Posted 16th Jan 2015
Sumptuous pies are a must have delight when the nights are cold. We find out from Legges of Bromyard how they came to make their delicious pastry creations
Fifth generation Herefordshire farmer, Anthony Legge, founded butchers, deli and pie shop Legges of Bromyardback in 2000, with a passion for the rural community and an eye for quality local meat. Fast-forward 15 years, Legges cuts take centre stage on dinner tables across Herefordshire, and their hand-crafted pies are being delivered to every corner of Britain. Anthony is still proudly at the helm, stocking his shelves with delicious wares from over 50 suppliers in Herefordshire alone, cooking up new ideas in the on-site kitchens, and encouraging his customers to broaden their meaty horizons.
Bromyard born and bred, Anthony wanted to give something back to his hometown when he finished his butchers training. After a few years working with local butchers, he branched out and established Legges, working hard to build a name and a niche for the place in a county where reputation is everything. With the shop up and running, Anthony started spending more time in the adjoining kitchens, using the best products from the deli in innovative, seasonal recipes. His team followed suit, with butcher, Charles' hottest new creation – stuffed peppers with beef, black olive and garlic – selling out after the first batch.
With a hand- picked team of foodies behind the counter, the shop runs like a well oiled machine. Friendly faces hold the facts about every product, from the farm it came from to the best chutney to complement it. Trade is always steady, with lunchtime bursts of salivating local workers ready for a hot beef baguette or pork pie to take back to the spectacular countryside surrounding the town.
Legges’ hearty range of cold pies are inspired by Anthony’s customers, the uniquely brilliant characters found in rustic towns across Britain. ‘The Farmer’ is 100 per cent Herefordshire chuck steak, Cheddar cheese and Legges own chutney, while ‘The Rambler’ boasts chicken, onion, apple, pickled beetroot, and sundried tomato, which is all sourced locally. Each pie is encased in delicious hot water crust pastry and finished by the Legges team's expert hands.
A recent BBC Countryfile visit to the market town of Bromyard saw legendary presenter John Craven making his very own pie, ‘The Celebrity’, with pork, perry, pear and nettle. The national spotlight sent sales of Anthony’s pies rocketing, with 'pie-tourists' travelling from across the country to meet the team and learn more about the pie-crafting process.
Historically, Herefordshire has held its reputation as a county of producers and growers, after 350 years of cider making and perfecting the aHereford cattle breed. Local champions like Anthony are at the forefront of a foodie revival in the sticks, working closely with other Herefordshire makers to craft a bounty of seasonal, honest food. Britain’s heritage eaters are now heading online for their pie fix, with Legges online shop sending some of Britain’s best pies to every corner of the country.
For contact details and more information on the Legges team, the products and pies can be ordered online at www.leggesofbromyard.com.
By Liz Armstrong
Images courtesy of Legges of Bromyard