Monday, 22 May 2017

Nice Pie open a new Melton Mowbray Shop

Nice Pie (Melton Mowbray) Pie Reviews and new shop!


Pierate Logo Pie Review
The incredible "Pierate Logo" pie made by Nice Pie!
Whether you want to take a walk on the wild side or stick to something more typical in your pie, it seems with Nice Pie you're in for a nice pie treat!

We've been delighted to sample and rate so many of their pies in the last few years - the reviews of which can all be seen here - that we thought they deserved a Nice Pie page on Pierate Pie Reviews! Amazingly nearly every pie is Pierate Recommended (rated above 5/7) with a growing number of Pierate Highly Recommended pies (rated above 6/7) - an amazing feat considering the weird and wonderful content of some of the pie fillings such as kangaroo, wild squirrel and crocodile (the latter being the highest rated pie from Nice Pie so far!)

Below is the Nice Pie top 5, but they sell so many great pies that the top 5 doesn't even include all the Pierate Highly Recommended pies they sell, let alone mention the Pierate Recommended ones!!!

Check out the full list of Nice Pies and find out a bit more about the company on our new Nice Pie Page!

RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreBy
1
Nice PieCrocodile, Leek and Potato (Pierate Highly Recommended)
6.39
SJL
2
Nice PieRing of Fire [Spicy Beef] (Pierate Highly Recommended)
6.21
SJL
3
Nice PieWild Boar Pork (Pierate Highly Recommended)
6.20
TJP
4
Nice PieSlow Cooked Lamb and Mint (Pierate Highly Recommended)
6.18
RAS
5
Nice PieRed Stag (Pierate Highly Recommended)
6.16
RAS

Nice Pie Shop in Melton Mowbray
Nice Pie Shop in Melton Mowbray
We're also delighted to hear that the pies have been selling so well that they have just opened up a new shop in the centre of Melton Mowbray itself (in addition to their current shop, which is part of the farm outside Old Dalby, north of Melton Mowbray). It's found at 55 Kings Street, Melton Mowbray. We look forward to visiting it when we're next in town!

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 "Nice Pie open a new Melton Mowbray Shop"

Friday, 19 May 2017

Nice to see you, to see you, Nice Pies!

Nice Pie Lamb, Beef and Chicken Pie Reviews


As we said last year when we last sampled some of the "Nice Pie" range, one of the challenges for a Pierateer in British Pie Week is how to fit in all the pies you want to eat and rate - and then having time to write up all the reviews after! That's my poor excuse for why it has taken a while to write up our reviews of the three brilliant Nice Pie flavours we enjoyed in Leeds on Day Six of British Pie Week 2017, but here they are!

Nice Pie Beef Pie Review
Nice Pie Beef Pie
Long term fans of Pierate will know Nice Pie have produced countless Pierate Highly Recommended and Pierate Recommended pies - including, but not limited to, their kangaroo, zebra, wild squirrel and crocodile exotic pies - in fact, see the table of past Nice Pies here! The pies we had this time were some more from the traditional menu - the Slow Cooked Lamb and Mint pie, Chicken, Gammon and Mushroom pie and Beef in Red Wine and Roasted Marrow Bone pie.

All three were new to us, but had all had a strong showing at the recent British Pie Awards. The Beef in Red Wine and Roasted Marrow Bone pie won the "Beef and any flavour" Class and the Chicken, Gammon and Mushroom pie won the "Chicken and other meat" class, while the lamb pie had got a gold award (90%+). These are award winning pies!!!

As we've mentioned in a number of Nice Pie reviews before, it was the filling that really stood out in these pies, absolutely bursting with meaty chunks that were so tender and flavoursome. It really amazes me how they can pack so much meat into these pies, as the capacity is always so full to the brim! The only slight downside is that with so much meat in there it can mean the pastry struggles to hold all the filling in, especially if you try to eat it by hand as I did. This is however a very small criticism as the main thing is to have a packed, flavoursome pie filling and this pie certainly provides that, especially complimenting the crisp butter shortcrust pastry that Nice Pie are renowned for!

Nice Pie Lamb Pie Review
Nice Pie Lamb Pie
Out of the three pies, I personally preferred the Lamb and Mint Pie and thought that stood out amongst other lamb pies I've had. Unlike many lamb and mint pies which are absolutely smothered in mint and lacking in meat, this was a perfectly balanced flavour and full of tender meat. The lamb easily shredded when the knife cut through it due to it being slow cooked, so while the pieces of meat were quite large it did not feel too big. I could have happily kept eating this pie all night!


