Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Football Pie: Moor Pukka Pies

The 1st round of the FA Cup saw me venture outside the football league when I went to Solihull Moors for their 0-2 defeat at the hands of the mighty Wycombe Wanderers. Perhaps because the Moors were struggling at the bottom of the National League there was a disappointingly poor attendance for what was one of the biggest matches in their history. The 807 Wycombe fan actually outnumbered the home fans who were very quiet. The Wycombe fans even took it upon themselves to sing the name of the Solihull goalkeeper when he was announced as the man of the match.


The bumper away crowd was perhaps why the catering suffered some problems. There were massive queues at what was effectively just a burger van parked to the side of the away stand. I got to the front and was dismayed at the lack of choice. Meat in bread was really the only option on view despite the clear superiority of meat in pastry.  (Who prefers bread to pastry?!?) I asked about pies and was initially told they didn't have any. However, upon seeing how crestfallen I was he shouted to someone else who confirmed that there was one pie left in the beer tent just behind the stand. This had now been closed off so someone had to pass the pie to me through the railings. I handed £3 back through the railings in return. I didn't ask about the flavour because it didn't really matter. If this was the last pie I was eating it whatever flavour it was! Sadly, this is not the first time we have found pies not readily available in a football ground, which is a shame when pies and football are so closely associated.

Returning to my seat I tried to guess the flavour of the pie. I thought it looked like Steak and Kidney so got a surprise to find out it was Chicken Balti when I took my first bite! Fortunately it was easy to tell who made the pie because it had the Pukka pie logo on the bottom of the foil. I have enjoyed the Pukka Balti pies a few times before and this one was equally enjoyable. Thankfully it wasn't burnt like the last few Pukka pies I have had. Rather than being too hard, this time the pastry was too soft! It was so soft it fell apart while eating it. I was thankful for the plate which caught most of the pie contents as I ate the pastry. This was pretty messy and certainly not an ideal pie to eat at the football. Despite being soft, the pastry wasn't raw and did seem fully cooked.

The contents tasted pretty good although unspectacular. It had a bit of spice but was not overly hot. Like most Pukka pies, the thick sauce was tasty but it was heavy on the salt. There was a reasonable amount of chicken buried in the sauce. Unsurprisingly it was pretty similar to when I have had this pie before. Therefore a fairly decent effort but a bit uninspiring to find that clubs outside the Football League are also entralled by the Pukka pie empire.

Chicken Balti (Solihull Moors/Pukka)
4.23/7

SJL

continue reading "Football Pie: Moor Pukka Pies"

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Pierate Pie Night 2017

Pierate Pie Night raises some "dough" for Charity!


Sandy and the Pierateers
Sandy and the Pierateers!
It's only right that we celebrated our 8th Birthday in style - with what else but a pie night! And while there were a few last minute hitches - not most the oven in the hall we were going to be using being written off! - we were able to still go ahead with the night by hosting it at the home of one of the Pierateers! It was a delight to see 36 pie fans (including Pierateers Rob, Sam and Tim) enjoy pie and mash alongside one of the stars of Great British Bake Off 2015, Sandy Docherty! All in all, I think everyone had a great evening and the lid on the pie, so to speak, was raising a whopping £358 for charity Action Against Hunger.

We'd like to say a massive thank you to all those who came to our Birmingham Pie Night and particularly our star guest Sandy Docherty for coming down and to Chris from MyPie London, who generously donated the pies so that we could raise more money for charity. The guests loved them and could see why the Steak and Ale pie is number 1 out of over 625 pies in our pie rankings!


We were delighted to be able to enjoy pies that Chris from MyPie London sent us for our Charity Pie Night! Now our number 1 pie maker on Pierate, taking the top spot since our 6th birthday, Chris holds the number 1 and number 2 spots in our pie rankings!


His Steak and Ale pie scoring 6.61/7 has beaten off the com-pie-tition of over 600 other pies to top our pie rankings!


Our apple and blackcurrant pie!
Sandy was a great guest, sharing some of her tips at the start of the evening and even helping us peel the potatoes beforehand. She kindly brought two homemade pies with her to be raffle prizes. We also were gifted a few Pieminister vouchers for their new(ish) Birmingham pie shop for our raffle and someone even went away with their very own Pierate mug! We were also grateful to Ruth and Sarah for bringing a number of homemade pies for our dessert, alongside our own attempt at an apple and blackcurrant pie.

It was a great evening, sharing a bit about what we'd been up to, watching our Leeds Pie Tour video and hearing a bit about the work of charity Action Against Hunger. But as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are some of the pielights of our pie night in photo form:






The Pierateers busy in the kitchen!

