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Gloucester Cathedral's Pilgrim's Pie winner announced

Naomi Walker
Naomi Walker from The Stroud Pasty Company with the winning Pilgrim's Pie

A company set up fewer than six months ago has come up with the recipe for success in a competition to find a unique pie that people would want to make a pilgrimage to try.

Hogget lamb, onion, garlic, white beans, herbs and honey roasted carrots are the chief ingredients in the entry picked by Gloucester Cathedral to be its exclusive Pilgrim's Pie, which it hopes to launch in May.

Partners at The Stroud Pasty Company based their winning recipe almost entirely on produce grown or reared on their farm in the Slad Valley and drew on the lives of the Benedictine Monks who once lived at the Cathedral for inspiration.

They also came up with a "Monk's Pie", made from white beans, onions, spinach, nettles, fresh herbs and Single Gloucester cheese, for people looking for a vegetarian option.


Both pies are triangular in shape, to represent the Holy Trinity, and enclosed in pastry made from flour sourced from Shipton Mill near Tetbury and butter from Netherend Farm in the Forest of Dean.

We have researched Medieval recipes and used top quality local organic ingredients.
Naomi Walker

The Pilgrim's Pie will be decorated with a pastry bee while a nettle is to be used on the Monk's Pie.

Naomi Walker from the Stroud Pasty Company, based just 11 miles from Gloucester, says winning the competition to supply exclusive pies to the Cathedral's coffee shop, had given a great boost to everybody involved.

"It's fantastic," she says.

"We have researched Medieval recipes and used top quality local organic ingredients for our pies.

"Our recipe included homebred hogget - yearling lamb that is hugely flavoursome and often underrated.

"Winning this competition is a great boost for us working away in our little corner of the countryside."

'High standard'

Ensors Butchers of Cinderford, Pieminister from Bristol and Gloucester-based Farmhouse Deli were the other three companies to join The Stroud Pasty Company in presenting cooked pies to a panel of judges comprising food experts and representatives from Gloucester Cathedral and the local media, including Mark Hurrell of BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire's only Michelin Two Star chef David Everitt-Matthias of Cheltenham's Le Champignon Sauvage congratulated all four competitors on the "very high standard" of their entries.

"It is good to see so many people using local ingredients - the quality of the local ingredients really shone through," he says.

"Overall it was a very enjoyable experience."

Dean of Gloucester the Rev Nicholas Bury said all four entries tasted "simply stunning", which made choosing a winner very difficult.

Gloucester Cathedral Coffee Shop manager Mandy Neufeld said she was confident that the new Pilgrim's Pie would be a real talking point for the thousands of people who visited every year.


"We get people coming into the coffee shop from all over the world," she said.

"I think this unique pie will make their visit to Gloucester Cathedral even more memorable."

Competition organiser Bairbre Lloyd said the event had been a great success and a superb opportunity to showcase quality pies made from ingredients produced in Gloucestershire.

She added that she was especially pleased that it had encouraged a local butcher's shop to turn its hand to making its own pies for the first time - with spectacular results.

"Gloucester Cathedral is the premier tourist attraction in the county, and we want to reflect the richness and beauty of our surroundings in the hospitality we offer to visitors," she says.

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