The origins of pie and mash
can be traced back to the 18th century with "Eel Pie and Mash Houses" being popular places to buy a cheap and filling meal.
Early pie and mash is very much different to the dishes we enjoy today, the first pies were filled with eels as these were cheap and plentiful and caught right from the Thames.
Pie and mash grew up in and around London with it's roots stuck firmly in the East End of London. The River Thames was a big influence in how food traditions were formed as it provided fresh water and salt water fish in good supply. London also had a great variety of meat, vegetable and fruit brought up the Thames from all over the world.
The main dish today is pie, mash and liquor. This is a baked minced beef pie with mashed potato. Liquor is unique to pie and mash shops who all claim to have their very own secret recipe for the green parsley gravy. Due to the simplicity of the dish, pie and mash is freshly made, prepared and cooked on the premises each day.
Eels are another London speciality which are often sold in pie and mash shops. In the early days, these eels were caught locally in the Thames for vendors to then prepare and sell. Eels can now be offered as jellied eels or stewed eels in many pie and mash shops.
The traditional way to eat pie and mash
is to cover your beef pie and mash with liquor and a liberal amount of salt and also vinegar. Many pie shops now offer chilli vinegar
(vinegar containing pickled chillies) to give your pie and mash a bit of spice.
In modern times, pie and mash shops can also offer other types of dishes such as vegetarian pies, shepherds pie and also normal gravy and peas or beans to accompany your meal. Occasionally you will come across a Pieshop that makes and bakes sweet dessert pies with cherry, blackberry or apple fillings which are perfect with custard or ice cream.
Pie and mash is known as a London Cockney favourite and pie and mash shops were prevalent all across London and particularly the East End. These have reduced in numbers over the last 10 years but pie and mash remains a favourite of the Nation as pie and mash can now be enjoyed all over the Country.
Forward thinking pie and mash shops
now offers their products over the internet with delivery options and some can also cater for parties, weddings and functions on a bulk basis.
A few of our pie and mash photos are on Flickr: