Sunday, 5 July 2015

Scotch Greggs

Greggs  - Scotch Pie Review

Given the recent campaign to save the macaroni pie from being dropped from the Greggs line up I thought it was about time for a Greggs pie review. As Pierateer RAS has suggested, is it even worth saving their pies when they are not know for being the best quality?

For the biggest bakery chain in the country Greggs have a pretty poor line up. In many stores you won't find any pies, just pasties and slices. In Northern England there are meat and potato pies available and in Scotland you can find Scotch Pies. I am not sure if it is just me but I have often found a lack of Scotch Pies in Greggs Scottish stores. Perhaps they just sell out before I get there. When I have seen them I have avoided them because to be honest I expected them to be pretty ropey. They look quite dried out and my previous experience with Greggs frozen pies put me right off. But on a recent sunny afternoon in Glasgow the time seemed right to grab a Greggs to review after finding a few left over after lunch time in the Trongate store. How will they compare against the other Scotch pies we have rated?



Condition - 2.50 out of 7 - I thought this pie looked pretty terrible, the rim and pastry sides looked dried out. It had a wonky appearance as if it had been made by a child.
Colour - 3.00 out of 7 - This pie had browned up too much in places but in others it was pale and pasty looking.
Cheapness - 3.00 out of 7 - At just £1 this is cheap compared to most hot pies however Scotch Pies are normally cheap. Their small size and fatty meat makes them cheaper to make than other pies.
Capacity - 4.25 out of 7 - Whilst the capacity was limited by the small size of the pie I could not deny it was almost completely filled.
Chewiness - 2.50 out of 7 - The burnt pastry sides and rim were every bit as bad as they looked. They were so dry it was almost impossible to actually take a bite. It was like this pie didn't want to be eaten. Somehow the rest of the pie was really soggy. The filling wasn't at all chewy as it was ground up so fine.
Content - 4.25 out of 7 - I wanted to hate this pie as I sometime perceive Gregg's as driving out smaller bakeries and robbing us of choice (and pies). However, there wasn't too much to criticise in the taste of this pie. It was perhaps too generic and a little salty but it was a typical beef Scotch pie flavour which I enjoy. It was clearly low quality meat as can be seen in the close up pictures, some of it looks pretty disgusting and you wonder what it is actually made of.
Consistency - 3.50 out of 7 - The trouble with many Gregg's products is that they aren't consistent. If you get one which has been sitting in the hot counter for a while it can be dried to a crisp. On this occasion the texture really let this pie down and whilst it wasn't bad I don't feel it is one I could recommend.

It is interesting that Time Out Edinburgh recently ranked all Greggs baked products and the Scotch pie was recently ranked second from bottom. This is perhaps not surprising when Gregg's seem to inexplicably neglect our favourite pastry product. Pie fans be rest assured, we will continue to give Greggs abuse about this as much as we can.

Beef Scotch Pie (Greggs) 
3.57/7

SJL

continue reading "Scotch Greggs"

Monday, 29 June 2015

The search for more London pie reviews!

The Pierateers are on the search for more London Pie Reviews!


Pierate is a pie review website where we rate pies of all kinds - sweet, meat, even those without the wheat! We rate all the pies, so that you can just eat the best of the best! Combine that with the many people will visit London and wonder where they can get the best pie from and you get the "Best Pies in London Restaurants" article we've regularly updated with the top London pies we've rated. It's even our most viewed article on Pierate now!

London Pie Reviews
The EDF Energy London Pie

Whether it's been the many great pies at Piebury Corner pie deli on Holloway Road - currently top of our London leaderboard - or our recently reviewed Pierate Highly Recommended Steak and Kidney pie at The Windmill, there are plenty of top rated pies in London! So many in fact that we still have so much London pie left to rate!

Which is why we Pierateers, the web's leading pie reviewers and pie experts to the BBC, are looking for some more London pie to rate! Using the rather unimaginative hashtag #LondonPie (to coincide with us turning the London Eye into the London Pie above...) we're on the hunt for more London pies to rate this coming weekend, which will culminate with Pierateers RAS and TJP meeting for a London pie next Monday evening! The question though is where?!

London pie establishments - lend us your pies!

