Pie and Mash with Liquor

Pie and Mash with Liquor. A dish 100% London but not widely known to the people living outside Britain is Pie and Mash with Liquor. Pies have been the staple diet of Londoners for centuries while eels baked in a pastry crust became a common worker’s meal during the Victorian era since eels were one of the few forms of fish that could survive in the heavily polluted River Thames at that time.

Adding cheap mashed potatoes & a sauce made of the water used to cook the eels, colored & flavored by parsley made the whole dish favorite of the East London working class.

After World War II as the eels became more scarce & beef meat cheap & easier to find, minced beef became the most common pied filling. The liquor or parsley sauce is traditionally made with water from the preparation of stewed eels. is the second most important ingredient of the dish although many restaurants no longer follow the traditional way.

Seasoned with generous amounts of salt, vinegar, and pepper this old-time dish is served in one of the ever-shrinking handfuls of traditional “Eel Pie Houses” of London.


Probably the best place for pies in London is the G. Kelly – Noted Eel & Pie Shop. This family business has made and baked traditional East London Pie & Mash in Roman Road Market, London, since 1939. Their pies are hand-made in their in-house bakery using a recipe handed down through four generations. More

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