Friday 24 February 2012

The Nations Favourite Savoury Pie

The popular evening BBC television show The One Show is on the hunt for the Nations Favourite Savoury Pie:  The One Show: Home Page. However, the competition to submit your favourite savoury pie recipes has now closed!

This pierater thinks that this completion might be a bit bias, as the Pie Experts at pierate never got a chance to submit their wonderful creations: Feta PieBudget Pie and Lentil Pie to name just a few.

However, we do wait with baited breath to the outcome of this competition.... I wonder if they will let us be 'guest judges', for who else but the pieraters can truly compare the finalist pies against a vast amount of other pies, to select the best pie. 
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Saturday 18 February 2012

Who ate all the (Sheffield) pies?!

Chatsworth Farm House Steak Pie Review

On quite a cold Sheffield afternoon, the lads turned up in full voice (well, I should clarify, the away fans were in full voice...) for a big League One clash followed by the main event - a pie tasting experience as recommended by one of our blog followers!

Having travelled up from various parts of the West Midlands and London, the gallant Wycombe Wanderers fans were in Sheffield, united by their love of pies and support of the League One Chairboys (which, I may add, are the only team to have reached at least the semi finals of every major professional and amateur cup competition). And while the result didn't quite go Wycombe's way (cue small graphic),
the main thing was the after match pie, and whether it would live up to its high billing. Remember, this pie was recommended as a 6/7 level pie. So let's dig in...

As a reminder, these pies were picked up from Chatsworth Farm Shop on the day of eating, just to ensure their freshness and provide the fullest flavour possible. Cooked until golden brown, the two Pierateers present, along with fellow football fans and our lovely Sheffield host family were all raring to go and delve into the meaty-licous content of the All Steak and Steak and Ale pies on offer. And as you can see, they were 4 large, steak filled beauties! Straight from the farm house and served up with a bit of mash and veg. The shortcrust pastry was golden and tasted nice, and the meat was absolutely top notch quality, however the pierateers did end up feel slightly let down by the lack of gravy oozing from the pie. For, as we all know, the North of England is well known for its infamous floods of gravy - and yet that was one of the major drawbacks of this Chatsworth pie! For while the content wasn't dry, and the steak was not chewy in the slightest, there was a severe lack of gravy in the pie. Mixed in combo with the drier shortbread pastry, this left a slight sense of disappointment.

However all things considered, this did not detract too heavily as the quality and quantity of the meat was spot on! The filling to pastry ratio was ideal and it certainly hit the back of the net. And you couldn't find a nicer host family in Sheffield to recommend and provide the pies for us, so a big thank you to the "A Senior" posse. And to our non-Pierateer Blues fans (Mark and Steve) who made the whole trip even more random and more enjoyable!

Remember, if you want to Suggest A Pie, and thus potentially have the Pierateers turn up on your doorstep demanding a piece of your pie, leave a comment on the Suggest A Pie page!

Chatsworth Farm House Steak Pie
Score: 5.8/7

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 "Who ate all the (Sheffield) pies?!"

Saturday 11 February 2012

The New Pieland? New Zealand Pie Review

New Zealand Pie Review - Gold Star Bakery

Here at Pierate we heard a claim that a small pie shop in a small town in a small country was delivering some top quality pies that could beat anything we've ever tried before. It's a claim we hear often, and obviously we're always willing to do what it takes to put the claims to the test. Even if it means travelling to a small pie shop in a small town in the small country of New Zealand...

 The Gold Star Bakery in Rotorua, on the North Island of New Zealand, boasts victory at the Supreme Pie Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2009. As we all well know, the Supreme Pie Awards are a pretty big deal, with many international Pierateers keeping a keen eye on the results each year. It was certainly a great privilege to have been given this opportunity by to sample one of their pies firsthand.
 The Gold Star Bakery is very proud of its awards. Incidentally, Rotorua is a town built in a geothermally active area. Let's hope the pie doesn't smell of sulphur like the rest of the town does.
I buy a Chicken and Vegetable pie, which was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2009 NZ Supreme Pie Awards. The packaging informs me of the Gold Star's additional awards of NZ Pie Award Winner 2005, 2006 and 2007. I am very excited!
The pie contains genuine bits of chicken contained in a crispy crunchy delicious golden pastry package, along with some of the smoothest gravy known to the man. The consistency of the gravy is an absolute delight. Too many times I've had a pie that's fallen apart in my hands, but the texture of this pie holds it together perfectly. No fork needed! As you can see the pie is filled to the brim with delicious content. I'm not surprised it's an award winner! The cost was about NZ$4.00, which is about £2.00, not bad for a winning pie. While I would say that the pie is worth travelling to New Zealand for, it's not the best pie I've ever had. It's drawback? When you've had the likes of a Venison and Prune pie, the ingredients in this offering are just not really that inventive.

Score: 6.41/7
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Friday 10 February 2012

Eyes on the Pies in Footie trip to Sheffield

So, less than 16 hours remain until the big match up that they've all been waiting for - and I'm not just talking about the football between Sheffield United and Wycombe!