Yes - we're eyeing up the pies and looking to see who wants us to give their pies a rating! Maybe there's a new pie shop or restaurant not yet on our "Best Pies in London Restaurants" list who want to invite us round for a pie rating? Or there might be a pie establishment already on our list who have just released a new pie flavour and want to show it off to the pie eating world, potentially boosting them up the London pie leaderboard? Either way, we're up for some pie and will be looking out for invites to try some pies this coming weekend - and specifically on Monday night!

So if you're a pie seller in London - particularly a restaurant open on Monday night - we'd love to hear from you and come to rate your pies! Just send us a tweet @pierateers!

London Pie-tinery!

Saturday - Not quite sure if there will be pies there or not, but Pierateer RAS is heading to the #USABeerFest at @thegundocklands for a good old 4th of July par-tay, featuring an All-American BBQ! The big question is will there be American pie for dessert?!?! We'll be meeting friend and Honourary Pierateer Ashleigh there too, who is Managing Director of Auld Digital and a big fan of Pierate!
Update: Sadly the American pies desserted us (get it!) but it was still a good BBQ meal and great company!

Sunday - The most likely day for Pierateer RAS to swing by Pierate Highly Recommended pie shop Piebury Corner - looking to rate their sweet pies and get his hands on their British Pie Awards Gold winning Theo Walcott Pie (Jerk Chicken flavour)
Update: Mission accomplished! - I pillaged some great looking pies from Piebury Corner and had a great chat with business owners Paul and Julie. They're closing the shop for a few weeks over July but I can assure you there will be queues out the door when they re-open in time for the Emirates Cup competition! Visit pieburycorner.com for opening hours info.

Monday - It's the big one! Pierateer RAS and TJP are meeting up - and you know that when two Pierateers meet up there is bound to be pie involved! We're planning to visit The Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, where we visited last November and had some top rated pies and gins! Can't wait to try their new pie offerings, including a pastry-based sea food pie and a game pie!

Tuesday - We've arranged to meet up with pie business owner Dee of Dees Pies fame on Tuesday morning and then shortly after will be meeting pie truck owner (yes, you read that right - PIE TRUCK OWNER) Chris Brumby to find out about his latest pie selling venture - "My Pie". We actually rated one of his pies before the truck had even been bought and he was selling pies to the masses, and that was so good it was Pierate Highly Recommended! Of course it will be rude of us not to try a few more of his pies...


On top of all this somehow Pierateer RAS plans to catch up with a few friends and his Goddaughter this weekend too!!! Of course you'll be able to follow our London pie tour using the #LondonPie hashtag all weekend!


You'll see where the pies we end up rating fit in the Pierate Pie Rankings and find other pies of a similar flavour in our Pies Categorised once we have rated them all!

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!

continue reading "The search for more London pie reviews!"

Friday, 26 June 2015

Wigan Pie Week - Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Steak Pie Review

This Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Steak pie review forms part of our #WiganPieWeek set of reviews. This week we are rating 5 pies from Wigan on our 7 Cs of pie rating. Find out more about our quest in our overarching “Wigan Pie Week” article!


Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Pie Review
Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Pie Review
Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to a new pie shop I was taken to by “Life of Pies” author Martin Tarbuck. In the Standish area of north Wigan I was taken to Gents bakery, which is known in the area as the sort of place you need to get to early if you want a pie before they sell out (normally at about midday). They had steak, meat and potato or butter pies still available when Martin and I arrived, all at very reasonable prices. A decent sized individual pie, the capacity of this pie was very strong. However while the gravy was quite nice and the meat that I found in the pie was nice and tender, the filling of this pie was padded out with a lot of onion, thick gravy and non-steak, which left me quite disappointed.

This was in addition to the large gap in the top crust pastry, which had led to the filling becoming very dry and congealed at the point of the air gap and therefore spoilt some of the filling. The pastry was quite nice though, with a good bite to it and holding the filling in quite well. The edges were significantly crisper and more golden than the central pastry, but this did hold together more so than some of the other pies I ate in my Wigan trip.

Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Pie Review
Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Pie Review

While the actual meat I had in this pie was quite nice and tender, as a steak pie I would expect more. I guess this just indicates that a steak pie at just £1.25 is just too good to be true, and that for a truly top rated steak pie you need to be willing to pay more for it.

Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Steak Pie
Score: 4.14/7
[Colour 4, Capacity 4, Consistency 3, Condition 4, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 3.5, Total: 4.14/7]
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.

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and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Wigan Pie Week - Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) Steak Pie Review"

Why I'm NOT voting to #savethepie!