Nice Pie Beef Pie Review
Nice Pie Beef Pie Review
The Beef pie was also very nice, with thick rich gravy complementing the tender chunks of meat and bit of veg. I personally think the gravy wasn't quite my cup of tea compared to some of the red wine or ale gravy's I have had in other Nice Pie's or other pies lately - perhaps a result of the bone marrow - but at the same time I still enjoyed the pie and it does add a slightly different taste to the content. It balanced well with the crisp, golden pastry and I'd still happily eat another (there are just so many good Steak/Beef Nice Pies to choose from!!!)


Nice Pie Chicken Pie Review
Nice Pie Chicken Pie Review
The chicken pie was again packed with meat and although the pastry was a little flaky it still managed to hold in all the content well! The sauce was very nice and complimented the meat flavour well, and once again we struggled to fault much as it was a very good filling! A traditional flavour done well!


Once again Nice Pie have done us proud, producing two more Pierate Recommended pies AND a Pierate Highly Recommended pie! It's an absolute credit to Katharine and all who work at this small pie company that they are able to churn out top rated pie after top rated pie, and it's been great to hear about the success of their on-site Pie Shop and Cafe too! We hope to visit it one day soon!


Nice Pie Slow Cooked Lamb and Mint Pie
Score: 6.18/7
[Colour 5.75/7; Consistency 6.25/7; Cheapness 5.75/7; Chewiness 6/7; Condition 6/7; Content 6.75/7; Capacity 6.75/7]

Nice Pie Beef in Red Wine and Roasted Marrow Bone Pie
Score: 5.75/7
[Colour 5.75/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 5.5/7; Chewiness 5/7; Condition 6/7; Content 6/7; Capacity 6.25/7]

Nice Pie Chicken, Gammon and Mushroom Pie
Score: 5.75/7
[Colour 5.75/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 5.5/7; Chewiness 5/7; Condition 6/7; Content 6/7; Capacity 6.25/7]

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 "Nice to see you, to see you, Nice Pies!"

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Pierate is the home of the Vegetarian Pie Review!

Pierate comes highly rated by Google for Vegetarian Pie Reviews!


You may not realise but this week (15th-21st May) is National Vegetarian Week, so to celebrate we’ve collated our top savoury vegetarian pies so that you know where to go if you don’t want to eat meat! Below are our top 5 vegetarian pies as of today and links to the reviews, or you can view all our vegetarian pies here!


Piglet's Pantry Spinach Mushroom and Ricotta Pie
Our #1 - Piglet's Pantry Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Pie
We've rated a number of top vegetarian pies over the past couple of years and are glad to see vegetarian pies being taken more seriously recently, with a great standard of vegetarian pies at the British Pie Awards in March this year. As you can read about in our review of the Awards, our current number 3 veggie pie from MyPie London won the Vegetarian pie class, which was sponsored by the Vegetarian Society.

my pie van
Chris (in the MyPie van) creates our current #3,
while Piebury Corner owners Paul and Nicky (outside the van) create our current #4!

Here's our current top 5 savoury pies - though you can see plenty more vegetarian fruit pies by looking out for the "V" in our main pie rankings list of almost 600 pies!!!

RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreByInfo
1
Piglet's PantrySpinach, Mushroom and Ricotta
6.04
RAS
V
2
Sainsbury's Taste the DifferenceRoasted Butternut Squash and Feta Cheese with Filo Pastry
6.03
TJP
V
3
MyPie LondonSweet Potato and Goats Cheese
5.93
ARL
V
4
Piebury Corner [N7 8DL]Goats Cheese, Spinach, Sweet Potato and Mushroom [Reg Lewis]
5.90
RAS
V
4
PieministerPea, Paneer, Spinach, Potato, Chilli and Mango
5.90
ARL
V


You'll also find that when you google "Vegetarian Pie Review" we're not just the first and second but also the third results! Clearly Google think we really are the home of the Vegetarian Pie Review!

Vegetarian Pie Review
The results when you Google "Vegetarian Pie Review"
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 "Pierate is the home of the Vegetarian Pie Review!"

Friday, 12 May 2017

GBBO Star & Top Pies To Headline Pie Party - Friday Pieday - 12th May 2017



It's Friday! It's Pieday!

It's fair to say that we don't post Pieday Friday articles as often as we once did, but every now and again there is some pie news that is far too exciting to keep to ourselves! And with today marking our seven and a half year anniversary, meaning it is just six months until our eighth birthday (named International Pierate Day) we have some very exciting news to share:

Big Pie Party planned with a "star baker" and top rated pies!

The motley crew from our Pie Contest 2013
Sometimes you've got to plan early if you want the biggest names and the tastiest pies at your birthday pierty! Yes, it may sound uber keen planning six months in advance for our 11th November pie party, but when you've got a star baker coming you want to shout about it!

