Monday, 17 July 2017

Will Brockleby’s rock my world?!

Brockleby’s Wild Deer and Longhorn Steak with Stilton and Ale Pie Reviews


Brockleby's Pie Reviews
Brockleby's Pie Reviews
Three years is a long time in politics – and is equally a long time in pie reviewing! The range of pies sold can vary hugely in that time and some pie businesses even come and go in that time frame. But when a pie company you have tried and rated highly turn up selling their pies pretty much in your back yard - at your local community festival - it’s a bit of a no-brainer to give some more of their pies a go (as well as enjoy an old favourite!)

So with a large Wild Beaver pie already in the bag to share with friends – and before I go any further, no beavers were harmed in the making of that pie! See our previous review for why it gets its provocative title! – it seemed foolish to pass up the op-pie-tunity to rate a few more of their pies. At £4.50 each or 3 for £12, I was sold! The two pies I’m therefore reviewing today are the Wild Deer and Longhorn Steak with Stilton and Ale pies in their decent repertoire.

Graham on the Brockleby's Pie Stall at the Selly Oak Festival

Did you know?! Brockleby’s will be one of the pie makers selling their wares at the second annual UK Piefest in Melton Mowbray on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th July 2017. Find out more about it and the talk that Pierateer Rob is going to be giving there in our “Everything you need to know about UK Piefest” article! 
UK Piefest Flyer
UK Piefest flyer

Brockleby's Wild Deer Pie
Of note for both pies were that the pastry was a very nice consistency, particularly the lids of both pies – firm enough to hold in the content but not too thick to detract from the taste. They were also both packed to capacity with large meaty chunks and had a decent amount of gravy without it flowing out all over the place! I’d personally suggest slightly smaller chunks of meat which can be more covered in gravy and be a little tenderer in places, as there were a few large chewier pieces of meat that weren’t quite as succulent. However in all the meat was very nice and well filled, so I couldn’t find much to fault them.

In regards to the wild deer pie, it was certainly my preference out of the two. The meat on the whole was very nice, the gravy very rich and flavoursome and it really complimented the shortcrust pastry. It was therefore a deer pie very well done, and at £4.50 the price wasn’t too dear either! (Even better at £4 when buying 3 pies for £12!)

The steak, stilton and ale was a little more disappointing, simply due to the lack of a significant stilton flavour to the pie. I and a few friends who tried a mouthful too did not sense much of a stilton hit at all, so while by all means the steak was quite nice, as a steak and stilton pie it didn’t reach the same high levels as the wild deer pie and steak and beaver ale pie I’d had before. The steak was however nice in the main and the gravy was nice despite the lack of cheese.

Brockleby's Steak with Stilton and Ale Pie

With strong recommendations towards their Salmon pie and Moroccan Lamb pies, we’ve certainly got other chances to rate a few more of their pies – and hopefully I might pick up a sample or two at UK Piefest at the end of July! I’d certainly recommend you check out their stall if you go, as these pies are Pierate Recommended!

Brockleby’s Wild Deer Pie
Score: 5.86/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6, Condition 5.5, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6.5]


Brockleby’s Longhorn Steak with Stilton and Ale Pie
Score: 5.32/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 5.5, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 5, Content 4.5]


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 "Will Brockleby’s rock my world?!"

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Everything you need to know about UK Piefest

UK Piefest Flyer
Pierate and UK Piefest flyers
What is UK Piefest?

Set up by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association – who also run the British Pie Awards we attended back in March 2017 – in the self-proclaimed “Capital of Pies” Melton Mowbray, this is one big celebration of pie love! You can taste award winning pies from British Pie Awards winners – and more importantly bag some to take home! – as well as attending talks and demonstrations on how to make the perfect pie from experts like 2013 Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn! There will even be a Questions and Answers session with some of the expert pie makers there, as well as cheese, beer, cakes, chocolate, cider and entertainment!

Oh, and we’ll be there too, giving a talk on “How to Rate a Pie!”


When is UK Piefest?

Melton Mowbray UK Piefest
Melton Mowbray will host UK Piefest
UK Piefest is in its second year and is held in the summer, this year on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th July from 10am-4pm (so not long to wait!)

Where is UK Piefest being held?

Well when you think pork pies, you think Melton Mowbray! So it makes absolute sense that the town is the host of UK Piefest! With a number of local producers selling their wares at the event, you need to follow the smell of freshly cooked pies and get down to Melton Mowbray Cattle Market, Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1JY

UK Piefest Flyer
Frances' Rainbow Picnic Pie - Screenshot from BBC
Who will be there?

Well apart from all the wonderful pie sellers – many of whom are past British Pie Awards winners – the star baker and demo pie maker is none other than Great British Bake Off 2013 winner Frances Quinn, who you may recall did a stunning Rainbow Picnic Pie in the final!

However why we’re quite so excited about UK Piefest is that we have been invited as guest speakers this year, to share our wisdom and ex-pie-rience on “How to Rate a Pie!” Yep, if you don’t know your 7 Cs of pie rating or haven’t heard enough pie eating anecdotes to last a lifetime, join us at 11:30am on Saturday 29th July! (Sadly we can’t make it on the Sunday too.) As well as explaining the 7 Cs of pie rating – what to look for in a top pie – there will be some pie anecdotes including how we ended up being on hit BBC One show “Rip Off Britain”.

Pierateer Rob, who appeared on BBC One's "Rip Off Britain" will be speaking at UK Piefest

What else can I do at UK Piefest?

Well, the pies the limit! At the very least for your £4 entry fee (or £3 if you buy online in advance) you’ll get tasting samples of some of the best pies known to man, the op-pie-tunity to buy some to take home and more pie based tips, info and trivia than you can fill in a fully encased pie crust!