"Why I'm NOT voting to #savethepie!" - Pierateer RAS gives his views on the latest pie news to grab the Scottish newspaper headlines


The following article is a response piece to the latest pie headlines to sweep Scotland, relating to Gregg's decision to controversially stop selling the Macaroni pie. It has prompted the #savethepie campaign and an online petition.

Pierateer SJL last night gave his views on why he personally supports the petition, while trying to look at the silver lining that this decision may bring. However Pierateer RAS is less convinced, and here are a few of his reasons why he doesn't plan to sign the e-petition.



Pierate Pie Reviews
Yes, it may be yet another attention grabbing headline by Pierate Pie Reviews - and we're not short of a few of those, with our Tiger pie review and Pies Don't Make You Fat! article - but it's true! I WON'T be supporting the latest pie e-petition by signing up to bring back the Greggs Macaroni pie, for a number of reasons, which Pierateer SJL has very helpfully touched upon already in his recent Macaroni pie review. Of course you'll never catch me saying I'm anti-pie, but this e-pietition has not grabbed my attention and here's why:

Firstly, is it really a pie? While SJL may have managed to dig out a fully encased version for this review, nearly all Macaroni pies I've seen are not even fully encased. More of a tart, you might argue.

Secondly, should we be promoting corporate chains over local bakeries? I personally hope that this decision by Greggs will actually mean people buy MORE pies - but pies from their local craft bakeries instead, of which we know there are many great ones in Scotland.

Finally, with no disrespect to Greggs per-se but they have hardly set the pie world alight! Despite the TV show based on their bakeries being called "More than meats the pies", I've yet to see a pie sold in any of their stores and the pie rating of their Mince Beef and Onion pies was beyond shocking. Greggs are clearly more interested in maintaining profits than selling pies, so to be quite frank I'm not sure I want them to keep selling Macaroni pies - or any pies for that matter - if that's their attitude towards the pastry beauties!


So... there you go. I'm CERTAINLY not against pies - don't get me wrong on that - and the e-petition by @Biltawulf on banning casserole dishes topped with pastry being called pies is definitely a pie-tition that gets my full support. (I've even given my sixpence on that topic in my recent "Is it Times for a change in pub pie provision?" article.)

But as for Macaroni pies no longer being sold in Greggs? I think that might actually be a blessing in disguise.

RAS



UPDATE:


In a dramatic turn of events, it turns out that the e-petition founder Paul Tonner (@HeavyVoodoo) doesn't even like Macaroni Pies and thus isn't really that bothered about re-instating the pie in Greggs! But there is a very serious message as to why the petition was founded, and you can find out more about that in this short video from Paul himself:


We echo Paul's request for change.
continue reading "Why I'm NOT voting to #savethepie!"

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Save the Macaroni Pie!

The latest headline to hit the world of pie is that the famous macaroni pie is under threat. Gregg's have controversially decided to stop selling this Scottish delicacy saying it is their least popular selling savoury in Scotland. This has prompted a campaign to #savethepie and a online petition. This has even been promoted by some MSPs who are keen to save the macaroni pie.

Whilst I support the petition, we think that Gregg's dropping their Macaroni pie is not necessarily a bad thing. This is yet another reason to visit local bakeries, which will continue to produce macaroni pies. In any case, Gregg's aren't known for consistently producing top quality products and in our experience other versions are better.

Having a look at our pie rankings you might be surprised to see a lack of macaroni pies in the rankings. This is mainly because most of them, like the Gregg's version, do seem to lack a pastry lid which means they don't meet our definition of a proper pie. Also, despite being a cherished savoury product, it is unlikely that any pie containing pasta is going to challenge at the top of our pie rankings. But in order to lend our support to the campaign we thought we needed to find one to review. Fortunately the Bells Macaroni Pie does have a pastry lid and is on offer in Sainsbury's! Here are our thoughts after picking a couple of these up today...




