Fancy some traditional Pie and Mash and a bit of a knees-up? If the answer is yes, you need to head to the Electric Ballroom, Camden, where Robins Pie & Mash will be bringing their pies, mash and liquor to town for the UK’s first Pie and Mash Brunch on Sunday, 12th September.
Pie and Mash is a food that will be new to many of our international readers. It is comfort food that hails from London and has been a favourite treat of many, long before the days of the big-name fast-food chains that proliferate our streets.
It dates back to the 19th century when Dutch ships dropped off their catch of eels in the capital. Initially, those eels went into the pies, and people downed them with lashings of parsley liquor (a buttery sauce rather than alcoholic accompaniment.) These days you’ll find 100% Scottish beef or veggie and vegan alternatives inside the pies and in my opinion, all the better too!
Pie and mash was for a long time, a working-class staple. However, it is not one of those eat and forget meals. It is something that has become woven into people’s lives. Many famous faces, who’ve tasted it before becoming a household name, will be quite happy to wait in line for a place at a table in a pie and mash shop. It’s a food that has evolved from its humble working-class roots to become a tasty treat suitable for all.
As the owner of Luxurious Magazine, people often ask me what my all-time favourite treat foods are. There are two, one is a sandwich with thick soft fresh white bread, lashings of fresh butter, filled with crispy bacon, the other is, of course, pie and mash.
It’s often said that once you’ve tasted a good pie and mash, you’ll be hooked for life, and this is the case with me. My father’s family hails from South London, and he had eaten during the whole of his childhood. As expected, his love of pie and mash found its way into me, and even today, I find there’s little to replicate the thrill of eating a good Pie and Mash. In fact, every birthday, someone in my family arranges for a fresh batch of frozen pies, mash, and liquor to be sent to me.
However, it must be said that not all pie mash dishes are created equally. There’s a specific, undescribable taste with the best pie and mash. The most renowned pie mash outlets use closely guarded family recipes, which have been passed down through generations, and one of these is Robins Pie and Mash.
Although some self-professed shops will try their darndest to replicate the traditional taste, they frequently fall well short; it’s a bit like a friend making you a burger and telling you it tastes like a Big Mac!
My most recent forays into the pie mash world have left me somewhat disappointed. In July, my sister ordered some pie mash to be delivered to me on my birthday, and after just one bite of a pie, I said to my wife, “That’s not pie mash!” Oh, how that particular ‘self-proclaimed’ pie mash provider wished they had the secret, alas the chances of that as akin to them being given the secret ingredients for KFC chicken!
Most people who enjoy pie and mash have their own personal favourite. Mine is Harringtons in Tooting, and many a time when I’ve attended and important meeting in London, I’ve queued outside the shop, decked out in my finest clothes for a chance to sit at one of the tables and bite into a succulent meat-filled pie covered in mash and liquor.
Now that you’ve been educated on the topic of pie and mash and why it means so much to so many, let’s take a close look at the exciting events which is due to take place at the Electric Ballroom, Camden.
The UK’s first Pie & Mash Brunch
London’s iconic Electric Ballroom will be hosting a pie and mash feast with the help of the legendary Robins Pie & Mash, and it won’t only be amazing food at the venue. In addition to the pie and Mash, there will be tribute acts, DJs, amazing drinks and more, all from just £30.
Robins Pie & Mash is one of the UK’s most famous pie shops. One of their big plus points is that they do things the traditional way, using authentic recipes across their four outlets based in the East London and Essex area.
While getting your fill of Robins pie, mash served with traditional liquor, you can enjoy 60 minutes of bottomless Sex on Southend Beach cocktails, or there is a wide choice of Britney Spears and other boozy bevvies for you to pickle yourselves with. For the northerners, endless jugs full of Bisto gravy will also be available!
Soundtracking the whole event will be some proper rapscallions. DJ Cockney Kev and The Chas’ n’ Dave Tribute Band will all be laying down a swaggering soundtrack of London classics and singalong ding dongs while a Pearly King and Queen will be roaming the crowd ready for the perfect Instagram photo opportunity.
At some point during the day, I am quite sure that those in attendance will be treated to the Chas & Dave classic “Ain’t No Pleasin’ You.” I have absolutely no doubt, that those who make their way to the Electric Ballroom will experience the exact opposite and will be thrilled by the traditional London fayre and entertainment.
Right, that’s enough of the rabbit and pork; it’s time to cop your tickets, ready your best bib and tucker and buy your tickets before they sell out.
To book your pie and mash tickets, and for more information, head over to pieandmashbrunch.com.
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Many thanks to Stuart Freedman for the Pie and Mash image used in this article.