When did it all start?

This will be the second UK Piefest, with the first last year being such a success story that they couldn’t resist hosting again! In fact, this year it’s being promoted as “The UK’s Greatest Pie Festival”! You can find out more about the history of pies and the pie festival on their website www.ukpiefest.co.uk

How can I find out more about UK Piefest?

Well the best place to look is their website www.ukpiefest.co.uk or give their twitter a follow on @ukpiefest but of course we will be there on Saturday 29th July and give you the low down on both this blog and our twitter @pierateers – so we hope you’ll feel you can join in the ex-pie-rience even if you can’t make it this year! But even better would be to get down to Melton Mowbray for this great celebration of all things pie! We certainly can’t wait to get our hands on even more top pies while we’re there!!



If you have any questions you want answered by Pierateer Rob at UK Piefest, why not leave a comment or drop us a question @pierateers? We’d love to hear from you and answer your questions if we can! Also do let us know if you’re coming too, as we’d love to meet you there!

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 "Everything you need to know about UK Piefest"

Friday, 30 June 2017

TV's Radford Family keep pie-ducing the goods!

Radford’s Pie Company Steak and Stilton and Chicken Pie Reviews


Having previously tried and highly rated their pies over 18 months ago, a trip up to Morecambe recently seemed like the pie-fect opportunity to rate some more of the pies from Radford’s Pie Company, based just outside Morecambe on the Heysham Road. We were up in the area for the Morecambe v Wycombe football match and contemplating a wander over to the stadium from the train station once we’d picked up some of their pies, but were very kindly offered a lift across by Noel Radford, potentially the busiest dad in the country!

Radford's Pie Reviews
Radford's Pie Reviews
For those who don’t know, the Radford family featured on Channel 4’s 15, 16, 17, 18 and “19 kids and counting” and are – as you might have guessed – the largest family in the UK! Oh, and further congratulations are in order - they recently announced on Facebook they are expecting child number 20! With so many mouths to feed, it’s a good job the family run a pie company out of the local bakery they own!

With over 15 years of pie baking in the bank and plenty of demand for their home delivery service of those pies, it’s great to see a family run business doing well and expanding their delivery options and we wish them continued success in this! However we were glad to get our hands on the pies in person and to have a chat with owner Noel about the life of pie! He’d kindly brought an (already reviewed) hot meat and potato pie with him – which Sam and I shared – and a few cold pies to take home and rate. Here goes:

All the pies were once again made with shortcrust pastry, with a crisp lid and pastry sides that held the content in well. This was particularly evident when seeing how well filled the pies were, as the pies are crammed to capacity with meat! They are £3.05 for a 280g, which is pretty reasonable (though if you get the right deal online, you can get them a bit cheaper if you buy a box load or even get a 3 month pie subscription!) They come in the classic foil case with crimped top edges, familiar to a lot of (particularly Northern) pies.

As you can see from the photos below, they cut well and didn’t collapse like a lot of pies can do. The cross-section really highlights the packed content and the golden lids to the pies. And as mentioned in our previous review, the local ingredients, from butchers and vegetable sellers near to the bakery, also adds to the appeal of these pies.

Did you know?! Our first review of Radford's Pie Company 18 months ago is our second most viewed post and most viewed pie review - with over 5,700 views!!

Here are the individual flavours:

Radford's Pie Reviews
Steak and Stilton (L) and Chicken and Gammon (R)
Steak and Stilton Pie

Large chunky pieces of steak and a nice cheesy flavour meant this pie delivered! The meat was very nice and packed out the pie content, with a very meaty 45% beef steak. The gravy was quite a nice thickness, making it quite moist to contrast with the quite crisp outer pastry and the stilton cheese was flavoursome without being over powering. Overall, my favourite of the Radford’s range that I’ve tried so far! Pierate Recommended.

Score: 5.89/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5.25, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 5.75, Content 6.5]


Free Range Chicken and Gammon Pie

With this pie consisting of 38% chicken breast and 10% ham, this pie certainly wasn’t lacking in meat and eclipses the meat content in the chicken pie we rated last time! It was a very enjoyable pie, with my only suggestion that the pieces of ham and chicken were quite chunky and thus (specifically the ham) not quite as succulent as it could have been if perhaps in slightly more small pieces. However that said you could really taste the ham – unlike in some chicken and ham/gammon pies where just a token bit of ham is included – plus the sauce was good, adding a nice blend to the flavour. As can be seen from the photo above, the capacity is top notch and good content means this pie scores very well. Pierate Recommended!

Score: 5.82/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5.25, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.25, Cheapness 5.75, Content 6.25]


Radford's Chicken and Mushroom Pie Review
Radford's Chicken and Mushroom Pie Review

Free Range Chicken and Mushroom Pie

The chicken and mushroom pie contained 38% chicken breast, which packed out the pie quite well but wasn’t quite as meaty as the chicken and gammon pie I’d eaten the previous day. However it was a nice flavour in a creamy sauce, and the mushroom added a bit more texture to the straight chicken pie I had last time. While not quite as high scoring as the chicken and gammon, still a very good pie.

Score: 5.68/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6, Consistency 5.25, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.25, Cheapness 5.75, Content 6]




All in all, some very good pies from Radford’s and it’s a luxury to find a fully family run business like this that uses ingredients from local producers in the area. It’s great that they do online delivery of such top pies and I’d certainly suggest you order a batch as they are worthy of Pierate Recommended status!

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 "TV's Radford Family keep pie-ducing the goods!"

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.

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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"