WE'RE no strangers to pies living in Yorkshire!

I just love them, eating them and making them – it’s a very satisfying thing to do when the weather is bleak outside.

So this is my first bit of pie action of the New Year!

Okay, so pies are not exactly the healthiest foods we tend to look for after the Christmas indulgence.

I just believe in eating a variety of foods, as long as the majority of them consist of fresh fruits and veg along with home-cooking, using as many natural and unprocessed ingredients as you can get.

Well, twinned with an active lifestyle I don't think you'll do too badly.

But then again, we might argue our hibernation instincts kick in and urge us to stay in bed rather than go for a early morning jog, or to drive past the gym after work and head straight home.

There’s something about inertia or reduced physical activity that drives us to reach for comfort foods, and thus a vicious cycle of unhealthy habits begin.

If you're going to hibernate, I do pledge with you to make a meat and potato pie – you will be grateful when spring comes along and you try to squeeze into your skinny jeans and start back at the gym again.

We all grew up with meat and potato pie, being a quick and easy tea for mum to make, filling our hungry tummies after school.

Inside the pie it’s a no-frills affair with solid packed layers of fillings and no gaping air pockets.

The recommended meat must be a good braising steak which will hold lots of goodness and flavours – not a symphonic mass of flavours swirling about –along with a waxier King Edward potato needed to hold its shape and provide a nice texture within the pie.

Then your pie will be literally full to the brim with lots of filling.

Surely a pie filled so much would cause a soggy bottom? Far from it: simply top the pie with a thick shortcrust pastry and then drown it in good gravy, served with seasonal vegetables or portioned up for people who don't care for vegetables.

This great family meal will freeze very well, so double up and save yourself some time feeding the family for pennies per portion.

I personally like making pastry, which is second nature to me, but I know people can struggle, so simply buy a good ready-made pastry.

If you do decide to freeze a pie or two, just assemble them, don't egg wash, cover in cling film and pop in the freezer for a month or two, don't forget to label and date them.

When ready to use take a pie out and defrost in the fridge overnight, egg wash and bake for a no fuss tea.

Finally, shop local and support your butcher, and don't forget to renew your gym membership at the same time!

* Visit keighleynews.co.uk, click on What's On then Food & Drink, to find Mike's previous recipes.