Magpye vegan pork pie

Magpye Pork Pies (no palm oil!)

Pork pies are as English as (well, a pork pie hat, Inspector Frost!) Born in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, they were created due to feeding leftover whey (from making Stilton cheese) to fatten pigs for slaughter. Of course they aren’t healthy, but the town ‘claimed the name’ so that people could not call things pork pies if they weren’t local (a bit like Cornish pasties that have to contain meat, even though they used to be part-fruit when invented, but that’s another story).

Keep no-pork pies away from pets, as mushrooms & ‘faux meats’ contain salt, garlic, onion and other unsafe ingredients for animal friends (also keep pastry away from pets & children, as fresh dough can expand in the stomach). Read more on keeping people & pets safe in the kitchen

Today of course there are welfare issues. If you do eat ‘real pork pies’, then buy from farm shops so the meat is free-range. The other issue (aside from plastic packaging – you can recycle at kerbside or supermarket bag bins these days) is that nearly all the pies (vegan ones included) are made with palm oil, but its use is decimating forests in Indonesia, and harming habitats of orangutans and other endangered creatures.

There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil. This is just a self-policed term by industry that Greenpeace says is as ‘useful as a chocolate teapot’.  Some companies use certified organic or identity-preserved palm oil (which is better). But at present rates of consumption, there is not enough land for all companies to provide this, and at the end of the day, it’s used (over locally-grown rapeseed oil that woudl support local farmers) as it’s cheap. Why else would companies fly a cheap saturated oil thousands of miles across the ocean, to stick in junk food for mass consumption?

RSPO is still failing to ensure palm oil it certifies is sustainable. The company that cut down the most rainforest for palm oil in Indonesia shockingly became RSPO-certified in 2021, as did a company that cleared more than 26,000 hectares of pristine forest (an area the size of Birmingham) – amazingly allowed under the rules, if they join to compensate for the loss. Environmental Investigation Agency

make your own (vegan pork pies)

mini vegan pork pies

As all store-bought shortcrust pastry contains palm oil, you’ll have to make your own pastry (pretty simple and you can freeze leftovers).

  1. These mini-pork pies (Quorn) are made with vegan pork sausages, apple & pickle, served with a piccalilli relish (nice as part of a Ploughman’s lunch).
  2. Vegan porkie pies are from Aimee’s wonderful cookbook Great British Vegan. These have a filling of kidney beans, walnuts, oats and yeast extract, and vegan jelly filling.
  3. Vegan Christmas pie is not just for the festive season. Kind of like a giant pork pie, this uses vegan sausages, layered with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.
  4. Tourtière pie is a plant-based version of French-Canadian meat pie, made with cremini mushrooms, millet (not just for budgies) and spices. 

buy vegan meat pies (with no palm oil)

Magpye vegan steak ale pie

This is far easier said than done. We went through all the ‘artisan vegan pork pie’ companies and were surprised to find nearly all had palm oil – except one!

Magpye (sold in some shops and online at Yumbles) is a Northumberland company run by a duo who spend their days near Hadrian’s Wall, making super pies (the shortcrust pastry is made with local organic flour), selling a mixed set of ‘meaty pies’ in boxes of 6 or 12, which freeze for up to 3 months. These pies use quality ‘faux meats’ like Planted (pea protein ‘pork’) along with Sgaia ‘steak’ and La Vie ‘bacon’. The range includes:

  1. Smokey BBQ ‘pulled porq’ (with chipotle & caramelised red onions)
  2. Steak & ale (with ‘blue cheese’ option)
  3. Mince & onion
  4. ‘Chick’n Leek & Bacon or ‘cheezy’ bacon
  5. Asparagus, pea & new potatoes

This company is so successful, it’s now supplying its vegan pies to Forest Rangers Football Club!

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