Friday, 28 February 2014

Hola! Latest #PiePledge from ARL


It is well known that on the Pierate Ship we like to sail all around the world to see if we can find pies in other countries. British Pie Week is a chance to share the best of British Pies on an international stage. But for Pierateer ARL it is also a chance to bring the international stage to British Pie Week. This year ARL will be visiting the Spanish island of Grand Canaria. Her two pie pledges are hence of a Spanish theme. Firstly she will be attempting to find a pie while she is there. Secondly, she will be bringing home some Spanish rice in order to make Paella Pie! This is something that has never been done before and is at the forefront of pie research.

We all wish ARL the best of luck with her challenging #PiePledge ideas. Have you made one yet?


This British Pie Week all the Pierateers and even the Ship's Cook are making #PiePledge commitments to brighten up the week! Click here to see them all!

continue reading "Hola! Latest #PiePledge from ARL"

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Pieminister Pie in the Heart of Bristol

Pieminister “Shamrock” British Beef Steak and Irish Stout Pie Review


With a visit to Bristol to talk pie on local station BCfm Radio, only a fool would miss out on going to Pieminister in St Nics market in the heart of the city centre. Situated amongst a number of small independent stalls and food outlets, the Pieminister stall has been in the heart of Bristol for just a few years less than the original shop in Stokes Croft. They focus on free range, British meat and try to source from within 50 miles of Bristol.

Pieminister Pie Review
Pieminister Pies in St Nics Market

And with a Shamrock pie on offer, one that I hadn’t seen before and we hadn’t rated, it immediately caught my eye. So with immediate comparisons to the “Moo” pie – the British equivalent – how would the Irish influence sway things?

Pieminister Pie Review
Pieminister Pie Menu

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




The pie looked in good condition and at £3.75 for a cold pie or £4.50 to eat hot, it is reasonably priced for an “eat out” option. Golden in colour, the pie pastry was surprisingly crispy on top and yet really nice. It certainly added a good crunch to the pie experience, which is often lacking when pies have been left out in a hot cupboard for too long before serving. However with the side and base pastry being so crisp as well, this did get a bit much. While being about as far from a soggy bottom as you can get, the dryness of the pastry did get to me a bit. Unfortunately I think this is due to slight overcooking, as the other Pieminister pies we have rated were not as solid as this one.

Pieminister Pie Review
Pieminister "Shamrock" Pie

Fortunately the content of the pie was far better. The pie had a very good viscosity of gravy, not leaking about all over the plate but noticeably there. It provided a good contrast to the crisp pastry, though the pie shell left too much work for the filling to do, and would have rated even better if the pastry encasement wasn’t so crisp all the way round. The pie had good capacity, though there were some air gaps, but a strong amount of beef which was delightfully flavoured with the hint of Irish Stout. It was very meaty and left a good impression, though I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger.

All in all, it was great to have a Pieminister pie in the home of Pieminister. They are a fine example of a local pie chain going global and set a benchmark for many of the smaller pie firms we have rated to as-pie-re to!

Pieminister “Shamrock” British Beef Steak and Irish Stout Pie
Score: 5.18/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 5, Consistency 5, Condition 5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 4.5, Content 6, Total: 5.18/7]
RAS


See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

We're Making a Meal of Eel House Pies

Eel House Pies - Traditional Minced Beef Pie Review

I am quite a fan of the East London traditional pie and mash. It is a shame that the classic combination of minced beef pie, mash and liquor is now becoming more difficult to get hold of.... or is it? Step forward Eel House Pies!

See our article on traditional Pie & Mash Shops to understand more about the history of London Pie and Mash shops and why eels are involved!

Eel house pies are bringing this tradition to ANYWHERE in the UK. For £28.50 you can order a box of four pie meals, complete with mash and liquor. Your order comes in a box like this...