Condition - 3.6 out of 7 - This pie is nothing special to look at, just looking like a standard Scotch pie but with cheese on top. It has the traditional wonky lid of cheaper pies. The sprinkling of cheese on top is the only nice touch.
Colour - 3.4 out of 7 - The cheese and pastry rim had browned up nicely but the rest of the pie was a bit pale.
Cheapness - 3.0 out of 7 - On offer at £1 for 2 (normally £1.25) these pies seem cheap but if you think of how cheap these must be to make (given that they have no meat) they seem quite bad value. Especially given that these version aren't well filled.
Capacity - 1.9 out of 7 - The capacity was pretty poor, at least half of the filling was air which is shocking when the filling is just mac cheese, how expensive is that to make?! Plus there was a pretty small capacity to start with, the lid started to collapse and almost touched the base in places!
Chewiness - 3.2 out of 7 - This pie benefited from having a pastry lid, it kept the filling moist. There was no burnt pasta to make your gums bleed, unlike other versions. The pastry was a little soft so there wasn't really anything to get your teeth into.
Content - 3.3 out of 7 - This pie didn't disappoint on the cheesiness-o-meter. It had a pretty tangy cheesy taste which I guess is what you want with a mac cheese pie! Have to admit though, it isn't my favourite choice of pie filling.
Consistency - 2.6 out of 7 - Soft and stodgy, this is not normally what we look for in a pie but if you are craving a mac cheese pie then you would be disappointed if it was any different! This version is particularly stodgy but does well in some areas.


Macaroni Cheese (Bells)
2.86/7

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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Wigan Pie Week - Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie

This Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie review forms part of our #WiganPieWeek set of reviews. This week we are rating 5 pies from Wigan on our 7 Cs of pie rating. Find out more about our quest in our overarching “Wigan Pie Week” article!


Pound Bakery Pie Shop
2 pies for £1!
Pies on sale at Pound Bakery?! I had to stop and rub my eyes to check that I was seeing this right. Could pies really be sold for as little as £1 in the City Centre of Wigan? Was this what had earned Wiganers the name “Pie Eaters”?

But wait – I was wrong! They weren’t selling pies at £1 each in Pound Bakery. They were selling 2 meat and potato pies for £1 in Pound Bakery! Yes – I said TWO pies for ONE pound! Seriously. Could this actually work? Could there really be hot pies on sale for just 50p a pie? How does this make any economic sense?!

Ultimately I had my reservations on how they could possibly be selling 2 meat pies for £1 but as a piefessional, I could only give you a true representation of the quality and rating of the pie having eaten one. It was time to take the 50p pie test!

Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie Review
Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie Review

My first thoughts on the condition of the pie was that it looked in quite a good condition for such a cheap pie, but upon breaking open the pie it did start to crumble somewhat. The filling of this pie – like many meat and potato pies I had eaten in the local Wigan area – was primarily consisting of potato, with quite large pieces of potato in it, and a mix of mincemeat and a little gravy. However the pastry was quite dry and while the meat/potato/gravy content was reasonably moist, it didn’t do enough to balance the dryness of the pastry.

I was surprised by the amount of mincemeat in it for such a cheap pie, but it didn’t taste like particularly high quality meat and ultimately I wouldn’t ever choose to eat another one of these pies unless I was completely strapped for cash one day. But what can you expect? I paid 50p per pie, so I can’t say I was expecting Michelin star food. I would be foolish to say that in these days of austerity I’d turn my nose up at a cheap pie if that was all I could afford. However, given the choice and knowing that pies aren’t exactly the most expensive food item out there anyway, there are many better pies to enjoy for a few pounds more.

Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie
Score: 3.71/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 3.5, Consistency 2.5, Condition 3, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5, Content 4, Total: 3.71/7]
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 "Wigan Pie Week - Pound Bakery Meat and Potato Pie"

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wigan Pie Week - Galloways Chunky Steak Pie

Galloways Pie Shop Review
Galloways in central Wigan

This Galloways Chunky Steak Pie review forms part of our #WiganPieWeek set of reviews. This week we are rating 5 pies from Wigan on our 7 Cs of pie rating. Find out more about our quest in our overarching “Wigan Pie Week” article!


The Chunky Steak pie from Galloways was actually a few pence cheaper than their meat and potato pie, at £1.45, but this was quite a bit smaller than the meat and potato version. The pastry was significantly thicker, with no threat of collapsing under the weight of the pie content, and a lot more golden in colour. However in my view this pastry actually wasn’t as appetising – a bit too thick and in a significantly smaller pie the pastry:filling ratio was all wrong on this pie.

Galloways Chunky Steak Pie Review
Galloways Chunky Steak Pie Review

Galloways Chunky Steak Pie Review
Galloways Chunky Steak Pie Review

The content itself was also not that enjoyable, with the meat quite chewy in parts and not the lean meat I would look for in a pie, and the sauce the pie was served in not being overly special either. It wasn’t a typical gravy, seeming to potentially have some flour or potato to thicken out the sauce but removing that lovely gravy taste. Overall, this was not a particularly enjoyable pie and I wouldn’t choose to eat it again.

