Thursday, March 10, 2011
Porc En Croute Avec Pois Écrasés
In the same way you don't visit Yorkshire to get a sun tan, you don't go there and expect to lose weight. On my week-long visit I consumed* fish and chips three times, a curry and three pies - two of which came with mushy peas.
Pie and peas is the great Yorkshire meal. Classless, simple - you can eat it with a spoon - nutritious, filling and with the exception of Bradford beer festival, (great pie, not enough peas for £3.50) cheap. It's comfort food par excellence. A teatime favourite as well as a staple of football terraces, after-match rugby, village cricket lunches, bonfire night and Christmas eve. I've even eaten it (£1.50) in the grade 1 listed magnificence of Leeds Parish Church. The mushy element is very important - purists will only accept them made from dried peas, soaked with bicarbonate of soda and boiled for hours. You can see the difference above - the lower picture is the tinned variety. But It's the pie that really matters, and a butcher's reputation is only as good as his last porker. There are some heavy hitters in Airedale - Stanforth's, Affer faves Drake and Macefield and Ted Lee in Skipton. Lunds and Herd's further down the valley in Keighley, where people still talk about how good the long-gone Midgely's pies once were. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; If pie and peas was from the Ariége it'd be on the menu of the best restaurants in London.
*not all in one go.