Pie and mash in a box
And in minutes you can have a pie and mash meal on your plate like this....

traditional pie and mash

It is just so convenient, I think I may have just seen the future! It isn't even that expensive for what you get and considering it is delivered straight to you. Certainly worth it to share a special occasion with friends (e.g. British Pie Week).

Okay, but Cheapness is just one of the seven Cs, the important thing is what did it taste like? It seems that Eel House Pies have really gone for traditional values. This tastes to me exactly what I think traditional pie and mash should taste like. Not to say that it is perfect when compared to the whole world of wonderful pies which are out there. However, if you are looking for this kind of pie you won't be disappointed.

traditional pie and mash shop online delivery

The pies looked just part, having gone for the classic shallow, oval shape. They arrived in good Condition and had an appealing, but non-uniform, Colour. The Capacity of the pie is fairly small because it goes for the shallower shape but it made up for it by being full of Content. There was a delicious meatiness to the filling and the minced beef was not ground up too fine like it can be with some cheap pies. This meant there was still some bite to the pie. The pastry was really quite tasty with a delicious softness on the inside. It really slipped down well. To get the ultimate texture I would have liked a bit more crispness on the outside of the pastry. They use suet pastry for the base and puff on the top. I am not sure if this is the traditional method but it sure is an excellent combination, we do love a bit of suet here at Pierate. There was a nice little instruction leaflet which asked you to sprinkle the pie in water before putting it in the oven, this was not something I had heard of before but it certainly seemed to work.

So in summary I can say that these pies were Consistently tasty, I should know, I ate a box of four!

Although it doesn't affect the score the mash and liqour also put a smile on my face. The mash was well seasoned and tasted better than I make from fresh even though it didn't have any butter or milk (because it is an old recipe). The liquor was made with real eel stock, which is very traditional and quite expensive these days. I was very impressed and it compared favourably with a pie and mash shop.

It will come as no surprise that this pie scores highly enough to become a 'Pierate Recommended' pie. I wouldn't hesitate to have one again. They are now also being served at Milwall Football Club meaning this pie can be added to our football pies list. The most exciting news is that Eel House Pies also do a lot of private hire. Weddings, parties, gigs, whatever the occasion they will do pies and everything (including equipment, staff, etc) for £6 a head (approx, don't quote us on the price). To me that just seems like a total bargain. I am almost tempted to get married just to have the world's most amazing pie reception! Many thanks to Eel House Pies and best of luck to them as they try and maintain this tradition.

Traditional Minced Beef
5.73/7

SJL

See other 'Pierate Recommended' pies in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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Feeling s-queezy for British Pie Week! TJP shares his #PiePledge



Dear all,

As British Pie Week looms closer, I can reveal that I will be making two “#PiePledge”s this year – both of which I am rather terrified of. I’ve been keeping them a secret for a while now, to give myself time to establish whether I am willing mount the challenge.

Now that I’ve mulled things over, I can unveil my pie pledges to the world.

But firstly, my oh my, hasn’t British Pie Week come round fast. Yes, it was a whole year ago that we were marvelling at SJL’s #OnlyPiesAllowed one-day challenge and RAS’s unremitting commitment to pie. As I reflect on my own experiences of last year, though, British Pie Week was a bit of a damp squib for me – and I have only myself to blame. I didn’t realise British Pie Week included the weekend, so technically I failed in my pledge to eat a pie for every day of the week!

This British Pie Week will be different. I pledge to make up for last year’s disappointment by making two “#PiePledge”s – and here they are:



1) #PorkiePies

In honour of the fine tradition of the British pork pie, I will welcome in British Pie Week by eating only pork pies for the entirety of Monday 3rd March. No other food shall pass my lips! I will reject all fruit and vegetables, rice, salad, bread, pasta – all of these foods shall be banished to the back of the fridge. Unless it can prove itself to be a pork pie, I’m not going to eat it. For breakfast I’ll eat pork pies. For lunch I’ll eat pork pies. For dinner I’ll be attending the Princess Victoria Pork Pie Off, where I shall eat pork pies. I’d love it if you followed my pork pie journey on Monday, as I’ll be using the hashtag #PorkiePies. I have to say, the idea of this fills me with fear – but I’ll do it for the love of pies! Pork pies for a day, no porkies!

