Butcher celebrates 150 of business with celebration pie

A Yorkshire butcher is celebrating a century-and-a-half of success, by marking the landmark birthday with a limited-edition pie. 

Celebrating its birthday, Appleton’s butchers has created the York Ham and rose veal pie, which will be available for customers from Monday, 14 August until Friday, 18 August only.

“Reaching our 150th anniversary is a very proud moment for Appleton’s,” said business owner Anthony Sterne.

“Despite the sad decline of many butcher’s shops in Britain in the past few years, we are lucky to be supported by fantastic loyal customers, who come to Appleton’s for high-welfare local meat, prepared with care and great service. We have created the anniversary pie using a recipe resurrected from the Appleton’s vaults, and we hope many of our customers will join in our celebrations and try it this [coming] week.”

The family-run butchers was first established in Ripon in 1867. It has since opened sister shops in Boroughbridge, Wetherby and, most recently, York.

The business specialises in handmade pork pies, and can even name Prince Charles as a past customer. As well as pork pies, it has a special focus on cured whole hams, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, faggots and cooked meats such as roast ham. Many of its traditional pork products, like ox tongue, are still pickled, boiled and hand-pressed using the traditional method.

Since opening the latest store in York last year, the family behind the business began to rear their own Yorkshire pigs on their farm and have since produced their first home-reared York Ham.

York Ham and rose veal anniversary pie recipe

Ingredients
Pastry
570g plain flour
270g lard
1 heaped teaspoon salt
170ml boiling hot water

Filling
500g Boiled York Ham
500g Veal shoulder
300g fatty pork belly (rindless)
1 onion finely chopped and sweated in a knob of butter.
1 sprig sage leaves
1 tsp mace
Salt and pepper
Jelly

If you can, get a couple of pig’s trotters add them to the ham cooking water with an onion, carrot and bouquet garni. Skim the surface during cooking to remove any scum and strain once the ham has been removed. Once cooled, this should set.

Alternatively add gelatine leaves or powder to the ham stock according to the packet instructions once the ham has been removed and the stock strained. You’ll need about ½ pint of jelly for the pie.

To make the pastry, crumb 100g of lard into the plain flour and salt using your fingertips. Melt the remaining 170g lard in a saucepan over a low flame. It should be hot enough that when you flick a drop of water into the lard it sizzles. Boil 170ml water in a separate pan. Using a tabletop mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a large heatproof bowl and wooden spoon), gradually add the hot lard and boiling water to the flour, mixing vigorously until all the water is thoroughly mixed in.

The pastry should cool for a good hour before using, although it’s best not to let it get too cold.

To make the filling, chop everything up into small pieces (1cm cubes) and mix together.

To assemble the pie take ¾ of the pastry and roll into a ball. Place in the bottom of the pie tin and, carefully but firmly, flatten out over the bottom and sides of the tin using your fingers. Try and ensure an even thickness and plug any cracks with more pastry. The ends of the pastry should hang over the lip of the tin. Now put the tin in the fridge for 20 minutes for the pastry to harden.

Meanwhile roll out the remaining ¼ of the pastry to form the lid.

Put the pie filling into the tin using wet hands to stop it sticking and tamping down to avoid any air pockets. The filling should be domed above the sides of the tin. Brush the pastry rim with water and place the lid on top. Cut off excess pastry and crimp. Decorate, if you like, and cut in a hole in which you can pour the jelly. Brush with an egg yolk and water glaze.

Bake at 190°C for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160°C for a further 30 minutes until the pie is an even, golden colour.

Cool for at least 30 minutes before carefully taking out of the pie tin. Cool for a further hour, at least, before filling with warm jelly.

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