For the last few years we've been in contact over Twitter with GBBO Series 6 star Sandy Docherty about coming to one of our pie nights, and at last we've got a date in the diary! Sandy, for those who don't follow the show (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 under six months 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' Free Range Chicken, Smoked Ham and Tarragon Pie rating at 6.39/7, his Venison, Chilli and Cheese Pie rating at 6.57/7 and his Steak and Ale Pie our current number 1 at 6.61/7! All three are in our top 10 out of almost 600 pies reviewed!

And what's more, Chris has kindly agreed to donate the pies to us for a charitable donation, so when tickets become available the majority of the ticket cost will be split between two charities Chris will be selecting. Even better! Ticket information will be released on www.pierate.co.uk nearer the event.

As you can imagine, we can't wait til Saturday November 11th for what promises to be our best pie party yet!!!


Piebury Corner are close to opening their new London Store
I couldn't be much more excited about this news unless Piebury Corner announced they were opening a store in my hometown of Birmingham! Having been huge fans of Piebury Corner since our first review there in February 2013, they have been churning out Pierate Recommended pie after Pierate Recommended pie - many of which are Pierate Highly Recommended and two of which make our top 5 pies out of 600!

Check out all our Piebury Corner pie reviews in anticipation!

Piebury Corner Fruit Pie Review
Pies from our recent Piebury Corner Fruit Pie Review


Pieminister soon to open in Birmingham City Centre

It's not just Piebury Corner opening up a new store soon! The wait is finally over and the premier pie chain Pieminister is about to open its first store in Birmingham! We can't wait to be VIPs (Very Important Pie-eaters) on Thursday night, when we get to sample their pies in their newest branch.

And to countdown to then, why not read our last review from Pieminister - their British Pie Week special of "Cricket Pie"! You can also see their Leeds store featured in our Leeds Pie Tour video:



If you have a story you think would be good to feature in a future Pieday Friday, send us an email at pierateship@yahoo.co.uk or contact us on Twitter @pierateers 
continue reading "GBBO Star & Top Pies To Headline Pie Party - Friday Pieday - 12th May 2017"

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Football Pie: Sent to Coventry

Our trip to the Ricoh Arena for the Checkatrade Trophy semi final between Coventry City and Wycombe Wanderers was mired in controversy. Firstly, there was a news article saying that due to the ongoing disputes between Coventry City and the owners of the Ricoh Arena, some areas of the ground were not able to sell pies! The problems Coventry were having has seen the team have to get the lawn mowers out before matches because the grass had not been cut, so I was worried that there might be catering problems.... but just in case you were worried that this might be a burger review I will cut to the chase and say that there were lots of pies available in the away end of the ground! Phew!!!

Coventry Football Pie Review
Pierateer RAS ordering a pie from "Eat Street Pies"

Coventry Football Pie Review
Pie in a box - with trophy in
the background!
Our thoughts next turned to finding out what kind of pies they had on offer. During the London 2012 Olympics Pierateer RAS reviewed a Peter’s Steak pie at the Ricoh, a common pie on offer at matches across the country. Given that it is now 2017, we thought there was a good chance the pies had changed and were eager to find out. Upon questioning, the catering staff said that the thought they made the pies on site, a claim we seriously doubted. Hardly any clubs make their own pies and we thought we would have heard about it if they did. However, the pies were nicely presented in cardboard boxes with labels denoting the flavour, it all looked quite promising. That was, until we opened the boxes.

My Chicken Balti certainly looked like a bog standard mass produced pie. The ‘Peter’s’ logo being embossed into the foil gave the game away, Peter’s were still the pie of choice at the Ricoh even if the staff have no idea! The Chicken Balti did actually look fairly appealing, with a golden colour and some nice flakey pastry on top. Pierateer RAS’s Steak pie did not look so good having arrived in terrible condition. The top layer of pastry had disintegrated more than the dreams of the average Coventry City supporter, leaving a hopeless mess (reminiscent of the current state of Coventry City Football Club). Being a Pie-fessional and very committed, Pierateer RAS manned up and tucked in anyway.

See our PIEremiership table for our football pie league!

Coventry Football Pie Review
Falling apart... not im-pie-ressed!

I was pleased that I was able to get a Chicken Balti pie because it was not a Peter’s flavour that I had tried before. However, as we said recently when we had Peter’s pies at Newport County, they just don’t seem to be as good as they used to be. The pastry in particular was terrible. It was so soft and soggy, my pie fell apart very badly. The very top layer of flaky pastry tasted nice but the rest was a bit like soggy bread. However, there was a silver lining in that I did really enjoy the filling. As we expect from Peter’s, the pie was quite tall which meant there was a good capacity. Sometimes this is mainly full of gravy but the Chicken Balti was well filled with meat. The flavour was good, with a bit of a spicy hit whereas the previous Peter’s curry pie I had tried, was a bit bland. Overall, the filling didn’t quite make up for how bad the pastry was but it meant a fairly respectable score.