2) Python Pie

I’ve been showing a picture of a peculiar pink meat on Twitter, asking if you can #GuessTheMeat. Well I can reveal that the correct answer was: python! Yes, because on one day during British Pie Week, I will cook and eat a python pie. I haven’t yet decided how to cook my python meat, perhaps with a fish stock and some broccoli/peas. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have to admit I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to cooking python meat. I have tried miscellaneous snake meat once before, on a roadside in Malaysia. But it came in the form of soup, which was stringy and gelatinous – not to mention gag-inducing! But stick python meat in a pie, and I’m sure it will be delicious!…Right?...Oh I’m feeling s-queezy already.

Yes - incredibly the Python Pie (or Piethon) was made in British Pie Week 2014! Check out how not to make it in our Python Pie article!

British Pie Week Python Pie
Python Pie made by our very own Pierateer Tim!



So there you are - my two #PiePledges for British Pie Week! What are yours? See what pledges others are making. And SJL has already revealed his #PiePledge for British Pie Week – to eat a pie for every meal of the week!

Please note that if you have a pork pie that you’d like the Pierateers to try, or you’re interested in supporting the #PorkiePies pork pie challenge (or indeed any of the #PiePledge challenges we’re undertaking), of course feel free to contact us on Twitter @pierateers or email: pierateship@yahoo.co.uk.

Thanks all!
TJP

Image: flickr/Paul and Jill


This British Pie Week all the Pierateers and even the Ship's Cook are making #PiePledge commitments to brighten up the week! Click here to see them all!

continue reading "Feeling s-queezy for British Pie Week! TJP shares his #PiePledge"

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Reci-pie Review: Spiced Apple and Raisin Pie


My mum is a bit of a legend when it comes to cooking, and her answer to any cookery question is always “Ask Delia”. So when I was looking for a proper, top-and-bottom crust, simple but tasty dessert pie, I turned to Delia Smith. This recipe is from Delia’s Complete Cookery Course, and uses lard for the shortcrust pastry. I’ve never made pastry with lard before, but I will definitely be using it from now on. The mix of lard and butter makes really crispy, flaky pastry and I could definitely tell the difference compared to using butter alone.

While we’re on the subject of lard, I should probably make my #PiePledge for British Pie Week! I’m going to put my new-found love of lard to good use and attempt hot water crust pastry for the very first time – you can read about my attempt at the end of British Pie Week.


For now, back to the spiced apple and raisin pie! 


The recipe:

For the pastry:
110g wholemeal flour
100g self-raising flour
50g butter
50g lard
Pinch of salt
Cold water

For the filling:
700g Bramley apples
75g raisins
25g soft brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ nutmeg, grated
2 tablespoons water

Method:
Core and peel the apples, then slice them thinly. Put them in a saucepan with the raisins, spices, sugar and the 2 tablespoons of water and let them cook with the lid on for 10 minutes on a low heat.

Make up your pastry by rubbing together the fat and flour, then adding the water. Roll out just over half for the base of the pie and use it to cover the bottom and sides of a 9 ½ inch pie dish. Spoon in the filling and roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid, and make a small hole in the top to let out the steam. Brush the pie with milk and sprinkle it with caster sugar.

Cook the pie for 30 minutes at 200 degrees C.

The Seven Cs:

Colour:
I was worried that the wholemeal pastry might look a bit dark after baking, but it came out a lovely golden brown with darker patches from the crispy sugar on top. It looked really appetising and it was only the need to make some custard that stopped me from diving straight into this pie with a spoon.