Another delicious MyPie





Our star baker Sandy talking to guests


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Pierate Pie Night 2017"

Sunday, 12 November 2017

International Pierate Day 2017

We Pierateers of pie review website www.pierate.co.uk are today celebrating our 8th Birthday, and we'd love you to join us by simply eating a pie and rating it!


That’s why we’ve designated
12th November as International Pierate Day!


It follows in the footsteps of the very first International Pierate Day in 2013, which was once again celebrated in 2014 and 2015 and last year. But we don’t want you – pie lovers worldwide – to just sit at home and watch as we eat all the pies! Oh no! Pie eating and pie rating is something we can all enjoy. Something that can bring friends, family and communities together. Pies are celebrated and eaten in so many countries worldwide and so today – marking our eighth birthday – we would love you to join us in eating and rating pies this week to celebrate!


Pie Birthday Card
Quite an apt pie card to celebrate our Birthday!

This year our main highlight was the charity pie night we held last night, which saw over 35 people enjoy pies from MyPie alongside our celebrity guest, 2015 Bake Off contestant Sandy! We managed to raise a great total of £358.00 for charity Action Against Hunger and there were many happy pie fans there too! We'll do a proper write up soon!

Last year we got a lovely pie-related Birthday card to celebrate our 7th year (above), and you may also remember that to celebrate the occasion of our 6th birthday, we commissioned fellow food blogger and amazing illustrator Emily from www.recipesandreviews.co.uk to create us this lovely, personalised print - an illustrated guide on how to rate a pie, based on our 7 Cs of pie rating!


An illustrated guide on how to rate a pie by @emily_etc


So here’s the deal... in six simple words: Eat a pie and rate it!

It doesn’t matter whether it’s savoury or sweet, or whether you prefer your pies without the wheat or meat! We really do rate anything and everything that is a true pie and sometimes a number of interesting things that try to be pies to! But the important thing is we love to eat pie and rate it – for we are, after all, the Pierateers!

So once you’ve found a pie to eat – whether in the local bakery, butchers, supermarket or your favourite pie shop or one you have made in the luxury of your own home – why not rate your pie using the Seven Cs of pie rating in our lovely illustrated guide above?



In addition to celebrating #InternationalPierateDay today, we were also delighted to be able to enjoy pies that Chris from MyPie London sent us for our Charity Pie Night last night! Now our number 1 pie maker on Pierate, taking the top spot since our 6th birthday, Chris holds the number 1 and number 2 spots in our pie rankings!


His Steak and Ale pie scoring 6.61/7 has beaten off the com-pie-tition of over 600 other pies to top our pie rankings!



So what do you need to do now?


Well, first things first - you need a pie (or two!) For insPIEration you might find our Pie Rankings helpful, with over 600 pies we've rated and reviewed over the past 8 years! Or perhaps you want to make one of the pies our Ship's Cook has made, following her reci-pies here.

You can even watch us on the BBC website advising what to look for in a pie!

Most of all, we hope you enjoy eating and rating pies this week! We sure will and will be posting about the pies we ate for our birthday Charity Pie Night this week!!!



Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "International Pierate Day 2017"

Friday, 10 November 2017

Pieminister have arrived in Birmingham!!!

Pieminister “Kate and Sidney” British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale Pie Review


Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
It hasn’t escaped my attention as a pie connoisseur in England’s second city Birmingham that there has been a bit of a lack of pie shops in the city, especially following the closure of “Urban Pie” a few years back. It was therefore encouraging to see that top pie maker Pieminister – from whom we have rated sixteen pies previously, the majority of whom have been Pierate Recommended or Pierate Highly Recommended – have changed all that with a new shop opening a few months ago in the heart of the city centre.

While some of you may have noticed on Twitter that we visited early on in their first week of trading in the city a few months back, we decided to visit again more recently once they had properly settled in to their new location to get a proper reflection of the new store. Of course we weren’t disappointed, with another top rated and highly recommended pie! The store itself is decorated in standard Pieminister fashion – quite simple brick façade with neon lights. It’s great to have another pie option right in the heart of the city, just off Victoria Square at 16 Waterloo Street.

Pieminister Pie Review
Pieminister Pie Menu

Compare all our Pieminister Pie Reviews - and we've reviewed a fair few in our Pie Rating careers - on our Pieminister Pie Reviews Page!