Chicken Balti (Coventry City/Peter’s) 
3.95/7



So the pies weren’t great and we were also pretty gutted that Wycombe lost 2-1 so we didn’t have another Wembley pie to look forward to. The Checkatrade Trophy becomes worthwhile once you get to the final, but only to make it to the semi-final, it felt a bit pointless. But given how bad things have been at Coventry under SISU, I felt that the Coventry fans deserved something to cheer about. Their fans really did make some noise and 11,000 was a brilliant attendance for this competition. It only goes to show what a big club Coventry once were.

We are glad to review a pie for a football match at the Ricoh while we still could, due to legal battles over ownership of the ground it looks like Coventry will have to find somewhere else to play and question marks remain about whether they will continue to exist in the long term. For the fans it must be so frustrating not to have any control and for the owners not to listen to them, I really hope they can sort things out. It makes me so grateful that Wycombe came out the other side of their problems as a fan owned club! Whilst we may never make the big time we can look forward to many more seasons of pies as we follow the Chairboys around the country.

SJL

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: Sent to Coventry"

Monday, 1 May 2017

The Pies and Lows of following Wycombe Wanderers!

I think it's one of the worst kept secrets on Pierate that we are fans of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. After all, most of the football pie reviews we've done have been at games involving the club - and we've done 3 different pie reviews at Adam's Park in the past 3 and a half years (they seem to change their pie suppliers as often as their kit suppliers!) It's also no secret that we've not been too impressed at the pie provision at our home town club recently either - seeing the Blues slip down our Pierate Football Pie League as a result of poor scores off the pitch.


Pie at the Oxford v Wycombe match - May 2016
While all football clubs still look up to Morecambe FC's as the pie-nicle of football pie-fection - and we will soon be reviewing our latest Morecambe FC pie eaten at Saturday's game against who else but Wycombe Wanderers! - there is still a wide range of pie quality throughout the four divisions of league football. And that seems to be the case lower down in non-league football too, if the reviews by friend of the blog and non-league football pie blogger Kate are anything to go by, as she tackles the pies at Telford United matches.

Wycombe's Pies Rated!


January 2014 - It was all going so well! Peter's Pies Chicken Curry Premier Pie received a Pierate Recommended score of 5.02/7 in our "Wandering How Good the Pies Are at Wycombe?" article!

December 2014 - Roll on 11 months and with a summer signing of Phat Pasty Co the Phat Pasty Co Steak and Potato Pie scored only 3.36/7 in our "Will the Wycombe pies be a phat lot of good?!" article!

September 2015 - There was another foray into the pie transfer market and by the next September we were wondering "Why Come to Wycombe?" if their Bisto Steak Pies were only scoring 3.13/7!!!

May 2017 - This season they've continued selling Bisto Pies (as Pierateer RAS found out earlier in the season) meaning we await movement in the summer transfer window for an im-pie-rovement!

Pierateer RAS with a couple of the Wycombe players holding pies & Pierate postcards!
(l-r: Joe Jacobson, Pierateer RAS, Sam Wood)

Being the world's leading pie review blog - featuring almost 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances - we can't deny we're disappointed at the quality of pie served at our hometown club. Yet it appears we are not suffering alone, with a current Premier League football pie survey looking to unearth the golden treasure from the pre-heated rubbish of Premier League pie provision. Looking at our football pie league only 7 out of 23 pies have scored 5/7 or above (our indicator of "Pierate Recommended" status), which works out at just 30.4%, compared to a whopping 338 out of 586 pies scoring 5/7 in our overall pie rankings (57.7%)!



Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
It's over two years ago now since 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.

And it really begs the question that if Morecambe FC - who have one of the smallest budgets in League Football - can produce such great quality pies, then why can't Wycombe, or anyone else for that matter?! Even looking at the three pies Wycombe have sold in the past 4 seasons, it seems crazy from a pie eating point of view to change supplier to such a worse scoring pie! Maybe it was a commercial deal too good to refuse or a particularly well cooked pie sample when the pitch was made, that far outstrips the quality of pie served in the terraces on a matchday? And that's not to mention the game earlier in the season that caused a bit of outrage on social media when our beloved Wycombe announced that they didn't have any pies to sell at the match! Serious own goal!!!

In any case, whatever happens in the final games of the season, let's hope that there are more pies than lows come next season - at Wycombe and beyond!

