Monday, 15 August 2011

253: Simon Hopkinson's Cheese and Onion Pie

Well it wasn't Simon's -it was mine. To steal a poor Dawn French joke. What's more, I didn't even cook this. This is a Mrs VegBox special. We'd decided we wanted to cook this while watching his programme 'The Good Cook' (he does indeed seem like a very good cook; but he never quite seems comfortable on camera - kind of a polar opposite of Sophie Dahl). Sometimes I'm so very suggestible; but this time nothing but good has come of it.

Anyways, the proper recipe and even a video is here, so far as I understand, recipe copyright doesn't extend to the ingredients, merely the method - so I'm thinking I won't be in trouble for repeating how Mrs VegBox did it. A lot of people seem to think that anything involving pastry is hard; this recipe seems like a good place to start to me - its so very simple and fresh pastry is always so much nicer than anything from a Supermarket.


  • 3 onions sliced
  • knob of butter
  • 250gs of Lancashire cheese (stroke of luck; that's exactly the size of the packet)
  • 200gs self-raising flour
  • 60gs butter
  • 60gs dripping (Simon uses lard; but we we didn't have any - this was though supermarket clear dripping, not the stuff from the butchers with brown tasty bits in at the bottom. I digress - this seemed to make little difference)
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Pastry - mix together the flour, butter and dripping and a little salt, with just enough water to bind it together
  • Filling - warm the butter in a frying pan. Add the onions and fry slowly so they don't brown. Once these are nice and soft, after 10 minutes or so, add 150ml of water, salt and pepper. Then simmer until the water has nearly gone
  • Grease a 20cm baking tray and roll out the bottom layer
  • Then layer onions and grated cheese
  • Add the top and crimp it to the edge of bottom layer (if it won't stick, using milk or eggy wash a la hairy bikers). Make some steam holes in the top
  • Into a pre-heated @180c oven for 40-50 minutes 
Simon recommends leaving to stand until it's just warm, however after waiting for this to cook for 50 minutes I was in no mood for delayed gratification and served piping hot was a winner for me. The pie did us 4 servings and was equally as good when re-heated the next night. Its quite rich, so you probably don't want a huge slice. 

Night one (only a lightish dinner required) we went with just pie and bread and butter. Night two, served with chips and beans. Which somehow felt very retro; like a really excellent school dinner.

Simon is very right on so many things in this pie: the onions are a lovely moistness, lancashire cheese is perfect for a pie, tasty but not stringy. 

Another dish to be repeated. I may try to pep it up with some bacon; although I may be gilding the lilly there.


  1. Wow this really is a nostalgia dish. I havent had cheese and onion pie since school and that was too many years back to remember! Looks stunning though. Well done Mrs V. Xx

  2. It was so good, I might even enoucrage Mrs V to do a bit more cooking! Cheers Dom.

  3. This is a family recipe becoming trendy again, no wonder you like it so much! Your great great grandma used to call it "layhorse for medlars & crutches for young ducks". What? I never understood either but she made it to perfection. Alas your Mums' efforts to make this were never up to her & now your lovely wifes' standard. x


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