So onto the pie I had, which when I looked at the menu was becoming a struggle to find a new option we hadn’t already rated!! I went for the “Kate and Sidney” pie, which was British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale. I went for the classic meal with a super side upgrade of skin on fries, which meant my meal cost £8.50. This is a little pricey for a meal of pie, mash and gravy, but being in a new city centre store and comparing this to pie meals in pubs and shops in the city centre, I don’t think this is too unreasonable a price.

Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review

As you can see from the pictures, the pie was lovely and golden on top, though certainly a lot more pale on the sides. However the sides and base were quite crisp too, alongside the golden top. The lovely Pieminister pastry one again surrounded a well filled content, with a definite focus on meaty steak chunks rather than the kidney. I was appreciative of this decent blend, as many steak and kidney pies can use the kidney as a cheap filler for a pie, but this was certainly not the case here! The balance between crisp pastry and a moist, meaty filling was delightful and I’ll definitely look to have another one soon!

Once again Pieminister have produced a Pierate Highly Recommended pie and I for one am delighted they’ve decided to sell it – alongside their other top range of pies - in the heart of England’s second city, Birmingham!

Pieminister “Kate and Sidney” British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale Pie
Score: 6.04/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6, Condition 6.25, Chewiness 6.25, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6]
RAS


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Pieminister have arrived in Birmingham!!!"

Monday, 30 October 2017

Are Piebury Corner Still-ton the best London Pie Shop?

Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review from their new King’s Cross Shop!


Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
If anyone ever asks which pie shop they should visit in London, there is only one answer I give them – Piebury Corner. For many a year, since we first reviewed them in February 2013, they have been at the top of our pie rankings which span well over 600 pies from across the world. But there has always been one slight issue – their pie shop is slightly out of the way for the typical London visitor, being up in Islington (N7).

You can therefore imagine our delight when we heard a number of months back from owners Paul and Nikki that they were in negotiations for a property just a few minutes from Kings Cross Station – which really is prime retail location for thousands of London commuters and tourists each and every day! Now that the new store has been open a few months, it was about time that we set the Pierate Ship down to London for a visit, and a Friday Pieday visit was the ideal op-pie-tunity!

Read all about when the new Piebury Corner pie shop was "hot" off the press in this Hot-Dinners.com article!

Piebury Corner Pie Shop Review
The new Piebury Corner Pie Shop - Image supplied by Piebury Corner

Arriving mid-afternoon, I avoided the rush hour craziness on my 4-minute walk from Kings Cross Tube station and settled into my own seating booth, which comes with free wifi and USB charging points for your phone. It’s significantly more spacious than the Holloway Road store in Islington, providing adequate seating for around 40 customers. I perused the menu and – while not eating straight away, as it was a bit early – picked from the increasingly small list of Piebury Corner pies we have yet to rate! With 14 already rated, I went for one of the only meat pies left on my list – the Steak and Stilton.

Piebury Corner Pie Shop Review
Inside Piebury's new store - Image supplied by Piebury Corner
One of the most obvious differences between the two pie shops is that the new Kings Cross store has dropped the Arsenal footballer pie names – but this is hardly a surprise given its location much further away from the Emirates Stadium and its target audience no longer primarily being Arsenal fans! The main pies all still feature though, even if they are a bit pricier than when we first started tucking into Piebury Corner pies those five years ago! A standard range pie at the Kings Cross shop sets you back £6 hot and eating in, with the luxury range 50p more and gluten free 50p more again. While you can get deals at certain times to make this a meal with pie, potato and gravy, it is quite an expensive cost for just a pie but then this is no ordinary quality pie, as the shop's kitchen manager Anthony testified to me during a chat with him after my pie. He has many years’ experience as a chef in London but was surprised at the high quality of these pies, which he hasn’t been able to match in quality from a supplier anywhere else in London!

Click here for all our Piebury Pie Reviews in one place!

Featuring legends (on the pitch and on the plate) like Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp!


Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
Onto the pie itself and the great thing is the Steak and Stilton pie had all the great hallmarks of the Piebury Corner pies I had rated in the past. The pie was packed to capacity, again bulging slightly with the large pieces of meat inside the pie. The pastry:filling ratio was pretty much spot on, with a good flavoursome filling complementing the crisp but thin outer pastry. As you would expect from a proper football pie you could easily have eaten the pie by hand, picking it up from the plate, as the pie held together really well.

The filling itself was a fine balance of tender steak and a Stilton gravy. The meat was lovely and had a good noticeable flavour to it without being overpowered by the Stilton cheese, which has been the downside of a fair few Stilton Cheese pies I’ve had lately (either too much Stilton or lacking any noticeable cheese flavour to it!) The only real downsides to these pies, mentioned a number of times in Piebury Corner reviews, are that the pie is rather shallow for a pie of its price range and therefore while they taste great, they do often leave you wanting more! But I guess that’s a good sign what you are eating is a top pie! The Steak and Stilton is yet another “Pierate Highly Recommended” pie from Piebury Corner.

Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie
Score: 6.18/7
[Colour 6.75/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 5.5/7; Chewiness 6.5/7; Condition 6.75/7; Content 6/7; Capacity 6/7]


RAS

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Are Piebury Corner Still-ton the best London Pie Shop?"

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Pierate's Birmingham Pie Night for Charity 2017

We're now just a couple of weeks away from our blog's eighth birthday (which we've named International Pierate Day), and with that in mind we have some very exciting news to share:


Some tickets are still available for our Birmingham Pie Party with a "star baker" and top rated pies on 11th Nov!

Pierate Pie Night


The motley crew from our Pie Contest 2013
Yes, on Saturday 11th November from 4:30-7pm we'll be welcoming Great British Bake Off Series 6 star Sandy Docherty and the pies from our number 1 pie maker (out of over 625 pies rated on our blog) - MyPie!

Sandy, for those who don't follow GBBO (or whose memory is a little hazy!), was the contestant who referred to her home baking in episode one with words to the effect of "everything I bake at home seems to turn into a pie!" And for some reason, that seemed to really strike a cord with us on the Pierate Ship!!!

MyPie pies at the 2015 Pie-rty
No surprise then that Sandy immediately became our favourite of that series, despite some real competition from man of many homemade cooking aids Ian, the king of the jungle Paul and series winner Nadiya (who you may remember had the privilege of then cooking the Queen's birthday cake!) You can reminisce on all the bakers from Series 6 here in their pre-show BBC Bios or read up on Series 6 on Wikipedia!

Back to Sandy and she said back in her pre-show bio that "she bakes to show her family, friends and colleagues that she cares about them" - which is a great outlook on baking and we look forward to her bringing some of her baking magic with her when she brings some pies to our pie party and chats a bit about life in the tent and what she's up to these days. We were gutted that Sandy was eliminated before the week when the bakers all had to make a game pie, but can't wait to try her pies for real - not just drool over our TV screens!

Just take a look at some of the pie pictures Sandy has tweeted us:




Of course us Pierateers are no stranger to the Great British Bake Off either, as our first TV appearance came on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice when we made a Crocodile Pie rated by none other than celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr!

So while we had a break last year, we're delighted to once again be following the tradition of 2013, 2014 and 2015 in having a Pierate Birthday Pie-rty with friends and colleagues in just a few weeks time! For those wondering what it will be like, here's our review from our 5th Birthday Pie-rty three years ago.

Pie maker Chris with Pierateers Sam, Tim and Rob
And as if it couldn't get any more exciting, we're delighted that the pies will be provided by none other than Pierate Highly Recommended pie maker - and current number 1 in our Pie Rankings - Chris Brumby of MyPie.

Yes, like in 2015, we've once again gone straight to the top of the Pie Rankings to find a Pierate Highly Recommended pie maker to supply the pies at our eighth Birthday Pie Party, with Chris' Steak and Ale Pie our current number 1 at 6.61/7! And we'll have a top vegetarian pie option too.

And what's more, Chris has kindly agreed to donate the pies to us for a charitable donation, with £10 of the £12.50 ticket price going to charity Action Against Hunger. It'll be a busy week for Chris, as alongside baking the pies for our pie party, he's also opening up a pop up on the Southbank in London that week!!

We've still got a few tickets available, so to enquire about ticket availability to book your place at our Birmingham Pie Night in South Birmingham, please email pierateship@yahoo.co.uk with your order (Steak and Ale or Vegetarian pie). For your £12.50 ticket, you'll get to attend the Q&A with Sandy from GBBO (from 4:30-5:15) followed by your MyPie, mash and veg, plus a selection of homemade fruit pies people bring along (5:15-7:00). And if you bring a homemade pie with you - which will be judged by our star baker and the Pierateers - you will get a £2.50 discount on your ticket! Let us know if you're planning to bring a homemade fruit pie!

As you can imagine, we can't wait for our next Pie Party on Saturday 11th November and we hope to see some of you there!!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Pierate's Birmingham Pie Night for Charity 2017"

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Football Pie: Why Can't Wycombe Get it Right?!