Galloways Chunky Steak Pie
Score: 2/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 2, Consistency 1, Condition 3, Chewiness 2, Cheapness 2, Content 1, Total: 2/7]
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 "Wigan Pie Week - Galloways Chunky Steak Pie"

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Wigan Pie Week - Galloways Meat and Potato Pie

Galloways Pie Shop Review
Galloways in central Wigan

This Galloways Meat and Potato Pie review forms part of our #WiganPieWeek set of reviews. This week we are rating 5 pies from Wigan on our 7 Cs of pie rating. Find out more about our quest in our overarching “Wigan Pie Week” article!


For a reasonable sized pie, warmed up and sold on the High Street of Wigan, I thought £1.48 was quite reasonable for this meat and potato pie. However the side and base pastry did look rather anaemic, and the colour of the top of the pie was significantly paler than I would hope for in a highly rated pie. Picking up the pie out of its foil tray, the pie was immediately starting to struggle to encase the filling. Within a bite or two, the filling was collapsing all over the place and I was requiring the foil tray to stop me losing the pie all over the floor.

Galloways Meat and Potato Pie Review
Galloways Meat and Potato Pie Review

Galloways Meat and Potato Pie Review
Galloways Meat and Potato Pie Review

However what the structure of this pie lacked, the flavour of the filling certainly made up for. The potato was very small pieces within a mainly mash-like consistency, which combined really well with pieces of mincemeat. The content was well seasoned and flavoursome throughout the pie. Eaten on a plate – rather than trying to eat by hand – I think this pie would have worked quite well, though a slightly firmer pastry would have been ideal. A nice pie that I would eat again, it was the highlight of the afternoon trip pie hunting in Wigan town centre.

Galloways Meat and Potato Pie
Score: 4.36/7
[Colour 3.5, Capacity 4, Consistency 3.5, Condition 3.5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5, Content 6, Total: 4.36/7]
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 "Wigan Pie Week - Galloways Meat and Potato Pie"

Monday, 22 June 2015

Wigan Pie Week - Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie

This Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie review forms part of our #WiganPieWeek set of reviews. This week we are rating 5 pies from Wigan on our 7 Cs of pie rating. Find out more about our quest in our overarching “Wigan Pie Week” article!

Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie review

Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie review

Unfortunately the condition of this pie was not up to scratch. The lid had a clear blemish in it, where you could see that the top layer of crust had risen and over-crisped, compared to the under layer of pastry which was quite soft. That aside, the edge crimping of this pie was also overly crisp, while the side and base pastry was rather anaemic in colour. At least it held together a bit better than some other meat and potato pies I’d eaten, both prior and during eating.

Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie review

Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie review

Inside, the pie content consisted of small pieces of mincemeat interspersed between rather large chunks of potato. I didn’t really enjoy the consistency and the flavours in this meat and potato pie compared to the other meat and potato pies on offer in Wigan. A comparable price at £1.55 for a decent sized pie, but I wouldn’t choose to eat this pie again.

Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie
Score: 3.43/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 3.5, Consistency 2.5, Condition 2.5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 3.5, Content 4, Total: 3.43/7]
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 "Wigan Pie Week - Greenhalgh’s Meat and Potato Pie"

Pierate's Wigan Pie Week

This week we are dedicating Pierate Pie Reviews to Wigan, and their pies!!!


Wigan – dated back to at least the 7th century and now home to almost 100,000 people in the town itself – has one noticeable characteristic. Not it’s once thriving porcelain manufacture or clock making, nor its milling and coal mining. These things may have built Wigan into the town it is today, but it is PIES that have sustained it! Said to have been linked to the 1926 General Strike, when Wigan coal miners were starved back to work before their local counterparts, and thus eating “humble pie”, the people of Wigan are affectionately known as the “pie-eaters”.

Museum of Wigan Life Pie Review
Information about pies in the Museum of Wigan Life

In fact, while the British Pie Awards are held in Melton Mowbray (home of the pork pie), it is Wigan that plays host to the annual World Pie Eating Championships! They really do love their pies in Wigan, so you may not be surprised to hear that a “Wigan Kebab” is actually several pies on a skewer, rather than the more traditional doner meat.

