Yesterday was the BIG day – the tasting of the actual All Shropshire Fidget Pie.
The last two weeks have seen Vicki and Adam from the Drive programme charging around the beautiful Shropshire countryside meeting wonderful producers to gather the necessary ingredients. They visited a poultry farm and saw newly hatched chicks; a dairy farm where the cows are milked robotically (yes you read that bit right – the cow decides herself when her udders are heavy enough to be taken into the milking parlour); a rare breed pig farm; a farm where they turn an apple into a wonderful beverage. They sourced wholemeal flour from Daniel’s Mill, cream and butter from Acton Scott, water from Wenlock Water, apples from a Blenheim Orange tree owned by a couple who now supply Attingham Park with their apples, Wilja potatoes from Rolly Farm, honey from Church Stretton and sage and green chilli from kind listeners’ gardens.
It has been really wonderful listening to their adventures and hearing all about the fantastic producers that we have here in Shropshire. I have been very jealous and have wanted to join them on their sojourns across the county.
Then yesterday they took all of the ingredients to The Plough Inn at Allscott and assembled and cooked their pie with the help of Martin, the chef. When I listened to it all on the radio I was very nervous, hoping that Martin would like my fidget pie as much as I do. I heard him struggling with the pastry as it is very short with all that butter and of course using wholemeal flour makes it even more tricky to roll. But he valiantly managed it and Martin loved the pie and as he was making it for his lunch guests I hope that they did too.
Then it was my turn to taste it. I went to the radio station yesterday afternoon and into the studio with Vicki and Adam doing a live show. It’s quite nerve-wracking sitting in a studio with mics and expensive looking radio equipment all around you knowing that the county is listening. I was presented with my piece of pie and I was very relieved to find that my recipe had stood up to it and that the pie was indeed delicious. The ingredients from all those wonderful producers made the pie quite outstanding and the pastry tasted fantastic (note to self: must use wholemeal flour in pastry more often). The combination of cider, cream, rare breed gammon, apple, potato and pastry is one that is very hard to beat. Martin and Vicki both felt that it needed a bit more seasoning. Of course, salt and pepper are not produced in Shropshire so they had used a bit of chilli and relied on the gammon bringing its own salt to the dish. However, I thought it was great as it was (I am always a bit light handed with the salt anyway).
Being involved in the making of this pie has been really exciting and I have absolutely loved listening to Vicki and Adam visiting the people who have provided the ingredients. For a while now I have been thinking about sharing some more Shropshire recipes with you and I think this is just the impetus I needed. So be prepared for more Shropshire recipes here in the coming weeks and months.