• Bidding Pie

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  • twelve ounces plain flour

  • five ounces lard

  • half a pound mutton, boiled, boned and diced

  • an onion, chopped finely

  • one teaspoonful salt

  • one teaspoonful mixed herbs

  • a little water

  • a little mutton stock


  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
  • .
  • Melt the lard slowly in a little water, bring to the boil and immediately pour into the flour.

  • Work the melted lard into the flour and knead well to a soft dough.

  • Turn out onto a floured board and roll out fairly thinly.

  • Grease a pie dish and line it with the pastry.

  • Fill with the mutton and onion, add the seasoning and stock.

  • Cover with a second layer of pastry, pressing the edges of both layers together to seal.

  • Cut a slit in the centre and cook in a moderately hot oven for about an hour.

When ‘bidding weddings’ were celebrated on the Gower peninsula, this pie was specially prepared for the wedding feast held at the bride’s home. A local farmer would supply the meat by killing a sheep for the occasion and the womenfolk would join forces to prepare and cook the pies. The pie was served cold with beer.

A certain person was appointed by the bride’s family to invite their relatives and friends to attend the feast. He was known as gwahoddwr (bidder), and during the feast he was also given the important task of recording the actual sum of money paid by each guest for a small piece of pie – the sum would vary between five and ten shillings. The young couple were partly dependent on this gift-money to set up home. In turn, they would be invited to similar feasts, and would be expected to re-pay their ‘debt’ to the bride’ and groom’s families.

Gower Peninsula

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