“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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To Eat Humble Pie

June 6, 2020

A dish guaranteed to warm the cockles of even the coldest of British hearts, the humble pie has a sapid history which is pertinent to share whilst enjoying one.

The earliest known pie recipe can be found in the world’s oldest cookbook – culinary stone tablets engraved in Mesopotamia in 1700 BC;

‘Carefully lay out the fowls on a platter; spread over them the chopped pieces of gizzard and pluck … sprinkle the whole with sauce, cover with the prepared crust and send to the table.’

But it’s the Romans who are credited with bringing the first pies to the shores of Old Blighty. Of all the innovations these invaders imported to civilise the Britons, surely their greatest was the Centurions’ favourite marching snack - a portion of stewed meat enclosed in a baked flour and oil.

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By medieval times, pies had become a stalwart of the British diet and while gentle folk dined on prime venison steaks, lowly huntsmen and henchmen would tuck into ‘numbles’ pie (from the Old French ‘nombles’ or venison offal).

By the 17th century we see from an entry from England’s most famous diarist that ‘numbles’ had morphed into ‘umbles’;

‘I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done.’ ~ Diary of Samuel Pepys, 5th July 1662.

Alas, the thought of tucking into offal wasn’t to everyone’s taste and led to the expression ‘eating humble pie’, describing someone finding the truth hard to swallow.

And so from its umble beginnings to one of our most lauded national dishes, today we celebrate the British pie with a rich, delicious (and decidedly easy to stomach) Broken Clock Venison Pie.

A perfect pairing for the gamey meat is the quintessentially English apple so we’ve created a stout, clean concoction The Lingering Lady which emphasises the windfall apple, baked spice and peppery notes of Broken Clock’s recipe and compliments the pie’s buttery pastry. This serve makes for an ideal amuse-bouche or palate cleanser to sip between tasty mouthfuls.

If our tale has you salivating then follow the link in our bio for the recipes for the pie and tipple.