The Oldest Fast Food Restaurant in London’s East End

The Oldest Fast Food Restaurant in London’s East End


-One thing about eels A lot of people see these as snakes
and all the rest of them– Well, they’re not. Very very nutritious Very easily digested And they’re supposed to be an aphrodisiac. What are you smiling at? Pie and Mash is very traditional, especially in the East End. I would think that mostly because it was a very very cheap and quick meal. It was possibly one of the very first fast foods Where you could walk in, order your food, and within a blink of an eye, You’ve got it on a plate. You’re sitting down eating it My great grandfather, Robert Cook, Apparently in 1862, He decided to put a meat pie with the mash potato and parsley sauce, the liquor And that was the very first time it was actually done. As we know it. As pie and mash and liquor. – I’ve been coming here since Joe opened this I’ve been over South London and they’re not the same as this This is the original. – This little rubber thumb stall, is because in the middle of the eel, there’s bones. And if you are unlucky– It doesn’t happen all the time, you put your thumb in, and the bone goes up your thumb, which is a lot of fun But it does double as a wart, which is very handy. So I got some eels here that I’m gonna prepare They are alive. I’ve had them in water so they’re not that lively. Now you go basically behind the flippers, or behind the ears as we call it, Straight across, and he’s dead. It’s as quick as that Then, across the belly, She’s run away And then straight up Like so And here we go for the guts I was born and brought up in a market. I used to cut the eels up with my dad when I was a tiny, tiny kid. He’d get me one that was half knocked out And I’d hack it’s head off and gut it off for fashion You gotta be careful because I could cut the head off and the blood could squirt into your lenses Better than that, it could go into your eye and that is– fearsome I tell you. It stings like buggery. They’re very, very meaty. They’re a beautiful bread, eel. Got lovely, thick sides to them. That is how we prepare to cook them. These have to be washed and they’re beautiful, beautiful pieces of eel. What we’ll do now, while I’m waiting for the pot to boil, so we can put the eels on, Is go over to the making board and make some pies. Ugly! Here. Right, the dough obviously is already made. We make that during the day The bottom dough and the top dough That’s the bottom dough now that’s being squashed out. It will be squashed in here and divided into 36 equal dollies. It will roll out through the rolling machine there. Everything’s all done from scratch. Everything. Well this starts off as short crust pastry but this being the bottom dough, it needs to be a firmer, more elastic dough than the crust. So this ends up with the older cuttings from the crust and the bottom dough and flour and water. This is the podger And this is an old, odd piece of dough that we use to make the indentation for the meat to go in. All these processes, although they’re very simple, by themselves, are very important when they come to the whole. This is our meat. Scotch hind quarter flank that I bone out every week. And we’ve got salt and pepper And a little bit of caramel for a bit of gravy color, if you will. And that’s it. We always have British beef. Sometimes Scotch. But always, always, very, very good quality. I don’t think there’s anything
wrong with simple food, that’s all. I never have. Good quality product to start with,
cook it well, present it nice– I don’t think you can go wrong. And that’s as basic as pie and mash. That’s as basic as fish and chips It’s keeping consistency. There’s your pies, ready to have the top put on. And you don’t hold the pie like a brick. You got no idea how gently I’m holding these pies. There’s no finger marks on them. No thumb marks. I love cooking. Always have since I was a kid. For my 21st birthday, one of my presents was a crepe suzette burner and a frying pan. But I call this, with deep respect, cooking by numbers. I was a shit painter. And my painting by numbers used to look awful. Because I always used to overlap. It’s exactly the same as making these. If you do it as it’s supposed to be done, you’ll end up with a bloody good pie. There’s your batch of pies. They’re all ready for the oven. Alright, if you let me have a quick little splosh, we’ll have a look at eels. Alright. Well, here’s your pimentos. I’ve got the water on here. I’ve thrown the pimentos in. There’s your eels, ready to go in. And they go into absolutely boiling water. And they’ll simmer for about 8-10 minutes and they should be done. This is the part where we had the eels boiling and they are cooked. All you need to do is have a drop of your liquid to help to make your jelly. This is powdered gelatin that you dissolve into your liquid. Now what you do, is take out your eels– Handle them gently. You don’t have to bash them around because they are quite tender now. We’ll stick that in there so that they’re nicely covered with jelly. They’ll cool right down now. They’ll go into the fridge
and they’ll be jelly by the morning. And then what you will end up with is… jellied eels. Alright. Lunch time. Here’s your pie, straight out the oven. There’s your mash And here is the parsley sauce. The liquor. And here’s your jellied eels. Here’s your chili vinegar You got the full kit there. The full one, see Thank you and good night. – The pies are done beautiful And when you take the lid off the top the pastry, there’s all the gravy and– and the mincemeat. It’s lovely. And the mash It’s all quite nice I’ll be eating that camera in a minute -Piggy. How old are you now? -Nearly 88 And I’m still here Yeah, we know that

100 thoughts on “The Oldest Fast Food Restaurant in London’s East End

  1. Caption at 5:31 should be “Bob Splosh” not “quick little splosh”. Bob Splosh is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘wash’.

  2. I visited this place, on a trip to London earlier this year because of this video and I'll be honest it was total shit, this charming bloke wasn't there and the pie was crap, tasted like it had been sitting around for hours and I was the only one in the store. None of the atmosphere present in video was there, quite dissapointing.

  3. My grandmothers family owned a pie and mash shop in south London… I tried it once and nearly threw up. Can understand why people like it though! The “Likah” is the worst part of it

  4. There's something patriotic about our and mash and jellied ells. Not that it's a bad thing but a proper man in a van Danny sure type guy goes here. I've never tried jellied eels. But I love our and mash. Who doesn't.

  5. Reminds me when my dad took me to Birmingham fish market and bought some eels early 1960's).
    The fishmonger put them in a paper bag and we caught the bus home.
    Part way through the journey women started screaming……..the eels had escaped ! 😂

  6. I liked this guy straight off the bat, and then I saw the Arsenal mug and it confirmed that I’m an incredible judge of character.

  7. I worked in Ireland and we caught the eels and shipped them to Holland,
    They were re packed in Dutch packaging and sold to the UK for twice the price of Irish eels.
    Yep we got rich doing this.
    Thank you.

  8. Okay I’m down for the pie, I’m down for the mash, I’ll eat the eel but I don’t want the eel with jelly it’s just unsettling to look at. Also I don’t get how you brits use vinegar like we Americans use ketchup that’s so much acid.

  9. Lovely guy but man British food is depressing sometimes. When you look at the stuff from around the world it makes the stuff we make here just look positively Soviet sometimes

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