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


Steak... but where is the pastry?!
Wycombe Wanderers Player Awards Dinner 2017

As a little aside - and not particularly pie related (as they decided to serve a delicious steak but not fully encase it in pastry - go figure?!) - I had a great time supporting the Wycombe players at the annual Wycombe Wanderers Player Awards Dinner at Adam's Park on 30th April. I can confirm the food - while sadly not pie - was of a great standard and the awards was a great evening. I was fortunate to be sat with Wycombe left back Joe Jacobson (who is also in the photo near the top of this article, holding a pie) and had a great chat with him about topics such as GPS tracking, Boxing Day matches and - of course - pies!

Pierateer Rob and Joe Jacobson (minus the pies!)
Awards host Rachel (minus the pies!)
I also had a good chat about pies with the awards host Rachel Stringer, who is no stranger to a pie despite her slim appearance, having once downed 4 pies in a TV publicity stunt and also as host of Nick Kicks had the honour of pie-ing some of the Wycombe players (though we all know a cream "pie" isn't really a pie!!!)

Check out the video of the Wycombe Players having got pied from Rachel's twitter feed below:


All in all, it was a great evening and while it's only a slim chance, it's still all to play for in the final game of the season this coming Saturday! Come on you Blues!!!

Adebayo Akinfenwa (Beeeeeast!!!) winning player's player of
the season and celebrating with the lads!

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 "The Pies and Lows of following Wycombe Wanderers!"

Saturday, 29 April 2017

We bet you'll want to feedback on football pies!

It's sadly no sur-pie-se that pies can be a bit up and down when bought at the football. Some are Championship winning material, where as others are destined for relegation as soon as you bite into them.

Pie at the football!

Some have a meaty midfield, where as others seem to have forgotten to forward on some meat to their pastry products. In their defence, getting thousands of football pies ready in a short space of time just before kickoff and at half time is not easy, but some clubs seem to manage it well! So should all football fans be able to expect piefection when it comes to their golden pastry snack?!

That's the question being asked in a new football pie survey by bet makers Coral, who have launched a football fan survey to find the Premier League's top pie!


Check out the Coral Pie Premier League article and fill in their 3 minute survey to give your feedback on Premiership Pies.

You could even take away a hamper of Piglet's Pantry Pies - who produce some of the best pies in football! They're currently number 3 and 4 in our PIEremiership Table!

Piglet's Pantry pies rated at stadium:mk

Regulars to our pie blog won't be surprised to hear Coral have teamed up with the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! 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.

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.

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 on the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team! We are looking forward to visiting again later today as Morecambe host Wycombe Wanderers.

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.

But that's our view - what's yours? Feedback where you think the top Premier League pies are on the Coral football pie survey and let's see who really is top of the pie league!

We've rated almost 600 pies, including a number of football pies
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 feedback on football pies!"

Friday, 21 April 2017

Leeds Pie Tour: Hop to the Pie Hole

This year, as part of our Pie Pledges for British Pie Week, we decided to head up to Leeds Leeds Leeds to do a #LeedsPieTour! One place we visited was Pieminister, a pie chain we know only too well, having reviewed many of their pies in the past. However, this time we went for something a bit different.....



As part of the Leeds Pie Tour we went to a pub in the rejuvenated Granary Wharf in the centre of Leeds. The Hop is one of those trendy types of places built into the archway of the old railway. When doing our research into Leeds pies we were fairly staggered by what we read. Apparently they offered a Pie, Mash, Peas/Beans, Gravy AND a Pint for ONLY A FIVER! Yes, things are cheaper than we are used to down South but surely this kind of offer was impossible. We went in, expecting some kind of catch, we even had to clarify with the guy on the bar, but yes, it was true. He claimed they could offer it cheaper because it is their house beer. But still, surely the pies must be ASDA Smart Price in order for them to make any money at all? We started to understand the business model once we had placed our orders. The pies are already cooked and they operate more of a take-away type of systems. There is a hatch (the eponymous Pi Hole) where you pick up your order once it is ready. The meal comes in a biodegradable box with wooden cutlery. It is a bit of an odd situation to then eat your take away pie in the pub but it seemed to work. The pub primarily focuses on providing real ale, with the food more of a convenient accompaniment rather than their primary focus.

We learnt that the pies are supplied by Andrew Jones Pies of Huddersfield, a company we had not come across before. There were a wealth of options,  we tried to trick Pierateer RAS into getting a Lamb pasty but sadly he decided he wasn't hungry after what had already been a pie filled weekend. Pierateer SJL opted for the Chicken Balti while Pierateer TJP went for the classic Steak & Ale.

At first glance they did actually look pretty appealing. Stout and solid shortcrust pastry had been used. The glaze was something I could have gazed at for days. It was brown and lustrous, indicating tasty pastry. Surely these would be empty promises as I expected this to be a typical half filled mass produced pies? But no, yet, again, these pies surprised us because they were well filled. The Chicken Balti in particular had been packed with meat rather than sauce or air. The Steak & Ale was a bit more heavy on the meat flavoured sauce but still found space for a satisfying amount of meat. My pie meal for a fiver kept me satisfied all the way back to Gloucester.