Wycombe Wanderers/Pukka Pies - Chicken & Mushroom Pie Review

We have eaten many pies at Wycombe Wanderers matches over the years whilst we follow our home town team through thick and thin. Sadly though in recent years the pies served at their home ground of Adams Park have been pretty terrible. They are currently languishing near the bottom of our Football Pie League. You can read more about this in our 'Pies & Lows of Following Wycombe Wanderers' article.


There has been a recent upturn in performance on the pitch but this sadly hasn't been matched by an upturn in pie form. On Saturday I attended the entertaining 0-0 draw with top of the table Exeter and was pleased to note that there was a change in pie supplier. Instead of the dodgy 'Bisto' brand pies, Wycombe have enlisted the help of the ubiquitous Pukka pie empire. As I got near to the front of the queue in the lower tier family stand I could see just one pie remaining. With all my mental strength I willed those in front to order something else. A couple of burgers disappeared and I was home and dry at the front of the queue. I had no choice of flavour, it was a Pukka Chicken & Mushroom or suffer the ignomy of a non-pie choice. My delight soon turned to dismay. What I had been served very much looked like the kind of pie that would be left til last. A gravy explosion had rented a gaping hole in the side of the pie. What was remarkable was that somehow the gravy had dried and burnt like a grotesque gravy icicle hanging off the edge of the crust. I had never seen anything like this before in many years of pie reviewing. This was a bad omen, indicating the pie had been cooked for too long. Indeed the sides and base of the pie were very burnt and dried out. It was quite difficult to actually eat because the pastry was so hard, especially at the bottom. It was also far too hot and took ages to cool down. This indicated the problem was probably down to the hot locker the pie had been sat in. Being set so hot it hadn't just kept the pie warm, it had continued cooking it until the pastry had become not much more than a husk to hold the filling. Fortunately the Chicken & Mushroom filling was still enjoyable. There certainly was scope for more pieces of mushroom and chicken but there was by no means an embarassing lack of content. The creamy sauce maintained a good balance of chicken and mushroom flavours (although I do like my mushroom to be subtle). It actually made a nice change to my usual choice of steak pie. However, this couldn't recover what was overall a very disappointing pie due to the pastry! Next time I will have to try and get a pie before the game rather than half time. Hopefully it won't be so dried out!


Chicken & Mushroom (Wycombe Wanderers/Pukka Pies) 
3.34/7

SJL
continue reading "Football Pie: Why Can't Wycombe Get it Right?! "

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Football Pie: Oldest Football League Pie?

Mansfield Town All Steak Pukka Pie Review


A rainy and windy Tuesday night in Mansfield is what being a football supporter is all about. Under those conditions anything can happen which adds to the excitement. While anything can happen, actually nothing extraordinary did occur when we visited for the 0-0 draw with Wycombe Wanderers, although the match was fairly entertaining. When the weather is terrible it makes the match day pie even more obligatory. Rob and I both opted for the classic Pukka All Steak pie option for £3, a pie we have reviewed many times before for our football pie league.

The All Steak Pukka Pie at the One Call Stadium
However, as is often the case at the football the quality was variable. It really was a game of two halves. My pre-match pie was extremely dry which provided a contrast to the extremely wet weather. Rob's was cooked fairly well, although also dry on the bottom. I found mine was so dry the pastry had actually gone quite chewy and was difficult to eat by hand. This was very different to other football pies I have had recently which had soggy and crumbly pastry due to microwave cooking. It seemed that my Pukka had been sat above a heater element in the hot locker which had caused the bottom to burn.



Given that I got my pie before the match it was impressive that they had managed to dry it out so badly. I wondered quite how long it had been sat around for. Mansfield claim to have the oldest football league ground, dating back to 1861. Perhaps this pie had been sat in the locker since 1919 when Mansfield first started playing there? I also wondered how likely food poisoning might be after Mansfield were previously bottom of the football league in terms of their food hygiene rating.


This at least did mean that my pie had been kept warm. The molten gravy proved frustrating as it slowed me down in my pie consumption. I find my desire to devour pies often causes me to bypass my common sense. I keep taking bites somehow expecting the pie to have cooled to a reasonable temperature in the seconds that have elapsed since my previous bite. Whilst the pastry was pretty terrible the filling was just as I have come to expect from Pukka. Ample amount of thick, beefy gravy made the pastry a little more palatable but as usual it was not ideal to eat by hand because the gravy oozed out. The steak pieces weren't huge or overly abundant but none were chewy. Rob however found the opposite with a few gristly pieces.

Overall, sadly the pies weren't leaving us rushing back for more. Despite my claim that I was going to get a second pie at half time, I waited until after the match to get another Pukka pie from Kev's Fish Bar whilst we sheltered from the rain. It was both cheaper and cooked much better!

