As bizarre food fads come and go, it's sometimes easy to forget the straight-forward cuisine we grew up with — the steak pie being a prime example. As this mouth-watering London Short demonstrates, not only is there a refined art to making the best version of this classic British dish, but that art is in danger of being killed off by chain supermarkets and slapdash industrial competition.
Filmmaker Stewart Morgan Hajdukiewicz took the time to document a family butchers in Deptford that's been running since 1829 and is determined to keep fighting for pie perfection. His film Wellbeloved captures all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a steak pie able to make people who sink their teeth into it go weak at the knees. The film doesn’t reveal all the secrets but it does explain the main three: “experience, care and dedication.”
Stewart tells Londonist: “I was a regular customer of Wellbeloved when I approached Will (the owner) to ask permission to make the film following following an invitation to create a food-themed short film by TalkingofFood.com, a site that features content about London's culinary culture."
Wellbeloved's steak pies are famous throughout south east London, and beyond, as is Will’s friendly and knowledgeable service and professional skill. The film was genuinely shot on a single Saturday in February 2014 between 4.20am and noon in order to capture father and son Will and Liam’s early morning preparation and observe the inherited skills of the butcher’s craft at work. It also considers the increasing threat to such small independent shops in the era of the supermarket. Wellbeloved's provides an invaluable service to its customers – but for how much longer?
Hungry yet? WH Wellbeloved Butchers is at 31 Tanner's Hill, Deptford, London SE8 4PJ. It's open Monday to Saturday, from early morning til 5pm. We’ll see you there.
Thanks to the East End Film Festival for introducing us to Stewart’s film.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see other London Shorts click here. (but please note, links may not always work if the filmmakers are showing their shorts in competition).