Consistency:
I didn’t add all the liquid after I’d cooked the fruit in the saucepan, just the fruit – which I think was the right decision. The fruit cooked down a bit more in the pie and ended up just soft enough, with a nice apple-y, brown sugar-y sauce surrounding it.

Capacity:
I wasn’t convinced that this would be score highly for capacity, as the recommended size of pie dish looked a bit shallow. I should have known better than to doubt Delia Smith, as this pie somehow ends up really full, with lots of layers of sliced apple.

Chewiness:
Not chewy at all – but then chewy apple would be a bit odd. There was just enough crispness left in the apples to stop them being mushy, and the raisins soaked up all the juice and were nice and plump.

Cheapness:
This pie is impressively cheap, especially considering how delicious it is. As a regular baker, I had everything in my cupboards apart from cooking apples and lard. Both of which are pretty darn cheap. It also makes a massive pie – you could definitely get eight decent portions out of this.

Content:
There can’t be many people who don’t love an apple pie, but it’s not the most innovative flavour. Luckily, Delia has thought about this and added raisins and spices - you still get that classic apple pie feel, but it smells and tastes even better.

Condition:
This pie really is an all-round winner. It holds its shape beautifully, it’s easy to slice and it stays together when you take the slice from pie dish to bowl. If you have any leftovers (unlikely) they’ll still be great – the pastry doesn’t go soggy even after sitting in the dish for a day. 


The Ship's Cook


This British Pie Week all the Pierateers and even the Ship's Cook are making #PiePledge commitments to brighten up the week! Click here to see them all!

continue reading "Reci-pie Review: Spiced Apple and Raisin Pie"

Monday, 24 February 2014

Chicken out the low calorie Pieminister Chickalito

Pieminister (Less than 440 Calories) Chickalito Pie Review


You don’t normally see the words “diet”, “low calories” and “pie” in the same sentence. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if – over 340 pie reviews in – this is the first time we have mentioned the words “low calorie pie” in a pie review. And I think there’s a reason for that, to be quite frank. Sad to say it, I don’t think a low calorie pie really exists.

For while Pieminister have attempted to create a low calorie option to their range, we sadly can’t endorse its pie status as a proper pie. For in an effort to cut the calories, they have dropped their pastry lid. This meant the pastry content was just 28% of the finished pie and the filled pastry dish was topped with natural breadcrumbs instead. The pastry itself was quite crisp and crunchy, though a bit too dry for my liking. However the thin seeded crust did make an interesting change to the typical pastry, even if I prefer the normal pastry.

Pieminister Chickalito Pie Review
Pieminister Chickalito

This pie was eaten on the day we celebrated our first 10,000 tweets on Twitter. Check out the article and our many big thank you messages in our 10,000 Tweets – The Piefessionals article!


The content of the pie was quite a nice blend of chicken, cured ham and a few vegetables in a light sauce. However with just 12.6% chicken and 2.6% dry cured ham in the finished pies, the pies certainly lacked a meaty filling which I like in my pies. With a very dry outer pastry, the filling was at least quite moist, balancing it out reasonably well.

Pieminister Chickalito Pie Review
Pieminister Chickalito Cut Through


Eaten out at John Gordons in Cheltenham this pie alone cost £6, which for such a small non-pie was far beyond what I’d be willing to pay again (though that’s nothing against the lovely bar we ate in), and even at £3.50 on the Pieminister website I’m not convinced.


However, all in all while a novel idea – which certainly may appeal to those wanting a lighter, low calorie dinner option – unfortunately a novel idea is really where it stays for me. It was not really very filling (I could certainly have done with at least two), was not fully encased in pastry and the meat content was disappointingly low. All in all, this product seemed shackled by its attempt to remain low calorie (under 440 calories in total), which in turn diminished its rating. A reasonable dinner item – though not meaty enough for me to ever consider buying again – this is a novel idea but quite simply if I want a pie, I’ll stick to buying a nice, high calorie pie next time!