For this weekend marks the first opportunity for the Pierateers to trial a pie that has been recommended to them by a reader of the blog, even if it is not from the recommended "Suggest A Pie" option on! (For those not aware, there is the option to Suggest A Pie to the lads, which they will hopefully (in the fullness of time) be able to go and rate themselves.)

Some of you will remember the article I am referring to, where there were two comments regarding the article on "good things coming to those who wait". In these comments, the kind commenter suggested coming up to Sheffield to taste the delights of a Chatsworth Farmshop pie. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this weekend sees the opportunity for that dream to come true! And with it, a goosy gander at the big League One clash between Sheffield United and Wycombe. So, keep your eyes peeled in the next few days for a review of the pie, and if the result is not too demoralising on Wycombe, maybe a reference to the footie result too!

p.s. Did you know...

Who ate all the pies? – the chant was first sung in 1984 by Sheffield United fans- aimed at goalkeeper William 'Fatty' Foulke – who weighed over 300lb.
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Tuesday 7 February 2012

Where can you go to get a pie on Baker Street? Elementary.

Canteen - Pork & Apple Pie Review

With the recent Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes film and the ever popular BBC series Sherlock it seemed like the perfect time to have a Sherlock Holmes themed pie review. What is more appropriate than to have a freshly baked London pie on Baker Street? Sadly 221B itself is not a quaint little pie shop but actually an office block. However just down the road is a delightful restaurant called Canteen. Advertising 'Great British Food' I deduced that pies would certainly be on the menu. Having a Frenchman amongst our group it was great to be able to find somewhere specialising in British food for him to try. Walking into the restaurant I detected a distinct lack of atmosphere in the establishment, it was too quiet for my liking but fortunately this doesn't count towards their score.

I soon started interrogating the main witness in the pie baking incident (the waitress). The pies that day included a pork and apple pie which I decided to investigate further. It was nice to have different freshly made pies each day. My first clue as to the quality of the pie was in the lovely golden brown colour it had assumed. It looked very tasty but perhaps like the great Sherlock himself this pie was a master of disguise? Not a bit of it. The pie burst open with delicious flavours, the pork was tender and the pastry quite melt in the mouth. I also got a healthy portion of mash and veg. My main concern however was for my bank balance. The proper restaurant setting came with restaurant prices so this pie set me back £11.50. However this is London and the pie really was a premium product so it still weighs in with a high score.

Pork & Apple (Canteen)


And that's it, case closed, a great pie. Everyone goes home happy and hopefully no one noticed the very tenuous link to Sherlock Holmes.
continue reading "Where can you go to get a pie on Baker Street? Elementary."

Saturday 4 February 2012

Honorary Pierateer celebrates the 10,000 page views landmark

While we at keep a close eye on the quality of the reviews that get posted on the blog, and have stringent blogging standards that official Pierateers need to keep, at some point you just have to throw out an honorary pierateer title to people who have shown commitment to the blog beyond the norm. The Senei are a case in point. And this includes even awarding titles to those who have not yet been able to supply an example pie review write up for analysis of their food critic skills and ability to have a bit of pun!

So it is with great pleasure that to mark the landmark 10,000 page views on, I can officially announce that the first Honorary Pierateer is tOBy walteR:

 I don’t think anyone can deny the elation on his face at being bestowed such an honour (which incidentally outranks honorary degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities).

As can be seen in the photo below, the focus on the pie box is learnt at an early age, with the youngest Senei (a big lad, at 6 months old now) certainly being unable to be left sitting around with a box full of pies just “lying around”. And Toby certainly has good taste – going straight for the Mr Kipling Apple Pies (which, incidentally if you haven’t spotted it from the box, are one of the highest ranked pies on this blog at 6.42/7). The way he pounces on the pie with both hands is almost cat like, but shows he truly is well into his solids now, and that there is clearly only one solid that he really wants to get his hands on – the pie!

Many thanks for the hours of patience put in to capture these amazing photos of a pie-craving child in his natural habitat.

I guess the question now is...who will be the next Honorary Pierateer when the blog – due to your fantastic support and regular viewing – hits 25,000 page views?!
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Friday 3 February 2012

Rugby Pie

Ultimately, without wanting to be biased to one phone company over any other... why wouldn't you want to text the word "PIE" to 2020?!?

It's good to see that pieminister are getting behind the England rugby team with a pie offer you'd struggle to say no to! Let's hope the conversion of text to pies works for many teams of fans. I'd certainly give it a try before they blow the final whistle - although don't be surprised if you have to scrummage your way through a pack of other hungry pie fans in order to get your mitts on that tray of 6 delicious meaty and pastry packed snacks! I think the only trick they've missed is not making the pies more oval in shape (you know, so it's more apt for all the egg chasers out there...)

Anyways, seems like there's some great op-pie-tunities for some decent chants during the 6 Nations now...

"Who ate all the pies?"
"Pies for England"

And the classic...

"I looked over the table and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home
A great big pie I'd cooked for my tea
Coming for to carry me home..."

Who needs the Calcutta Cup when you can get your hands on six pies with this fabulous offer? I bet the England players will be texting in for a half-time feast!
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