Wigan Pie Kebab
The Wigan Kebab - aka pies!!!
So central to the pie world is Wigan that the Pierateers have longed to sample the pies Wigan has to offer! The only downside being that we Pierateers predominantly in the South – and of course Wigan is tup North.

But alas, Pierateer RAS finally made his way up to Wigan on a trip to attend the book launch of “Life of Pies” – written by Martin Tarbuck, a fellow pie lover and pie reviewer. It’s a book we have, of course, now reviewed on the 7 Cs of pie rating and it got a fabulous rating of 5.61/7 (that’s Pierate Recommended!) We even rated some very nice Bowen’s pies at the book launch – though it must be clarified that Bowen’s are actually based in nearby Adlington!

Museum of Wigan Life Pie Review
Museum of Wigan Life
Pie Gifts available (we definitely recommend a visit!)
But what you may have noticed is that we actually visited Wigan in October 2014… and yet it is now June 2015! What went wrong?! Well, as piefessional as we try to be, unfortunately having eaten several pies in the square in Wigan Town Centre on Saturday 25th October 2014 and written the reviews up on the train home, Pierateer RAS unfortunately saved his Wigan reviews on his laptop in such an obscure folder that he has only just found it! But hey, late reviews are better than no reviews and the good thing is all these pies were rated and scored back in October – so while they are slightly out of date and the price may have changed slightly, they are the true opinions I had in October 2014, not something I have made up 9 months later!

Of course in one Saturday afternoon in Wigan there was certainly not enough time to try the full range of pies that Wigan has to offer. The Pierateers are therefore looking to return to Wigan at some point in the future, particularly to rate the pies at the DW Stadium, home of Wigan Athletic, and add them to our PIEremiership table! But enough about the future… let’s get onto our Wigan pie reviews!

Monday’s pie review is from Greenhalgh’s and is a classic “Meat and Potato Pie

Tuesdays pie review is from Galloways and is again the classic Meat and Potato Pie

Wednesdays pie review is also from Galloways, but this time their Chunky Steak Pie

Thursdays pie review only cost an astonishingly low 50p, as we visited Pound Bakery and rated their Meat and Potato Pie

Fridays pie review is from Gents (Pepper Lane Pie Shop) in the Standish area of North Wigan, rating their Steak Pie

Note that we actually tried a number of meat and potato pies while in Wigan – both due to this being the pie of choice in these parts (Martin told us so!) and to aid in comparison between stores.


And whether you agree or disagree with our Wigan pie ratings, we want to hear from you! Are you a “pie-eater” from Wigan? Do you have a pie to suggest for our next trip to Wigan? Let us know below or on twitter and follow the #WiganPieWeek hashtag from @pierateers!

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

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Pierate's Wigan Pie Week"

Friday, 19 June 2015

Reci-pie Review: Morrisons Pork and Cider Pies

The Ship's Cook (aka @the_cookworm) is currently on a pie mission - to find the top rated pie recipes from our nations supermarket suggestions. It started with a tweet we were sent by @jimbolimbo9 suggesting we try two pork pastry recipes from the supermarket Morrisons and from this The Ship's Cook decided to select one reci-pie from each supermarket's website or magazine to make and rate. Today is the turn of Morrisons Pork and Cider pie!


Check out all our Supermarket Pie Recipes rated to date by The Ship's Cook right here:


Morrisons - Pork and Cider  |  Tesco - Beef and Stilton  |  Waitrose - Black Pudding 


Hello fellow pie-lovers!

It's been a while since my last pie recipe review - it's all going on in my family at the moment so I've been away from my kitchen and all over the country celebrating weddings, birthdays and babies (not mine, I hasten to add!)

But this weekend I was back home with time to bake, and what could be better than a pie for Sunday lunch?

Morrisons Pork and Cider Pie Review
Morrisons Pork and Cider Pie Review

The recipe:

This week it was the turn of Morrisons' pork and cider pot pies. You can find the recipe here:

http://www.morrisonsmag.co.uk/september_2014/pork_and_cider_pot_pies

If you're going to try out this recipe, I'd advise you to completely ignore the part where it says it serves four people. It might serve four people if they're really hungry and they really REALLY like pie, but I'm pretty sure you could feed eight people easily. I was trying to make one big pie instead of four small ones, and even though I used an absolutely massive pie dish and stuffed it as full of filling as I could, I still ended up having to make a second one.

