Is there any food more stereotypically British than pie? Meat, veg, and sauce wrapped in pastry. A thick, stodgy, stick-to-the-insides pie that keeps you going for hours. Perfect for winter. But for Home Supper Club’s innovative chefs, it’s also perfect for reinvention. Specifically, a fusion of the homely British pie with a spice mix from Eritrea. What inspired this genius, you might ask?

Well, the aim of Oasis is to give a warm Welsh welcome to refugees and asylum seekers. If there’s a museum that’s more Welsh than St Fagan’s, I’ve yet to come across it. Thus, the chefs decided to mix the traditional Welsh fare you might find on display at St Fagan’s with the global cuisines they’ve had in the past to create this week’s menu. So, this week, the Home Supper Club offered up Eritrean-spiced mutton pie, bacon & kale mallung salad, Bombay roast turnips, hedgerow & rhubarb chutney, and bara brith made Honduran-style. Readers, it was delicious.

The vegan option, dubbed Persian Parsley pie, was a mix of leek, herb, and barberry, with a slightly sour tang thanks to the barberry. The roast turnips, while otherwise lovely, and only the second helping of turnips I’ve ever had in my life came off slightly gritty due to the seeds used in flavouring. My main issue with the meat option was the meat itself. The mutton tasted fine, but the chunks used in the pie were uncomfortably chewy. But that’s me and my textural fussiness again. The Berbere spice used for flavouring (which can be purchased in the Oasis shop) made for a warm heat and pleasant flavour that managed not to be overpoweringly hot.

The real revelation of the main meal was the hedgerow chutney. I’m very unfamiliar with the world of chutneys, jams, and other preserves. I’m even less familiar with rhubarb and hedgerow fruit. So, to have hedgerow fruit and rhubarb made into a chutney was entirely new for me. And it is delicious. It sounds like something out of a Redwall book, but it’s sweet without being sickly, fruity without being overpowering, and all round incredible. It worked as a dip for everything on my plate, including the pie. Yes, I even dipped the salad in it, bacon and all. Both coconut and real bacon complemented the kale mallung perfectly, adding a salty frisson to the overall flavour. 

However, I have saved my most effusive praise for dessert. I have never had bara brith before. Blasphemy, I know, especially having lived in Wales for over ten years. And now the traditional bara brith has been ruined for me by the Bara Brith Torrejas, or Honduran-style bara brith, made for this meal. It’s normal bara brith, soaked in egg custard, fried, and then drizzled in cinnamon syrup and topped with toasted walnuts. I am a self-confessed custard hater, and I’m not usually a fan of nuts either. But in this instance, both of those issues were set aside in service of a phenomenal dessert. Exactly the right level of sweet, this is truly a king among desserts. I could live off slices of this every day for the rest of my life and die a happy man. 

Sadly, the Home Supper Club is on hiatus until later this year. But this fusion meal was a wonderful note to end on, even if temporarily.