This review really highlight that whilst a lot of grounds serve similar pies, the choice of how the pies are stored, cooked and kept warm makes a massive difference!

All Steak (Mansfield Town/Pukka)
3.75/7

SJL and RAS


We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies



More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Regulars to our pie blog will know we're the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

Check out our PIEremiership article and you'll find that Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC makes his pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team!

Want to find out what the Pierateers really make of the state of the (pie) game in English Football? Check out our analysis in our Pies of Football 2016 article to find out what makes a great football pie!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Football Pie: Oldest Football League Pie? "

Friday, 1 September 2017

Football Pie Review: A Vale-iant effort?

Rating the steak football pie at Port Vale FC by Wrights


Wrights Steak Pie Review
Cross section of my Wrights Steak Pie
After a slightly fraught end to my journey to Stoke I finally paid for my ticket by card and got through the turnstiles, having realised I only had enough cash to either buy my ticket OR buy a pie – but not both! Schoolboy error!

In any case, the match at Vale Park – which was on a surprisingly sunny Saturday afternoon, unlike your typical “cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke” that has become a bit of a cliché – was about to kick off when I arrived, hence there being absolutely no-one in the queue in front of me and free access to the food bar! After a slightly awkward conversation with a steward about why I was taking a photo of the food menu – “Are you lost?” “No… just taking a photo for a food blog I write…” – I ordered my Wrights Steak Pie and made my way to my seat behind the goal.

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Matchday is Pie Day! Agreed!
Simply served in a silver foil tray, I could immediately tell why the lady at the bar gave me a few napkins to hold the pie in, as it was steaming hot! Clearly the hot locker had been doing its job, which gave me a few extra minutes to sit down, take a few photos and cheer the lads out before the whistle blew and I was ready to take my first bite!

The pie was pretty golden in colour and while not looking particularly large it was just £2.50, one of the cheaper football pies I’ve bought. I soon found out why…

Did you see that we recently contributed to the Coral Pie Premier League article to find out fan's views on Premier League pies? We dissect it in our "We bet you'll want to know the top football pies!" article.

Also see their short one minute video below for a summary of their results, including a shock response to the nation's favourite half time snack!





Wrights Steak Pie Review
Taking the pie out of the foil to take my first bite, the large overhang of lid pastry was immediately apparent. I took a first bite and all I got was quite dry, biscuity pastry. My second was hardly any better, and in fact it wasn’t until about bite four that I got anything resembling a meaty chunk and some proper gravy. The pastry overhang, in comparison to what was quite a small pie, was in my eyes far too large (if indeed needed at all), so I had to keep biting through in order to get to the meaty chunks in the middle!

Finally some flavour! In fairness, the meat and gravy was actually quite nice for a “just steak” pie. I turned the pie upside down and could see how small the base of the pie was in comparison to the lid. The base was significantly smaller and explained the experience of dry overhang pastry I’d suffered from in the first few bites. The base pastry was significantly softer and actually quite pleasant, so I focused on eating that with the meat and gravy. However that wouldn’t cut the mustard when it came to rating the pie, and one of the chunks of meat was also particularly chewy, which didn’t help either (though overall the meat and gravy was the redeeming feature!)

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Soooo much pastry overhang on the two sides!!
In the end I struggled to finish the pie due to the excessive dry pastry edge and felt short changed at even £2.50 for a football pie. While the pie didn’t collapse in the way that my Wrights pie at Wolverhampton Wanderers had (reviewed in the article I wrote for Buzzfeed), it seemed to have gone the other way and been overly solid, especially the lid. Hopefully Wrights can find a happy medium next time!

Wrights Steak Pie
Score: 3.32/7
[Colour 4, Capacity 3, Consistency 2, Condition 3, Chewiness 3.25, Cheapness 3.5, Content 4.5]



We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies

As for the match itself, Wycombe Wanderers dominated the vast majority of the match, cruising to a 3-0 lead within the first half hour. At that point I was seriously thinking I’d see Wycombe score more goals than this pie would score on the 7 Cs! But with just 5 minutes to go and the points seemingly in the bag, Wycombe coughed up two quite simple goals and had to hang on for a 3-2 win in the end!



More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Regulars to our pie blog will know we're the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

Check out our PIEremiership article and you'll find that Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC makes his pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team!

RAS

Want to find out what the Pierateers really make of the state of the (pie) game in English Football? Check out our analysis in our Pies of Football 2016 article to find out what makes a great football pie!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Football Pie Review: A Vale-iant effort?"

