Prince William: Expert says cottage pie was Duke's 'favourite'

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British Pie Week is upon us from March 7-13. HelloFresh revealed the 10 most sought after pies in the country, as well as the 10 favourite vegetarian pies.

HelloFresh analysed the number of internet searches per month for each pie to determine which savoury dish came out on top.

With a whopping 108,000 monthly searches, shepherd’s pie was deemed the British favourite.

In second place came cottage pie, with 76,000 searches.

Fish pie was next, with 56,000 searches per month.

Interestingly, the three top spots were taken by pies that do not take the traditional pie form.

Rather than coated in pastry, shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, and fish pie are all topped with a layer of mash potato.

It is unsurprising that Britons go for potato-topped pies; according to a 2021 YouGov survey, mashed potatoes are the fifth most popular British dishes.

Fish and chips took the number one spot, followed by chips on their own, roast chicken, and a cooked English breakfast.

However, there is some controversy around whether shepherd’s pie, cottage pie and fish pie truly constitute as pies.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, stated: “The real pie is a whole dish encased in pastry, which means getting the ingredients right, making the pastry to encase the filling and ensuring an even bake throughout the product.”

This means that sausage rolls do not make the cut either, according to the pie expert.

“We had to stop somewhere,” he said, “otherwise any dish with a bit of pastry or potato on top might have been entered for the awards – including sausage rolls,” he told Sainsbury’s magazine.

The remainder of the top 10 meat pies are encased in pastry.

Chicken pie (26,000) is the fourth most popular as revealed by monthly searches, followed by chicken and leek (19,000) and chicken and mushroom (18,000).

Steak pie is the seventh most popular, with 13,000 searches, and steak and ale pie received 12,000.

Cheese and onion pie ranked in ninth place for popularity, with 11,000.

The humble pork pie is searched 10,000 times monthly.

As for non-meat-eaters, the top vegetarian pie is cheese and onion pie, with homity pie – containing potatoes, onion and leeks – in second with 7,200 monthly searches.

Like the mince based shepherd’s pie, the vegetarian version is popular, with 4,700 searches.

Vegetable, vegetarian cottage, leek and potato, spinach and feta, mushroom, spinach and ricotta and winter vegetable take spots four to ten.

Mimi Morley, HelloFresh’s recipe development manager, stated: “It’s no surprise shepherd’s pie and cottage pie are still so popular as a staple comfort food. If you want to boost your vegetable intake try incorporating root vegetables in your potato topping for added nutrients or swap normal potatoes for sweet potatoes.

“For a change on a traditional pie, try adding an Indian-inspired twist on a classic with a curried paneer pie.

“For a vegetarian take on shepherd’s pie, replace minced lamb with lentils and your favourite vegetables for a delicious dinner packed with protein.”

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