In English cuisine
, battalia pie (obsolete spelling battaglia pye) is a large game pie
, or occasionally a fish pie, filled with many small "blessed" pieces, ''beatilles'', of offal
, in a gravy made from meat stock flavoured with spices and lemon. The dish was described in cookery books of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Confusion with words for battle led to the pie being crenellated
, or shaped to resemble a castle with towers.
A battalia pie was so named because it was filled with ''beatilles'', small blessed objects (from Latin ''beatus'', blessed) such as, according to the Oxford English Dictionary
, "Cocks-combs, Goose-gibbets, Ghizzards, Livers, and other Appurtenances of Fowls (1706)". It is not connected with Italian ''battaglia'', battle, but it was regularly confused with that meaning, and battalia pies were built with crenellated battlements
around the edges, and sometimes as castle
s complete with towers.
The 1658 cookery book ''The Compleat Cook'' by "W. M." gives an early recipe for battalia pie:
In his 1660 cookery book ''The Accomplisht Cook
'', Robert May
gives a recipe "To make a Bisk or Batalia Pie", which instructs:
's 1723 ''The Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary
'' gives a recipe for battalia pie with fish:
In her 1727 cookery book ''The Compleat Housewife
'', Eliza Smith
describes battalia pie as follows:
Smith's recipe was republished in Michael Willis's 1831 ''Cookery Made Easy'',
and in Anne Walbank Buckland's 1893 book, ''Our Viands: Whence they Come and How they are Cooked''.
The politician and author Benjamin Disraeli
describes an English dinner of the previous century in his 1837 novel ''Venetia
Battalia pies were recreated at Naworth Castle
in 2006 and at Westport House, Ireland in 2015.
Historic Food 2005-6
A gilded battalia pie stands in the centre of a loaded table at Naworth Castle.