Friday, 25 August 2017

Good Food, Shame About the Pie



In my attempts to find the best pie in my local area around Gloucester I had to try The Queen's Head on the edge of the city. Very highly regarded, it is best to book in advance for dinner as it can get booked up. What is so good about the Queen's Head is that they don't try and be pretencious, they just do traditional British classics very well. They also do generous portions for the price, in particular, their signature Longford Lamb is difficult to polish off. However, they don't actually normally have pie on the menu which had always seemed a crying shame to me. So I was delighted when I went for a weekday lunch and found that Steak & Kidney pie was on the lunch menu. I had no choice but to sample their pastry creation.


But maybe there is a reason The Queen's Head don't serve pie on their brilliant dinner menu. It simply wasn't very good and it seems they have no idea what is needed to make a good pie. They won't be challenging the best pies in Gloucestershire that is for sure. The first basic error they made was smoothering the whole thing in a generic gravy. A common complaint from us on Pierate, gravy really needs to be on the side. It didn't really complement the pie and also made it all very soggy. The second basic error was to go for a slice of pie rather than an individual pie. Whilst this does meet our pie definition (and is much better than a casserole with a pastry lid) it just isn't what I am looking for in the Ultimate Pie, it just isn't as satisfying.

The pie was well filled with meat chunks but had quite a high proportion of kidney. I have never in my life come across anyone who prefers kidney to steak so this ratio could have been better if it was more bias towards the steak. The meat was quite tasty if a bit chewy in places. The pastry also tasted nice but was thick and had a bit of a weird texture, perhaps due to the gravy bath it was sat in. I found the pastry sticking to the roof of my mouth.

Overall, sadly more negatives than positives and this pie really didn't live up to expectations. There are much better pies in the local area.

Steak &Kidney (Queen's Head [Gloucester]) 
3.67/7

SJL

continue reading "Good Food, Shame About the Pie"

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Landmark 30,000 views of the Pierate Pie Rankings

For those who don't know, it's coming up to 8 years since the Pierate Ship first set sail on a mission to rate all the pies we could find. And sure, we've had some pies and lows over the years, but each and every time we've rated a pie it's been added to our official pie rankings page. And now, with 626 pies rated and ranked, our Pierate Pie Rankings page has just reached a landmark 30,000 page views! Thank you pie fans!!!

Our top 10 most viewed pages (doesn't include pie review articles)


MyPie London Steak and ale pie review
#1 - MyPie London Steak and ale pie
Over that time we've had a number of pies be our number 1, the most notable being Paul's Pies Steak and Guinness pie, which was our number one for over three and a half years. But when Paul hung up the oven gloves and stopped trading, in October 2016 we crowned our new number 1 pie! Since that date, for the last 10 months, our new number 1 pie has been MyPie's Steak and Ale pie! Check out the amazing review we gave it!

And further congratulations are due to Chris Brumby who, since we started tasting his pies a few years ago following his 'Roll-off' 2014 win (best sausage roll), has produced further numerous efforts of ex-pie-tese that have been Pierate Highly Recommended, and has dominated our top 10 pie list! Just take a look at the current top 10 below:

RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreByInfo
1
MYPIE LondonSteak and Ale
6.61
R/S
2
MYPIE LondonVenison, Chilli and Cheese
6.57
SJL
3
King's Farm [HP22 6BH]All Steak
6.5
SJL
3
Piebury Corner [N7 8DL]Venison and Red Wine [Thierry Henry]
6.5
RAS
3
Piebury Corner [N7 8DL]Lamb and Veg with a hint of mint [Ian Wright]
6.5
RAS
3
JB Christie [ML6 6BU]Minced Beef Scotch
6.5
SJL
7
MYPIE LondonMince, Bacon and Cheese
6.46
SJL
7
The Real Pie CompanyPork, Bacon and Parsley
6.46
RAS
9
Jekyll and Hyde Pub [B4 6BJ]Steak
6.45
RAS
10
The Pie KitchenChicken, Chantenay Carrot and Bacon
6.43
SJL
10
The Brampton Pie CompanySteak & Ale
6.43
SJL
Pierate Pie Rankings as of 28th July 2017


But of course this top 10 is just the tip of the iceberg, with 616 other pies listed from best to worst on our Pierate Pie Rankings page! Check it out to find out where all the other pies we've rated rank in the list! And if you prefer to see the top pies in a variety of categories - such as best chicken or beef pie - see our Pies: Categorised page!

However if you see a top pie missing in the rankings list, why not leave us a comment below or use our Suggest-A-Pie page to let us know where we still need to rate? Alternatively you can drop us a suggestion on our @pierateers twitter page!

