A British-style pork pie at Antonio's Pizzeria of East Meadow.

A British-style pork pie at Antonio's Pizzeria of East Meadow. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

This is the second time Antonio Trozzo has made a culinary career out of being a fish out of water. In his native Berkshire, England, he harnessed his family’s Calabrian recipes to launch an authentic Italian caterer, The Hog Fathers (porchetta, a whole roast pig, was their specialty). Now he is introducing Long Islanders to the joys of British savories — pork pie, steak-and-kidney pie, shepherd’s pie, sausage roll, Cornish pasties and more. His Kensington Pies shares the premises of his year-old Antonio’s Pizzeria in East Meadow.

Ten years ago, while vacationing in Italy, Trozzo fell in love with a New Yorker and, in 2017, he moved to Queens to marry her. A job as a line cook at a Mediterranean restaurant followed, then a foray into the bone-broth business.

The Englishman in New York found he missed British pub fare like meat pies and Scotch eggs (hard-cooked eggs encased in sausage meat before being deep fried). And so he did what many homesick Brits do, he headed to Meyers of Keswick, Manhattan’s 50-year-old emporium for all foods British. He was not impressed. “I could make that,” Trozzo declared. “And I could make it better.”

For the next three months he tinkered with traditional recipes for hot-water crust and short-crust pastry. He came up with his own sausage mixture (using shoulder and loin and a little Worcestershire sauce) for his puff-pastry sausage rolls. He perfected his Scotch eggs and mastered the piping of mashed potatoes for his shepherd and cottage pies (the former filled with lamb, the latter, with beef).

Last year, he launched Kensington Pies, whose logo features an English bulldog superimposed on a Union Jack, selling his wares at farmers markets in Roslyn Heights, Babylon, Valley Stream, Port Washington and Setauket. He soon outgrew the kitchen he was renting part time, and found another one for rent in East Meadow. Thing is, that kitchen was attached to Angelo’s Pizzeria. And so, Trozzo taught himself to make New York-style pizza and, six months later, renamed the pizzeria Antonio’s.

At first glance, Antonio’s looks like a thousand other local pizzerias. One large refrigerated case, however, is filled with fresh savory pies that you can get heated to go or reheat at home. A freezer case holds the same merchandise in a more shelf-stable form.

Individual pastries ($6) include the Cornish pasty (filled with beef, potato and turnip), pork pie , sausage roll, cheese-onion-potato pastry and the vegetarian, Indian-inspired Balti pie. Family-sized pies ($11 to $12) include vegetable curry, chicken and leek, chicken and bacon, steak and mushroom, steak and kidney, plus cottage and shepherd's.

Trozzo said the pizzeria is doing better than ever, no longer an afterthought. And he’s enjoyed adding pizza, calzones, rice balls, meatballs, baked ziti and garlic knots to his repertoire. Still, his heart and soul are invested in Kensington Pies and he hopes to open up more outlets in the future. "People told me this would never work," he said, "but on a bad week, I sell 600 pies, on a good week, more than 1,000.”

Kensington Pies, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily at 548 East Meadow Ave., East Meadow, 516-794-0044, kensingtonpies.com

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