In the 1800s Yorkshire Christmas Pie was a popular feast on the dinner table.

A pie stuffed with game and boned birds, the multi-bird roast of a bird, within a bird, within a bird was synonymous with our fine county.

The gluttonous meal would include pheasant, goose, turkey, among others, stuffed within each other and would adorn the table of those with a few bob to spare.

Today, the tradition is long gone, says champion pie-maker Chris Noon of Honley Village Butchers.

Instead foodies are snapping up the modern day equivalent and the Yorkshire Christmas Pie is made in batches at the village butchers on Moor Bottom.

Chris, who once beat the Cornish in a Cornish pasty competition, said: “In the early days the Yorkshire Pie was a three-bird roast.

“People now don’t want that. It would be massive, three birds covered in pastry would be too big and too expensive.

“Back in the 1800s people messed about with their food, now people want local produce at a price that is affordable.”

The butchers’ shop, run by Stuart Pickard, now makes its own pies and they’ve become such a hit they supply other butchers shops with their pies, all handmade in Honley.

The bakers will be making 3,000 pies this week ahead of the Christmas rush.

And they made a special Yorkshire Christmas Pie for the Examiner and shared their recipe with us.


1lb of flour

6oz of lard

water – enough to make the dough.

Chris says the water should be boiled as it gives the pastry a better finish.


For the Yorkshire Christmas Pie mixture they use a mix of pheasant, partridge, grouse, duck, turkey, chicken, cranberries, salt, pepper and a pork jelly.

Honley Village Butchers mix and season the meat mixture and leave it to marinate for three-four days so the flavour soaks into the meat.

For an 1lb pie you would need 8-10oz of meat mixture.

Assemble the pastry into a pie dish, add the filling, pop a pastry cover on it and remember to fork it to let out the steam as it cooks.

Cook for 1 hour 10mins until golden brown.

While the Yorkshire Christmas Pie is a seasonal favourite, the pie-makers say the Huntsman Pie (pork, chicken and stuffing) is popular with customers, along with the pork and Stilton; pork, apple and black pudding and a new pork, chorizo, sweet chilli and goats cheese.

Stuart, who took on the butchers shop 18 months ago when there was a risk the village would be without a butchers, says they hope to enter pie contests as the pie business booms.