Thanks to all those who have viewed our pie rankings page thus far and here's to the next 30,000 views of our ever growing Pierate Pie Rankings Page!

The Pierateers with our number 1 pie maker - Chris!
(L to R - Chris, SJL, TJP. RAS)
RAS

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Landmark 30,000 views of the Pierate Pie Rankings"

Thursday, 10 August 2017

We bet you'll want to know the top football pies!

Take the nation's favourite pastry product. (That's a pie - obvs.) Add the world's most played and watched sport. And sprinkle in some hungry spectators demanding half-time grub! Of course I'm talking about half time pies at the football! But not all match day pastry hits the back of the net. Some are Championship winning material, where as others are destined for relegation as soon as you bite into them. That's why bookmakers Coral have been investigating what you - the football pie eating public - have to say on the topic!

Pie at the football!

Having analysed the data from their Pie Survey launched a few months back - which we blogged on in our article "We bet you'll want to feedback on football pies!" - the results are out and we've got the pies and lows to discuss! So, where do football fans think they can find piefection when it comes to their golden pastry snack?! Find out below!


Check out the full Coral Pie Premier League article to find out all the details on their survey of Premiership Pies, which we dissect below!

Also see their short one minute video below for a summary of their results, including a shock response to the nation's favourite half time snack!





Regulars to our pie blog won't be surprised to hear Coral teamed up with the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! A few months ago we were asked to give our opinion on the state of Premier League pies at present, as while the annual BBC Price of Football Survey indicates the price of pies, that really is only part of the story when it comes to pie rating.

We of course contributed our opinion to the survey results they collated regarding the Premier League's top pies and you won't be surprised to hear we have a few opinions on the results too! So once you've read the Coral results article, take a look at our view on the results below!

We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies

So, firstly the winner of the Coral football fan's survey was... West Brom! Now, with a piefect score of 5/5 we do question the result of this really, as in searching for pies up and down the country we've never quite found pie-fection, especially not in a football ground! Typical football pies are a bit overpriced and often rather mass-produced efforts, sitting in hot lockers for far too long! However we are pleased that this is seemingly starting to change with producers like Piglets Pantry (catering for Brighton and Tottenham, amongst others) and Man City's Football Fan Fayre raising the standards significantly.

What I do wonder is whether the football fans rating West Brom as 5/5 were eating the same Pukka Pies as I did when I went to the ground about a year and a half ago? Because while it was a decent Pukka Pie, it certainly wasn't anything to write home about and not worth a full 5/5! One wonders if the people who gave such a high score were actually people in the West Brom hospitality boxes, as what our pie sources tell us is that there they actually serve award winning Piglets Pantry pies, unlike on the main concourse, which certainly would be more worthy of a 5/5 score! Alas we will sadly never know, but that could explain things.

Fabulous Fan Fayre Chicken and Ham Pie
Man City's Chicken Pie with FA Cup Trophy!
Sadly we've not yet rated the pies at Watford, Stoke and Burnley - this can be our "goal" for the season! - but we can certainly highly recommend Man City pies! In fact our top Premier League pie - and number two pie in our Football Pie League - is from Man City and was a fabulous combo of Beef Bourguignon and Chicken and Ham pies at the Etihad Stadium. They highlight that it is often better to pay a bit extra for a top quality pie, rather than less for a very mediocre product.

Sadly it didn't surprise me that the capital's supporters tend to favour a beef burger over a half time pie, however I was pleased to see the Northerners sticking up for their local pastry treat! Certainly the backing for a Steak and Ale pie came as no surprise to us either, with our number one football pie of that flavour. However what was surprising was a lack of mention of the Chicken Balti, which has become quite a fan favourite at many football grounds we've been to!

And to wrap it all off, we're pleased that football fans are by and large a wise crowd when it comes to knowing a pasty is NOT a pie! I'm sure many of you have heard us ramble on about the topic enough - though for anyone wanting an education you can check out our analysis of the shock pasty win in the 2016 British Pie Awards here.

So all in all, I think this survey highlights there are still some top football pies out their for us to sink our teeth into! Sadly not all pies rate as highly as West Brom, but there's only one way for us to really know! We'll be tucking into more football pies up and down the land this coming season! Game on!!!



More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

It was outside of the scope of the Coral survey, which focused on the Premier League, but Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC makes his pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team!

RAS

Want to find out what the Pierateers really make of the state of the (pie) game in English Football? Check out our analysis in our Pies of Football 2016 article to find out what makes a great football pie!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "We bet you'll want to know the top football pies! "