Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, a historic 42-acre farm and venue in Dexter, was founded by British chef Kieron Hales, who has worked in Michelin star kitchens across Europe from age 13. In celebration of Pi Day, chef Hales shares one of his pie recipes and why he started a Pie & Mash Pop-Up Shop.
By Kieron Hales
Photography by Sarah Fennel of Broma Bakery
Pie and mash is one of those food memories that makes me incredibly nostalgic, and I’m excited to bring it to life here in Michigan.
A traditionally British concept found all over east and central London, pie and mash dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the few thriving traditional foodways from the U.K.
As a young chef in London, I was working long hours and making almost no money, so I would frequent the local pie and mash shops for an affordable and delicious meal. It was the definition of comfort food. It was a dish that really nourished my soul when I was missing home, and it became a ritual for me when I needed a taste of my mum’s cooking.
With British Pie Week taking place the first week of March and Pi Day on March 14, we were inspired to transform our farmhouse kitchen into a traditional Pie & Mash shop every Sunday this month. Each Sunday in March, we are cooking up a different pie and mash menu.
This week we are offering a burgundy beef pie, a take on the French classic inspired by my mum’s recipe, which incorporates red wine, brandy, port and beef for a rich and succulent beef filling. We are serving it with mashed potatoes, minted peas and a salted black licorice caramel for dessert.
The following Sunday, we will be serving a chicken tikka masala pie, which you can find the recipe for below. We hope to see you at the farm for a taste of London this month!
Cornman Farms Pie & Mash Pop-Up Shop takes place every Sunday in March 5-7:30 p.m. You can reserve pies online to ensure availability. Walk-in orders will be served on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is $19 for one meal. Bring your British passport and enjoy 10 percent off.
Cornman Farms Chicken Tikka Masala Pie Recipe
For the Chicken Tikka Masala
- 1.5 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ginger
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 11 oz yogurt
- 1 oz garlic
- 2.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- Half of the spice mix
- 1 oz olive oil
- 1 oz shallots
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 4 oz cream
- 1 oz chicken stock, heavily reduced to a glaze
- 1 oz cornstarch
- 1 oz water
- 2 oz cilantro
- Toast all spices.
- Grind to a fine powder.
- Weigh the total amount and split into two bowls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix half the spice mix with the yogurt in a blender.
- Add zest from lemons and limes to the yogurt mix.
- Juice the lemons and limes and add to blender. Add garlic and blitz until smooth.
- Dice the chicken into 2-by 1-inch pieces.
- Add the chicken to the yogurt mix and massage.
- Marinade for 24-48 hours.
- After it has marinaded, spread out the chicken in a thin layer on a full sheet tray, lined with greaseproof paper (or a silpat).
- Place in oven for 35-40 minutes until golden.
- Cool in fridge.
- Place oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat.
- Add the sliced shallots.
- Cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the second half of the spice mix. Cook for 3-4 minutes, taking care not to burn.
- Cut the tomatoes into large pieces and add to the shallot mix. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cream. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Add the heavily reduced chicken stock.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cold water and the cornstarch with a whisk.
- Add cornstarch mix to sauce. Stir in and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Place mixture in the refrigerator until cold.
- Finally, add the chicken to the sauce.
Putting it all together
- Once mix the sauce with the chicken and fold in the cilantro.
For the Pie Crust
- 10 oz butter, grated
- 2 oz grated beef suet
- 15 oz flour
- 6 oz ice cold water
- Pinch of salt
- 2 pie rings or molds, about 3 inches by 2.5 inches
- Add salt to the flour.
- Using a pastry blender or end of a long handled spoon, blend in butter and suet until pea-meal consistency.
- Add just enough water to bring the dough together.
- Form into a ball.
- Cut the ball into 5 oz pieces. You’ll use the scraps for the tops.
- Roll out each portion to a ¾ inch thickness.
- Generously butter your pie rings or molds and dredge with flour. (We use a ring 3 inches by 2 ½ inches.)
- Using a 2-inch diameter bottle, place the dough underneath and squeeze the dough around this. You can flip the bottle upside down so the dough is now on top, which makes it easier to form the dough around it.
- Place the dough covered bottle into the ring and then form out the the edges and remove the excess. Remove the bottle repeat. Keep all the scraps.
- Fill the pies with 8 oz of mix. Try not to overfill.
- Roll out the scraps to form the lids about 3 oz each.
- Cut the tops into 3 ½ inch circles.
- Wet the bottoms (of the tops) and place on the top of the pie, wet side down.
- Press down and join the top and bottom.
- Cut off the excess.
- Then, make a crimping motion to seal the edges together.
- Brush the tops generously with egg yolk wash, and make a hole in the middle of the lid to allow steam to escape.
- Place in oven at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from ring.