Pieminister Chickalito (Low Calorie) Pie
Score: 3.86/7
[Colour 5/7; Consistency 3/7; Cheapness 3/7; Chewiness 5/7; Condition 4/7; Content 4/7; Capacity 3/7; Total: 3.86/7]
RAS



See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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Pie for Every Meal - My British Pie Week Challenge!

Dear Pie Community,

At Pierate we are encouraging people to take up a #PiePledge for British Pie Week. It can be anything a bit unusual to do with pie. Like British Pie Week itself a #PiePledge can help raise the profile of our favourite traditional British pastry product.


You can see the results of Pierateer SJL's British Pie Week challenge in the Article 'Pies Don't Make You Fat! I Ate Pie for EVERY Meal'



Last year I went a whole day eating only pies. I wasn't allowed to eat anything with the pies and consumed a total of 11 pies and 3362 kcal!

This year I want to do something a bit more balanced. There is a sentiment that pies are unhealthy which we believe is unfair. At Pierate we eat a lot of pies and we're a pretty skinny bunch despite having reviewed over 340 pies! (If you don't believe us just see our photo on the About Us page!) Part of the problem is that pies are not always combined with a balance diet and active lifestyle. I want to show that you can eat a lot of pies without becoming obese. I am therefore going to have PIE FOR EVERY MEAL during British Pie Week to make a total of at least 21 pies. I am going to do this whilst still getting my 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and a balanced diet. Just think about it, Pork Pie and salad or a Steak & Ale with mashed swede, you can have both nutritious and delicious! Then let us not forget that pies can have a variety of filling, many of which are healthy is their own right. I will carry-out a daily weigh-in to show that (hopefully) there is no affect on my weight. This will be documented in our daily British Pie Week diary as we did last year and with regular Twitter updates. I also pledge to match my own my pie consumption with donations of tinned pie fillings, packet mash/tinned veg and ready mix pastry (all you need to make a pie meal) to Gloucester foodbank.

This challenge is a bit of an unknown for me. I have an equal mix of excitement and trepidation. I am not sure if it will work but will give it my best shot. Follow my exploits on twitter with the hashtag #pie4everymeal.

I would like to focus particularly on one or two pie suppliers, especially if they have a pie which is good for breakfast (a meal which could be a problem!). If you want to become one of the pie suppliers/sponsors for this challenge then do get in touch with @pierateers on twitter or just send me an email to pierate@gmx.co.uk.

British Pie Week 2014 is from 3rd March to 9th March.

Lastly, a personal plea to make your own #PiePledge. See what pledges others are making.


Yours in Pastry

Pierateer SJL


This British Pie Week all the Pierateers and even the Ship's Cook are making #PiePledge commitments to brighten up the week! Click here to see them all!

continue reading "Pie for Every Meal - My British Pie Week Challenge!"

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Will I pepper Pukka Pies with compliments?

Pukka Pies Peppered Steak Pie Review
Mention “peppered steak” and “pastry”, and I bet you’ll think of a Ginsters peppered steak slice. Well that’s what I thought of anyway (oops, maybe I should mention that I thought of a slice!).
But no, the reality is that Pukka Pies are now selling Peppered Steak Pies!
Naturally, faced with a new Pukka Pie flavour, I just had to try one.
Pukka Pies Review
Pukka Pies Review
As you can see, the colour is the classic golden Pukka Pie colour. On opening the pie for the cross-sectional view, you can see there is a slight air-gap at the top of the pie, although nothing too disastrous.
However, as you can see in this photo, the contents do look quite gloopy, with not a lot of discernable steak pieces. But more importantly, if you look closely you can see some black specks within the filling – because yes, this pie is rather peppery. And by rather peppery, I mean rather too peppery! They weren’t lying when they said this was a peppered steak pie, because my word the pie tastes strongly of pepper. For me, there was too much pepper.
On the positive side of things, the pie was cheap. Pukka Pies tend to vary in cost in supermarkets from about £1 to £1.80.
Pukka Pies Peppered Steak Pie
Score: 4.11/7
TJP
continue reading "Will I pepper Pukka Pies with compliments?"