For both pies, the shortcrust pastry was tasty and crunchy on top although some parts on the bottom were slightly soggy. The meat chunks in the Chicken Balti were quite big and satisfying, they didn't have the watery texture that some mass produced chicken chunks have but yet they avoided being dry. The texture of the steak was tender, perhaps a bit too soft if anything, a bit like steak from a tin.

Onto the flavour and whilst we kept looking for ways in which these pies were going to let us down, yet again they surprised us being enjoyable and full of flavour. The Chicken Balti was quite spicy, perhaps a bit too hot for some but was anything but bland. The spicy marinade was not quite like any other Balti I pie I had tried before. I really enjoyed the flavour, so much so that I bought another to take home. The Steak & Ale was a bit more traditional, it captured the classic Steak & Ale pie flavour well although didn't do anything spectacular. The main downside was that the flavour was dominated by salt a bit too much. Whilst Pierateer TJP tried this pie in the restaurant, I also purchased one to take away so I could verify it was a very good pie. However, in this case, it was the Chicken Balti that really stood out.

Chicken Balti (The Hop/A Jones Pies [Leeds])
Score: 6.25/7


SJL

Steak & Ale (The Hop/A Jones Pies [Leeds])
Score: 6.05/7



SJL & TJP




See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:


Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour


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 "Leeds Pie Tour: Hop to the Pie Hole"

Monday, 17 April 2017

Meet the Pie-ducer: Calum from Holborn Dining London

One of the things we really enjoy on the Pierate Ship is meeting the guys and girls up and down the land who make the pies that we really enjoy eating. As such we’ve created a “Meet the Pie-ducer” series of interviews, where we lift the lid on those who are looking to piefect their trade…


Holborn Dining Room, Holborn, London

Head Chef: Calum Franklin
Based: Holborn, Central London
Sells in: Holborn Dining Room, London, WC1V 7EN
Website: http://www.holborndiningroom.com/ or Calum's personal Twitter feed

Calum Franklin Pork Pie Review
Calum Franklin Pork Pie at Holborn Dining Room


Calum Franklin
Calum Franklin
The pie page on the Holborn Dining Room website begins with the slightly understated first line of "Holborn Dining Room Executive Head Chef Calum Franklin has kept London foodies talking with his artful creations..."

I'd personally say less talking, more drooling! For the craftsmanship on Calum's pastry creations would be enough to make anyone go "wow!" as he creates pastry decor to pie-fection - some of which take over 4 hours to create, such is the intricate detail in the pastry work (see the tweet below). When he kindly allowed me to join him for a chat during British Pie Week, he only had half of his giant, multi-layered Pork and Black Pudding Pie left, such had been the demand for it. And that certainly wasn't the first one of those giant pies he'd made that week! Sure, there may have been a bit of spike in demand during Pie Week, but people were coming from near and far to get just a slither of one of Calum's top notch pies!

On the a la carte menu, Calum is looking forward to releasing his new Mutton Curry Pie, one which he says he is particularly looking forward to seeing the reaction to. These certainly aren't your typical pies - and the customers at Holborn Dining Room would expect nothing less - so the bar is always set high and Calum is certainly delivering.

Having originally trained in Birmingham at the then College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies (now UCB), Calum has been at Holborn Dining Room for three years now and is keen to change the menu slightly from having just one pie on rotation to a wider ranged pie menu. There are plans in place to provide a steak and kidney steamed suet pie, alongside a chicken, mushroom and cider shortcrust pie and the Mutton Curry Pie in puff pastry - alongside the classic pork pies they already sell. Different flavours, different pastries. Calum and his team of chefs are being trained up well to rise to the challenge of professional pie making.

Calum Franklin Pork Pie Review
Calum Franklin Pork and Black Pudding Pie at Holborn Dining Room
It was the training element that Calum mentioned which really got my attention as we chatted. Having admitted when he first started in pastry that he had quite a lot to learn, he is now not happy just to master the art himself, but he is training up the pastry chefs of tomorrow in his kitchen. Trainee chefs from around the UK (and even the world) have been requesting time to learn skills in pastry work with Calum, and they could certainly go far worse than learning from the pastry master himself! And with plans to create a dedicated pie room with a serving hatch onto the street, they really are taking their pies seriously!


We very much enjoyed our taster in pie week and look forward to visiting Holborn Dining Room to rate the selection of pies on the pie menu once it launches! Until then, we'll just have to stick to drooling over the pie photos Calum regularly posts on his Twitter feed! Many thanks to Calum for meeting us and donating a few slices of pie to us to try!

