Craving: Square Pie and Mash

I’ve been craving this meal for like two weeks!!! Hopefully I’ll get to go and get a plate when my mate returns for the Isle… In the meantime here’s some factual spiel about Pie and Mash if you’re not familiar with this legendary working class dish:

Pie and mash is a traditional London working class food. Pie, mash and stewed eels shops have been in London since the 19th century and are still common in south and east London, in many parts of Essex and in places abroad, particularly Australia – where there are significant expatriate communities.


The main dish sold is pie and mash — a minced beef and cold water pastry pie and mashed potato. It is common for the mashed potato to be spread around one side of the plate and for a type of parsley sauce to be present. This is commonly called eel liquor sauce or liquor (although it is non-alcoholic) because it is traditionally made using the water kept from the preparation of the stewed eels. The sauce traditionally has a green colour, which is not from food colouring, but from the parsley. Traditionally pie and mash shops have white tile walls, with marble floors, tables and work tops, which are easy to clean and give a Victorian appearance. The Manze Pie & Mash shop on Walthamstow High Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 is a good example, having all of the original fittings, from the narrow wooden bench seats to a highly polished brass till.


Jellied eels are another London speciality often sold in pie and mash shops. Chili-vinegar (vinegar containing pickled chilies) is also traditionally served with both of these dishes. The pies, mashed potato and stewed eels are all prepared on the premises. Jellied eels are usually bought ready prepared.

Recently some pie and mash shops have started to offer a selection of pies including vegetarian, chicken and fruit, one of them being Square Pie who also serve an assortment which include Jerk Chicken Pies. I know you’re thinking ‘typical black choice‘ but surprisingly the pie tasted really nice. The downside about Square is that they’re an upmarket choice: organic ingredients etc, so you’ll be paying for the wide selection to suit your preference rather than the not so frills ingredients at your local high street shop. As a matter of fact it’s simply the traditional versus the modern, so I’ll gladly go to the pie and mash shop on the high street or the concession in Selfridges…

Anyone for Square Pie and Mash?

(A whole chunk of the factual malarky was taken from Wikipedia -the community encyclopedia)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s