Mail order has long been a favourite of armchair shoppers. Now added to the long list of items you may buy through mail order there is now the temptingly mouth-watering prospect of using it to buy one of the most popular and widely consumed dishes, the classic meat pie.
In this case, though, the pie in question is none other than the traditional, handcrafted – and slightly mysterious – pie mash and liquor. Mysterious, of course, because of the jealously guarded secret, passed down from one generation to another, for the green-hued liquor that accompanies this old-time favourite of Londoners.
A BBC recipe programme, for instance, presumed to describe the ingredients for and preparation of the distinctive liquor, recommending the use of butter, cornflour, chicken stock, parsley and garlic – to make what is effectively a parsley sauce.
But the secret of liquor is not so easily divulged. Parsley sauce is likely to be a long shot off the genuine article, though, and getting your hands on, or replicating the taste of, it may be difficult. In fact, to have it delivered to your own front door, mail order pie, mash and liquor is as easy as – well, you’ve got it – pie.
What do you mean, you’ve never sampled that heavenly combination of traditionally handmade, home cooked pie, mash and liquor? You’re likely to be in for a real treat if you buy the dish by mail order. And once sampled, you might begin to understand what all the fuss is about and be more than eager to place the next order for it to be delivered safely to your door.
Just as much care is likely to go into delivering your pie as actually making and baking it when you are ordering from a professional pie shop. The wholesome flavour, the crusty freshness and the organic ingredients need careful looking after to make sure that the perfectly crafted pie arrives at your own front door in the same condition as it left the baking oven.
Mail order deliveries, therefore, are typically made by specially contracted couriers who have learned the importance of careful handling and prompt delivery. Perfect timing is essential. That’s why the time from leaving the bakery to doorstep delivery needs to be made in as short a time as possible – since freshness is key.
Arrangements made by some of the best master pie makers ensure that all pies are collected on the same day and delivered to you the same day. You then need to place your order before a given time on one day of the week, so that the shipment can be carefully packed and picked up for delivery no later than the following day.
In the typical case, once the pie or pies have been delivered to your home and removed from the special packaging, they are ready to pop in the oven to warm and serve straight away. But you might also want to keep them for a later date by putting them in the freezer and remembering to thaw thoroughly before warming to serve.