Threlkeld, near Keswick, is for many people the starting point for an amble up Blencathra or Clough Head and then a few drinks in the handful of pubs after the descent, but it is also home to The Pie Mill. I had been reading their history and was drawn to the fact that “The Pie Mill was born out of a need for a ‘proper’ pie, instead of a casserole with a lid” and “use the best local ingredients and make pastry onsite, and of course all the pies are still handmade”.
Coupled with the fact that the pies are named after some of my favourite fells, “Blencathra Beef in Ale Pie”, “Grizedale Pork Cumberland Sausage & Apple Pie” to name two I headed for Tebay Services where I knew they were stocked.
I picked up a brace – Skiddaw Steak & Kidney and Souther Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Apricots. They already break the mould by being slightly rectangular in shape – and have the look instantly of being handmade rather than in a press.
To the all-important taste test. On both the pastry is thin and delicate without being crumbly. When cutting into The Skiddaw Steak & Kidney – the aroma of kidney filled my kitchen and from then on it was to me a kidney and steak pie. No skimping with this one.
Then the Moroccan Lamb. The lamb was succulent and the spices added a nice bite of heat to it, a little tanginess that added that Arabian feel, with the many apricot slices adding a sweet alternative to my palette. Very nice. Took me back to my time out in Ouarazate in the Western Sahara Desert.
A lot of people head to the lakes to tick off the Wainwrights – I think I’ll add ticking off each of the fell themed pies from The Pie Mill to my bucket list!
Skiddaw – Steak & Kidney 8.2
Souther – Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Apricots 8.8
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