Celebrating British Pie Week: Tunworth, potato and onion pie

Celebrating British Pie Week: Tunworth, potato and onion pie

I love pie. It’s easily my favourite go-to comfort food and I need very few excuses to make one. So to celebrate British Pie Week (7-13 March), I wanted to use March’s cheese of the month, Tunworth, to create a perfect pie pairing. 

British Pie Week was set up in 2007 by British pastry makers Jus-Rol. It has grown in popularity to capture the imagination of both restauranteurs and home cooks every year. The 2022 British Pie Awards has also moved to coincide with the week. 976 pies from 179 piemakers have entered the competition this year, with the winners announced on 11 March. 

It is believed that pies date back to Roman times, with a recipe for a chicken pie recorded on a tablet in Rome. We are a nation of pie-lovers in the UK and on average we eat around 36 pies a year. However, there seems to be some variation on what the nation’s favourite pie is depending on where you look. According to analysts at food delivery website Foodhub, steak and kidney was the most popular pie in 2021, with 11.3% of orders. It narrowly beat chicken and mushroom into second place with 11.2% and steak pie into third with 9% of orders. 

Meal kit company HelloFresh looked at the number of online searches for pies each month. They found that the top three pies used potato rather than pastry. In first place was Shepherd’s pie with 108,000 searches. Cottage pie was next with 76,000 and fish pie was in third place with 56,000. 

The top veggie pie was cheese and onion with 11,000 searches, so I wanted to make this equally delicious meat-free offering. Tunworth is made with animal rennet, so if you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative you could use something like Wigmore or Norfolk White Lady. 

To make the pie I lined the baking dish with pastry first, then added the filling and folded in the edges of the pastry to encase the filling, a bit like a galette. I’m going to start making all pies this way because it is super simple. You don’t have to spend time cutting out the pastry to create the bottom or the lid for the pie. Plus you use the whole pastry sheet so it cuts down on any waste.

Tunworth, potato and onion pie

A comforting potato and onion pie using the best of British Camembert-style cheese – Tunworth.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: british
Keyword: British Pie Week, Camembert, cheese, onion, pie, potato, Tunworth


  • Olive oil
  • 400 g baby potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 leek, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves picked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 chicken or veg stock cube
  • 125 ml water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 125 g cheese – I used Tunworth but a Camembert or Brie would also work
  • 1 shortcrust sheet
  • 1 beaten egg, to glaze
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas mark 6.
  • Add the sliced baby potatoes to a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 mins until golden brown and crispy. Give the tray a shake occasionally during cooking so that the potatoes brown evenly.
  • While the potatoes are cooking prepare the rest of the pie filling. Add a few glugs of olive oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sliced onion and leek and sweat for 10 mins. Add the chopped garlic and cook for further few minutes. Add the butter, thyme leaves, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, nutritional yeast (if using), stock cube and water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the sliced potatoes from the oven and add to the pie mixture.
  • Brush the bottom of an oval pie dish with olive oil. Line with dish with the shortcrust pastry sheet, pressing it down evenly into the corners. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Add the pie mixture to the dish. Slice the cheese and add to the top of the pie mixture. Fold over the edges of the pastry, pressing it down evenly to encase the filling. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the nigella seeds.
  • Add the dish to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve with a bitter leaf salad, spring greens or hispi cabbage.

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