case several times with a fork.

Cover the pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until the pastry is pale golden-brown.

Remove from the oven, remove the beans and greaseproof paper and set aside to cool.

When cool, pour the pie filling into the pastry case.

Roll the remaining third of the pastry out onto a floured work surface until it is slightly larger than the diameter of the pie tin.

Brush the rim of the cooked pastry case with some of the beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top of the pie. Trim off any excess pastry.

Crimp the edges of the pastry lid with a fork to seal.

Make two small holes in the centre of the pastry lid to allow steam to escape.

Brush the pastry lid with the remaining beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins, or until golden-brown.

Serve, eat, say goodbye to the baby sitter and peg it to the pub.

Verdict: Utterly delicious.

Drink: Many, many pints of Krombacher, Veltins, Jever and Bohemia Regent.

Entertainment: A great evening of sitting at the bar of the Fox and Goose watching a Saturday night crowd of locals getting steadily and determinedly drunk. One woman spent the night rapidly alternated between swearing, sleeping, dancing and crying. Live music from Paul Heaton too (almost).

fox and goose, Hebden Bridge


  1. Made this last night with a few forced alterations. Left it bottomless and used up some spare puff pastry by making a lid for the pie.
    Utterly delicious when warm and lovely cold for lunch today.

  2. Hi Scoots

    Delighted you enjoyed your pie … don’t forget to try it with pastry … it has parmesan in it … innit.

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