Pie, Mash & Jellied Eels – A True Cockney Dinner

Since launching our rhyming slang contest on Tuesday, we seem to have stuck with the cockney theme. We always share a recipe or food feature towards the end of the week, so today’s offering is a proper plate of East London grub… and trust us, you’re in for a treat!

The streets of the traditionally working-class areas of east and south London used to be packed with pie and mash shops, of which sadly only a few still remain. Doing what they say on the tin, these establishments have served up minced beef and onion pies with mashed potatoes since the 1800’s.

But the item on the menu which catches most people’s eye, and is certainly the most peculiar, is jellied eels. Despite many people’s disbelief, they are pretty self-explanatory: eels in jelly.

The most commonly found, and thus cheapest, fish in the Thames, they were set in gelatine to draw out the toxicity of the polluted river. The liquid they are cooked in is mixed with parsley into a sauce (or ‘liquor) which is poured over the pie and mash. Delicious!

Our cockney rhyming slang contest is running until next Tuesday. Let us know your favorite term (either made up or real) and the best will win tea and scones for two and a tin of Rosie Lee tea to take home. Wishing you the best of Donald Duck (luck)!

Apples and pears…. stairs!


2 thoughts on “Pie, Mash & Jellied Eels – A True Cockney Dinner

  1. I haven’t been fortunate enough – yet – to visit your shop in NYC but I do have Anita’s ‘Tea & Sympathy’ book which I really, really enjoyed.

    My friend Melissa over at Smitten by Britain just shared your EE post and whilst I was snooping around your brilliant blog here, I came across this pie and mash post.


    Do you know about Goddards at Greenwich? http://www.goddardsatgreenwich.co.uk/ We had some pie and mash there a couple of weeks ago. Well worth a visit next time you are back here on the right side of the pond. 🙂

    • Never been to Goddards, but we’ve heard about it. Will try and swing by next time we’re in London. It’s such a shame that places likes this are so thin on the ground nowadays! So glad you and Melissa enjoyed our Eastenders post. And hope you can make it in one day.. it’s worth the trip!

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