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Pies and Tunes at the pre-match Piebury hangout!

Piebury Corner Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom "The Ox" Pie Review


We all know that football and pies are a match made in heaven. But here on the Pierate Ship we have found some Premier League pies in the form of Piebury Corner, located just a stone’s throw away from Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. It was therefore a pleasure to be able to do the proper “pre-match pie” ritual before a recent evening kick off at Arsenal, which I had seen many Arsenal fans tweet about before going to matches themselves.

When I arrived at Piebury Corner about an hour and a quarter before kick-off there were already plenty of people consuming pies inside and outside of the shop. They had opened a pie hatch which served the pies and beers to people congregating on the street outside the shop – in addition to those serving pies in the shop – and Piebury were doing a roaring trade. The hatch, which had been used to serve pies from when the premises was last a pie shop, was certainly helping get the pies out but there was still a steady flow as I joined the queue and ordered my pie.

Piebury Corner Pie Review
Piebury Corner Pie Menu
It must be pointed out that they have a set match list of pies, featuring a number of their fans favourites, but one of their new pies – the Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom Pie or "The Ox" after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – had been set aside for me to pick up and rate, as a new addition to their menu. In addition to the general bustle of lots of happy pie customers was the addition of a DJ playing tunes outside the shop, which added to the atmosphere and gave it a different dimension to the more typical restaurant feel I had got from previous visits to the shop on non-match days. I’d certainly recommend getting down to Piebury Corner on a match day for a livelier, more exciting atmosphere.




But of course you don’t just want to know about the shop! You want to know about the pie! So how did this latest addition to the Piebury team sheet rate?

Piebury Corner Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom Pie Review
Piebury Corner Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom "The Ox" Pie

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

The filling itself was delicious, tender pieces of venison and ox cheek with a few whole mushrooms thrown in for good measure. The meat was lovely and had a good noticeable flavour to it without being overpowering, while the mushrooms were well cooked and added to the flavour. While I understand that they go for large pieces of meat (and in this case mushrooms) to benefit the football pie eater, who wants to take a few large bites when consuming the pie, I would have preferred a slightly better balanced distribution consistently throughout the pie. However despite being big chunks of meat, it was great quality and went really well with the gravy. The pie was not dry at all and a real pleasure to eat.

While the mushrooms did add a different flavour to the pie, I did naturally compare this pie back to the Thierry Henry (Venison in a Red Wine Gravy) pie that I have previously rated and couldn’t help thinking I would rather have had more meat than meat and mushroom. But that aside, this was still a very good pie and certainly challenges the top of our pie rankings list. Therefore I’m not Gunner say anything else other than that it is yet another “Pierate Highly Recommended” pie from Piebury Corner.

Piebury Corner Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom "The Ox" Pie
Score: 6.32/7
[Colour 6.75/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 5.75/7; Chewiness 6.5/7; Condition 6.75/7; Content 6.25/7; Capacity 6.5/7; Total: 6.32/7]
RAS



Pre-match verses Half-time pie at the Arsenal v Coventry match


Part of the reason why I only ordered a pie at Piebury Corner (rather than the pie and mash meal deal they offer) was because I would also be eating a pie at half time from the Arsenal kiosks in the Emirates Stadium. I had arranged to meet Isabella and Robin at half time and you can read their review here.

However here’s the final score:

Holland’s Big Peppered Steak Pie: 5.29/7
v
Piebury Corner Venison, Ox Cheek and Mushroom Pie: 6.32/7


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.

Make sure you 
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continue reading "Pies and Tunes at the pre-match Piebury hangout!"

Friday, 21 February 2014

Can you #GuessTheMeat?

Over on Twitter I’m playing a little game of #GuessTheMeat.


