Chef cooks up a celebration of pies

Ickworth Hotel head chef Ian Taylor with his pie.  It's National Pie Week.
Ickworth Hotel head chef Ian Taylor with his pie. It's National Pie Week.
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THIS week, the nation has been celebrating the great British pie and, not one to miss out on culinary events, the head chef at Ickworth’s West Wing has been getting involved.

In honour of national British Pie Week, on Monday Ian Howell, Ickworth’s head chef of three years, put his new beef shin and Speckled Hen one pot pie on the menu.

He said: “Beef shin is an old cut of meat with a great flavour – cooking it slowly brings out the rich flavours. Speckled Hen is a local flavour and a rich beer that goes well.”

The former Adnams head chef believes the pie’s popularity is increasing, partly because a lot of popular new restaurants have become well known for their pies but also because pies are a food of austerity.

“You can stretch it further in a pie and you can use cheap cuts of meats,” he said.

The 40-year-old chef enjoys preparing pies all year round using seasonal produce, often sourcing ingredients from Ickworth’s vegetable garden.

“This time of year pies are great, they’re home-warming comfort food,” he said.

British Pie Week ends tomorrow but Ickworth visitors can be sure they will always find at least one pie on the menu at the West Wing.