RAS

Here are the pie makers in our "Meet the Pie-ducer" series:
Calum from Holborn Dining Room  |  Dee from Dee's Pies  |  Stephen from Kandy Bar Bakery

You can view all our Pie-ducer interviews by clicking here!

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 "Meet the Pie-ducer: Calum from Holborn Dining London"

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Leeds Pie Tour: Insect Pie!

This year, as part of our Pie Pledges for British Pie Week, we decided to head up to Leeds Leeds Leeds to do a #LeedsPieTour! One place we visited was Pieminister, a pie chain we know only too well, having reviewed many of their pies in the past. However, this time we went for something a bit different.....



As you can see from our Leeds Pie Tour video, we enjoyed some take away pie options from Pieminister. We have reviewed over a dozen of their pies before but nothing quite like the British Pie Week special known as 'The Hopper'. Believe it or not, in an attempt to produce something a bit different, Pieminister have gone for a pie containing cricket insects. We have eaten many usual pies, from Python to Squirrel, but this must surely go down as one of the weirdest!


Was this just a disgusting gimmick from Pieminister or was I bowled over by the cricket pie? As you can tell from the video, it took a bit of getting used to. I had expected the crickets to be in small pieces and difficult to discern when mixed in with the rest of the filling. But, in order to not disappoint those who were looking forward to crunching on invertebrates, the pie had plenty of whole crickets in all their exoskeleton glory. That said, the pie was not overly heavy on the crickets, this was, after all a Mexican chipotle chili, black bean AND cricket pie with plenty of other ingredients. I had expected a bit of crunch from the crickets, however, they were surprisingly soft. There lay the problem, the crickets didn't really seem to add much to this pie apart from perhaps a bit of protein. They didn't seem to add any flavour or texture and I suspect they could have been replaced by more black beans without making much difference. Therefore, it does seem like this pie was a bit of a publicity gimmick. However, this didn't stop it actually being a very flavoursome pie, the smokey chipotle chili flavour went really well with the signature Pieminister crispy pastry. The only downside was that the pie was a bit soft, there wasn't much to get your teeth into. However, it was enjoyable and actually, now I am used to the creepiness of the filling, it is something I would be happy to eat again! So the shock summary from this review is that the insect pie from Pieminister actually receives a Pierate Recommended award for scoring over 5 out of 7!

The Hopper - Cricket Insect (Pieminister)
Score: 5.04/7
[Colour 6.25, Capacity 5.75, Consistency 4.50, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 2.75, Cheapness 4.50, Content 5.75]


SJL


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:


Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour


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 "Leeds Pie Tour: Insect Pie!"

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Leeds Pie Tour: Voakes Pork Pie at Haley and Clifford

This year, as part of our Pie Pledges for British Pie Week, we decided to head up to Leeds Leeds Leeds to do a #LeedsPieTour! One place we visited was Haley and Clifford, a lovey quaint deli in the north of Leeds, which features in the video of our adventures made by Pierateer Tim below. There we rated a Voakes Pork Pie, famed for being a top pie option in the area!



On Day One of the Leeds Pie Tour we headed to Haley and Clifford in the north of Leeds. We'd heard they stocked Voakes Pork Pies (a reasonably local pork pie producer) and thought we'd pay them a visit! It was a lovely delicatessen, selling food from a range of local stockists and with a decent selection of salads and (more importantly) pies! Both Sam and Rob went for a Voakes Pork Pie, which Rob rates below:


The deli was a lovely place to visit on our Pie Tour of Leeds - serving a few different pie options to be eaten cold. The Voakes pork pie however was what we were there for and was a pretty reasonable price for a reasonably high end establishment. It was possibly the first place we'd ever rated which offered an accompanying side salad with your pork pie - a combo Pierateer Sam relied upon during his "Pies For Every Meal" British Pie Week 2014 stunt, which rather amazingly led to Sam losing weight over the week he ate 21 pie meals!

Voakes Pork Pie at Haley and Clifford Review
Voakes Pork Pie at Haley and Clifford

The Voakes Pork Pie was very crispy to bite into and while - as said in the video - the first bite was pretty much all pastry, it was a very crisp and delicious pastry I'd happily eat on its own. What the deli owner told us in a chat later was that between receiving the pork pies from Voakes and cooking them, they don't actually add in the jelly which many pork pies contain. They found their customers prefer their pork pies without, which we on the Pierate Ship can understand. We too can find the jelly muddles the flavour a bit, so unless done well, it can be better not to include jelly just for the sake of it! It would however be interesting to rate a Voakes with jelly too sometime!