I’m asking whether you can guess the meat I’m putting in the super-special pie I’m making for British Pie Week, to fulfil my rather ridiculous #PiePledge!



Of course, it’s just for fun (the Pierate budget of £0.00 can’t stretch to prizes unfortunately).
Let me know your guesses on Twitter or in the comments below. And while you’re at it, you can make your own #PiePledge for British Pie Week 2014!

So come on then, #GuessTheMeat!


The #GuessTheMeat result has now been revealed! Find out if you were right by clicking here to find out Pierateer TJP's #PiePledge pie meat!


continue reading "Can you #GuessTheMeat?"

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Goddards at Greenwich - Traditional Pie and Mash review

Goddards at Greenwich - Pie Reviews

Goddards are an important name in the history of London Pie & Mash shops. They have been suppliers of pies to various establishments for a long time as well as having their own shop in Greenwich. They recently moved to new, bigger premises along King William Walk and a couple of Pierateers thought it was about time to pay a visit. After exiting from the hustle and bustle of nearby Greenwich Market my first impressions were very good. There were at least 10 signs outside the shop which said the word ‘PIE’ so we knew we were in the right place. The shop had been done up very well with attractive green livery in a new, old fashioned style.

Goddard at Greenwich pie and mash

See our article on traditional Pie & Mash Shops to understand more about the history of these quaint old establishments

Upon venturing inside, we found it was very quiet, probably because it was a bit early for lunch. However, it is never too early for pie and an 11am pie is nothing unusual for a Pierateer. It was good to find that it is never too early for pies at Goddards, they seem to sell pies all day long. The inside of the shop had classic pie and mash shop features. The walls were covered in white tiles and narrow wooden booths were fixed to the wall. These seemed very inviting, like they were asking you to slide in (with a pie in one hand of course). Despite having been recently converted it looked like the shop had been a pie and mash shop for years.

Pie & Mash shopWhen we came to order it became apparent that this wasn’t just a standard pie and mash shop. Traditionally they just serve shallow minced beef pies which are shortcrust pastry cooked in a pie dish. I don’t know quite how they are made but there is something about these pies which is different to any other pies, particularly the pastry. The tradition dictates that there is also builders tea available as well as jellied eels (the pies were originally filled with eel). The pies must be served with mash and liqour (a kind of parsley sauce). I am a great believer in tradition but the modern pie lover can be quite discerning. As we have demonstrated at Pierate there are so many pies available on the market. This array of choice and completion has forced Goddards to expand it’s range. They have a range of pies, puff pastry, quite tall and in an array of flavours. It was ins-pie-ring as we looked over the counter to see such a sea of pies to choose from. They also sell such modern things as caffe latte, which you wouldn’t be able to get in some Pie & Mash Shops which try and be more traditional. But with Costa Coffee attempting to take over Britain it is clear that it is futile to resist the desire of modern consumers for their hot, milky coffee fix. Both of our reviewers took the op-pie-tunity to accompany their pies with lattes, as if the pie wasn’t already calorific enough (we call this healthy combination: "pie-lattes").

The choice of how to have your pie and mash was quite dazzling simply by varying the quantities of the two basic components of the meal. You could have pie and mash, double pie and mash, pie and double mash or even (would you believe it) triple pie and mash. Is triple pie and mash something that one person is supposed to eat? Neither of us felt up to that particular challenge (although perhaps another time!). There is even the option of the ever popular pie, mash and eels. Pierateer SJL went for the Traditional Minced Beef pie & mash shop pie with an Apple pie for later. Pierateer TJP decided to see how the Steak and Ale pie fared compared to the competition.

