A Neolithic meat pie for a hungry young man… and everybody else

If you look at our History Of Pies Timeline you will see that rumour has it that the very first pie, ever, was one cooked up by our Neolithic ancestors.

It’s fair to say that, judging by the main bulk of the subjects on the walls of their caves: large animals, risky hunting trips, and ‘female’ figures, this was probably a meat pie, wolfed down by hungry male teens, and nary a green vegetable in sight.

meat pie recipe
Large animals, risky hunting trips, and female ‘figures’: mostly meat to eat, and mostly hungry young teen males to feed.

The original pie was probably more of a crostata (they didn’t have pie dishes then) but the pastry we are using for this updated version is very short and crumbly, which makes it superb, so it needs to be supported in a quiche dish. What it lacks in authenticity, it makes up for in flavour! It’s SO crumbly in fact that it’s quite difficult to roll, but there is nothing to stop you simply pressing it into the dish with your fingers (very neolithic).

You could always buy ready-made shortcrust pastry, in which case you won’t need the last three ingredients. But this olive oil pastry is SO simple and good it really is worth trying it.

And, of course, it’s perfect for those with a dairy allergy. You can make this pie suitable for them by substituting the feta, either with salty black olives, or with plant-based feta (which can be very good).

You can intensify the flavour of the pastry by substituting some lemon-infused oil (maybe with some fennel seeds in it too) for the plain oil. Fabulous. If I’m short of time I sometimes just throw in a couple of teaspoons of fennel seeds into the pastry mix.

Another short cut is to substitute the tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes with a jar of Belazu paprika and tomato pesto.

Serve with a very unmacho green salad; or with peas.

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