Still, having more pie than you expected is hardly something to complain about!

You won't be sur-pie-sed to hear we have rated a whole host of Morrisons pies on the web's leading pie review site, especially as they have their own pie counter! So why not check out all our Morrisons Pie Reviews or see where they rate in our Pie Rankings table?


The 7 Cs of pie rating:


Morrisons Pie Review
I definitely should have remembered the egg-wash...
Colour:
Erm...a bit of a confession here...this should have been a nice golden brown, only once I'd made the pie and was about to put it in the oven I realised I didn't have any eggs for the egg-wash. The pastry still came out nice and crispy, but if you make a proper shopping list and add the egg it'll be even better and much more golden!

Consistency:
The cider in this pie makes for a lovely gravy, especially as it mixes with the flour coating the pork which thickens it and stops it being too runny. No extra gravy needed on this pie!

Capacity:
Morrisons failed at the first hurdle here because their original recipe was for a top crust only pie (there are a lot of those about!) However I fixed that by adding a shortcrust pastry base. There was so much filling for this pie that I was struggling to fit it in (despite making two pies!) so this scores really highly because it's absolutely packed full of meat, vegetables and gravy.

Morrisons Pie Review
Absolutely stuffed full of filling!
Chewiness:
Simmering the pork in the cider made the meat in this pie really tender, and the vegetables were nice and soft but still added a bit of texture.

Cheapness:
Morrisons reckons this costs £1.89 per serving, which isn't bad. Seeing as I got twice as much pie as expected, though, that's less than £1 a (massive) portion! Excellent work, Morrisons.

Content:
Pork and cider is a classic combination, and this was pretty tasty. With the addition of the carrots and celery it was a little bit too sweet, so I'd suggest adding a bit more mustard to cut through the sweetness or choosing a dry cider for the gravy. Despite that, it was still very tasty and it was lovely cold with some chutney the next day - it would probably make quite a good picnic pie if you left it to cool before serving it.

Condition:
This pie fell apart a bit when I served it hot, which made it look a bit messy, but the filling looks quite appealing with the green and orange vegetables and the mustard seeds in the sauce, so I don't think that detracted from the pie-eating experience too much. Served cold, however, this pie sliced beautifully and looked amazing, so I really would recommend trying it both ways.

And with that, I'm off to get started on eating that second pie!

The Ship's Cook

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.

Or why not check out the growing list of all the Ship's Cook Pie Recipe Reviews?

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and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Reci-pie Review: Morrisons Pork and Cider Pies "

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Have a Piecnic for Picnic Week - Just add pie!

Last year we started a brand new campaign, to get more people enjoying pies in their picnics. Of course it's hardly an arduous task... I mean, why wouldn't you pack a pie (or three, or five) in your picnic hamper when you head down to the park? Be it a classic pork pie, a sweet treat for after your main or even a savoury pie you can enjoy cold, pies are a great picnic snack, which is why we're calling on pie fans to:

#MakeAPicnicAPiecnic


Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds! As the strapline goes – “Just add pie!”

Of course you won't be surPIEsed to hear we've rated a fair few pies that would be great to eat at a piecnic, with over 500 pies now reviewed on the web's leading pie review website. But did you know that today is not only National Picnic Week in the UK, but also International Picnic Day?! So go on... what better excuse do you need to get out there and make a picnic a piecnic?!

piecnic picnic pie review
Plenty of pies at our piecnic

The World's first ever Piecnic took place on Sunday 3rd August 2014! Read the review of it and watch the campaign video in our article "The world’s first piecnic – we just added pie!"



The Pierateers enjoying an ASDA apple pie at a Piecnic

So when you’re reaching into the fridge for some picnic goodies, just add a pork pie to your hamper. Or if you’d rather something sweet than containing meat, just grab a box of fruit pies to sweeten the meal. It really is that simple! So simple in fact that we’ve boiled it down to two, easy-to-follow steps:

1) Add pie to your picnic
2) You now have a piecnic

All that leaves me to say is – why wouldn’t you?! Especially with it being National Picnic Week this week, plus Father's Day this coming Sunday! So go on... enjoy the sunshine this summer and make your picnic a piecnic. Just add pie!







How to rate a pie
Why not rate your pie at the Piecnic?!

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 "Have a Piecnic for Picnic Week - Just add pie!"