I have never been keen to call anything a pie that isn’t fully pastry encased. Otherwise it’s just a stew with a hat on in my view.

mcith_334006-Charlie%20Bigham%E2%80%99s%In fact that is how’pies’ began. The pastry lid was originally just to seal in the steam and wasn’t to be eaten. As it was made of just water and flour, you wouldn’t want to anyway.

The same principal is still found in proper Indian restaurants where the biriani pot is sealed with pastry.

Charlie Bigham, whose pie’s I’ve always had a soft spot for, seems to agree about pastry and has a range of four pies, each finished in full pastry for the first time.

Available exclusively in selected Waitrose stores, Charlie Bigham’s Steak & Stilton Pie; Steak & Ale Pie; Roast Chicken, Ham Hock and Leek Pie and Roast Chicken and Chestnut Mushroom Pie will join the brand’s already popular range of pies at RRP. £4.50 per individual pie.

These small batch pies are handcrafted with a full ready-to-bake shortcrust case and puff pastry lid, following a traditional encased recipe.

Charlie Bigham’s new pies are filled with cuts of British steak, chicken and ham, all cooked with complementary ingredients such as white wine, smooth ale and crumbly blue cheese to create depth of flavour for the pie’s sauce or gravy.

Ready to serve from the oven in just 30 minutes, each golden-topped pie can be paired with a side of fresh vegetables and buttery mash – a classically British supper with minimal preparation or fuss, and perfect to lift the spirits over the colder months that lie ahead.    

Charlie Bigham’s Steak & Stilton Pie – Tender British steak with rich, creamy Stilton encased in fresh, flaky pastry

Charlie Bigham’s Steak and Ale Pie – Tender British steak, slow-cooked with smooth ale and encased in fresh, flaky pastry

Charlie Bigham’s Roast Chicken, Ham Hock and Leek Pie – Roast chicken, ham hock and leeks in a creamy white wine sauce with a fresh, flaky pastry case

Charlie Bigham’s Roast Chicken and Chestnut Mushroom Pie – Roast chicken and chestnut mushrooms in a creamy which wine and porcini sauce, in a fresh, flaky pastry case