Swede, onion and cheese pie

2 hours



  • 250g of self-raising flour
  • 125g of suet, vegetarian or traditional
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml of water
  • 60ml of milk, plus extra to glaze the pie with
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • 1 swede, weighing approx. 800g
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 80g of butter
  • 250g of Lancashire cheese, coarsely grated
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Start by making the pastry. Place the flour, suet and salt in a bowl and mix together. In a separate jug, beat the egg with the milk and water
Add half the milk mixture to the flour and mix with your hands. Keep adding the milk mixture until the flour comes together in a ball (you may not need all the milk). The dough wants to be soft and pliable but not wet. Wrap and place in the fridge while you make the filling
Pre-heat an oven to 160°/gas mark 3
Melt the butter with a splash of oil in a saucepan and add the onions and thyme. Season and sweat gently for 15–20 minutes, until unctuous and soft
As the onions cook, peel the swede, slice in half lengthwise and then cut into slices the thickness of a pound coin (use a mandoline if you have one)
Add the swede to the onions and cook together for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle and start cooking the swede. Season with salt and very generously with pepper (swede loves pepper). Leave to cool
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry 0.5cm thick and line a greased pie tin roughly 20cm in diameter
Place one-third of the swede mix into the pastry case, ensuring the pieces of swede are laid flat, then strew with one-third of the cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, creating defined layers
Roll the remaining pastry out into a disc. Dampen the edges of the pastry and top the pie. Trim the edges and then crimp to form a good seal
Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with a skewer or small knife and brush the top with milk
Place in the oven on a tray and bake for an hour. At this point, take your skewer and insert it through the hole in the pie. If the skewer enters with no resistance then the swede is cooked and the pie is ready. If not, replace in the oven and keep checking until cooked through
Allow the pie to sit for a good 20 minutes before slicing and serving