The colour was lovely and golden, with a reasonably even bake, though the pastry did flake and crumble into random pieces upon biting into it, therefore losing some marks for condition. This is perhaps why they offer the pork pie already cut into quarters when serving it with a side salad (see tweeted photo above!) There was a noticeable gap around the meat where the jelly would normally be, thus reducing the capacity slightly. However the meat content of the pie was pretty succulent in spite of the lack of cooking with jelly - nice and meaty. Seasoned but not too strongly, it was a pork pie I'd happily eat again.

Voakes Pork Pie at Haley and Clifford (Leeds)
Score: 5.64/7
[Colour 6.25, Capacity 5.75, Consistency 6, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 4.5, Content 5.75]


RAS


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:


Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour


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 "Leeds Pie Tour: Voakes Pork Pie at Haley and Clifford"

Friday, 7 April 2017

Leeds Pie Tour Video

This year, as part of our Pie Pledges for British Pie Week, we decided to head up to Leeds Leeds Leeds to do a #LeedsPieTour! Check out the video of our adventures made by Pierateer Tim and check back for the reviews of the pies you see in the video over the next few weeks!


In order of ap-pie-rance:

[Piebury Corner Fruit pies (from London, not Leeds) - reviewed as Pierate Recommended]
Pieminister MooDog Pie
Pieminister Cricket Pie (Limited Edition for British Pie Week)
Wilson's Pork Pie
Wilson's Meat and Potato Pie
Wilson's Pork and Apple Pie
Voakes Pork Pie in Haley and Clifford
Great North Pie Co. Classic Lancashire Cheese and Onion Pie in Haley and Clifford
Jones Steak and Ale Pie in The Hop
Jones Chicken Curry Pie in The Hop

Day One (Saturday)

Staying in Armley, we decided to walk to the local Wilson's Butchers store and they kindly allowed us to do a bit of filming. Sam tried one of their pork pies while filming outside, while Sam had a meat and potato and Tim had an apple and pork pie back at the house.

Following that, we headed to Haley and Clifford in the north of Leeds. We'd heard they stocked Voakes Pork Pies (a reasonably local pork pie producer) and thought we'd pay them a visit! It was a lovely delicatessen, selling food from a range of local stockists and with a decent selection of salads and (more importantly) pies! Both Sam and Rob went for a Voakes Pork Pie, while Tim had a Great North Pie Co "Classic Lancashire Cheese and Onion" pie (which on their website is listed as containing Dewlay’s tasty Lancashire cheese, caramelised white onion, white pepper, nutmeg & Japanese Panko breadcrumbs). You may well recognise the name Great North Pie Co and that's probably because it was the last pie company to win the British Pie Awards (back in 2015) before this year's 2017 winner was announced.


In the evening we tried the Pieminister British Pie Week special - Cricket pie! Yes, you read that right - actual crickets. You could see their dead bodies in the pie and everything! And we also had a more normal Pieminister MooDog Pie too!

Day Two (Sunday)

With so many pies consumed on day one of our #LeedsPieTour, it was always going to be a hard act to follow! But we kicked off the morning with three more fruit pies from Piebury Corner, which we had picked up in London on Friday. Having had the Apple and Blackcurrant on Saturday morning, Sunday morning consisted of Cherry Pie, Blueberry Pie and the old classic, Apple Pie! All three slipped down well, with all three Pierateers commenting on their enjoyment of the lovely crisp top pastry and decent fruit chunks inside. The condition was pretty good – a slight uneven bake but nice and golden. The pies at Piebury are quite shallow – a quite unique shape and size – but boy do they fill the hole! A fruit pie like those definitely ticked the boxes and we’ll give them all a full pie rating soon!

Sadly Leeds only have a Corn Exchange, not Pie Exchange
We then headed into Leeds centre for a brief wander round, checking out a few of the sights and spotting the Pieminister store just a stone’s throw from The Corn Exchange shopping centre. We briefly popped in to speak to the staff there – having already actually eaten a couple of Pieminister pies the previous day – and find out how British Pie Week had been for them. They had had a lot of traffic from pie fans the last week following their £5 pie and mash meal deal, which was great to hear as we generally rate the Pieminister brand highly.

Then we “hopped” over to The Hop pub under the arches of Leeds Railway Station, part of the Granary Wharf shopping area. We’d heard good things about the pies there – and in particular their “pie, mash, peas and drink for a fiver” pie meal deal! It sounded too good to be true, but as advertised online they were indeed doing this pie meal deal for just five of your English Pounds!


We couldn’t resist and tried a few of their pie range there (making sure to avoid the pasties also on sale!) as well as taking a few home with us to try later! The pies we tried in the pub – a Steak and Ale pie and Chicken Curry pie – were both highly commended and we’ll see how well they rate on the 7 Cs of pie rating soon!

RAS

See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:


Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour


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 "Leeds Pie Tour Video"