The Meaty Ingredients Used To Create Victorian Raised Pie

Raised pies, also known as "game pies" were considered a delicacy during the Victorian era, per Majolica International Society. With buffed, egg-yellow pastry shells, these elaborate meat pies were emblems of wealth and opulence in Victorian households. Bursting with a menagerie of meaty ingredients, raised pies could feed large groups of people at banquets and parties. While they may not be as popular, they still hold a special place in culinary history as a tasty and impressive meat pie.

If you're a fan of meat pies and want to try your hand at making a traditional raised pie, be prepared to spend some time in the kitchen, as these dishes can be quite time-consuming to make. The first thing you'll notice is the extensive ingredient list, which calls for a variety of meats and a homemade crust. But the end result is well worth it — a delicious, meaty pie with a flaky, buttery crust that will revive the tastes of the Victorian aristocracy.

Made of meat, from crust to filling

The filling for a raised pie typically includes a mixture of meats such as beef, pork, and lamb, as well as offal (organ meats) such as liver and kidney (via BBC Goodfood). The meats are seasoned with herbs and spices and combined with Madeira wine, per WTTW. In addition to the meat filling, raised pies can often include a variety of other ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, vegetables, and fruit. The pie is then baked in a large, deep dish that is specifically designed for game pies, per Majolica International Society. But what really sets it apart from any old meat pie is its hot water crust. 

If you're a fan of flaky, buttery puff pastry, you'll probably enjoy this lard-based pie crust that encases the rich meat pie. Lard, which is made from rendered pig fat, has a high-fat content and a low water content, making it an ideal ingredient for creating a tender crust, per Southern Kitchen. Lard also has a higher melting point than butter, which means that it stays solid longer in the oven, according to Pinch and Swirl. After the hot water crust dough is made, you can then adorn the outside with flourishings, since game pie is the centerpiece of a table. 

Sure, making a Victorian raised pie is a daunting, time-consuming task, but it'll surely be worth it when you taste the flavorful crust and meaty interior.