Traditional Minced Beef
Pie and LiquorThis pie looked the part, the classic, traditional shape afloat on a sea of parsley liquor. It was in good condition except a touch too much carbon to the upper surface. The sauce did a good job of covering this though. The liquor seeped into the very being of the pie making it hard to tell where one began and the other ended. I just can’t get enough of this particular parsley sauce which I think is why I am such a lover of these quaint establishments. In this case the parsley in the liquor was a bit dry, but it is just the pie which is being rated here.
Goddard at Greenwich Pie and Mash ShopThe pastry was soft on the outside with a bit of hardness in the middle. Ordinarily this could be quite a good combination but it seemed to not quite work in this instance because this pie was pretty cold upon serving. This left the pastry seeming overly Chewy.
The filling was decent, a meaty flavour which certainly pleased my tasted buds. Plenty of gravy meant quite a liquid consistency but it wasn’t wanting for lack of mince. It was sans air gap which is always good to see, but badly needed for this pie, being of the shallow variety. At just £3.70 for pie and mash in a London pie establishment this was very Cheap compared it to the modern equivalents such as Square Pie which will set you back around £6. At the end of the day, that is what these are, a cheap working man’s pie and it was a decent effort. I would get it again if only I could be sure that it would be warmer next time as this sadly left me feeling cold to Goddards Pie & Mash.

Traditional Minced Beef (Goddards)
4.19/7

SJL

Steak and Ale

I had the steak and ale pie. Costing £2.70, the pie was cheap for eating in. It arrived in good condition, topped with a nice smooth covering of silky gravy. However, the top of the pie did look a little over-browned, as you can see in the part of the little not covered with gravy.

Goddard at Greenwich pie and mash

Goddard at Greenwich pie and mash

Upon opening the pie for a cross-sectional view, I could see that the pie was packed to capacity with very little airgap. By this point, the lid of the pie had gone a little soggy with the gravy and therefore a bit chewy. I've found that some pies are able to hold their crispiness well even in the presence of gravy, but this pie seemed to struggle a bit here. Despite this, the pastry still seemed to be good quality. I could also see some good chunks of steak within the content.

As with any pie, the truth is in the eating. As I ate this pie, I couldn't help noticing a rather strange texture. I think this photo documents the texture of the pie quite well - especially the bits of content lying loose on the plate at the bottom of the picture. It was almost...jammy. Like how I'd imagine steak jam to taste and feel. For me, this was a bit unappealing and lost the pie marks. I left some of the jammy bits behind on the plate after finishing the pie.

Goddard at Greenwich pie and mash


Overall, this pie is a decent price, with decent quality of pastry and is packed almost to capacity, but the content of the pie let it down. The consistency and texture of the content wasn't quite like anything I'd experienced before with a steak and ale pie.

See how we rate our pies on the Seven Cs
Colour - 4.1/7
Condition - 4.5/7
Cheapness - 5/7
Content - 2.9/7
Capacity - 5.5/7
Consistency - 2.5/7
Chewiness - 4.5/7

Steak and Ale (Goddards)
Score: 4.14/7
TJP

Apple

Goddard Apple PieThe apple pie at Goddards was unlike any that I have ever had before. The filling was your standard chunks of apple in a sweet sauce but the pastry was hard and a bit salty in places. However, it wasn't hard in a way which made the pastry dry, just a bit firm to the bite. It was quite nice actually in terms of texture as it gave you something to sink your teeth into. The saltiness wasn't strong and didn't detract from the balance of flavour.
Goddard Apple Pie Cross SectionThe apple was good, it maintained plenty of firmness and was in satisfyingly big pieces. There wasn't too much sweetness but plenty of flavour. It was a nice brown Colour, dusted in sugar although strangely smooth in appearance. The Capacity could have been bigger as this was a fairly shallow pie but for £2.30 to eat in with custard or ice cream this was very Cheap, especially for London. It worked well even though I chose to have it without any additional custard or ice cream which is the sign of a good apple pie.

Apple Pie (Goddards)
5.13/7

SJL

So a bit of a mixed bag from Goddard, it was worth the visit to see how this famous name fared and the restaurant certainly felt the part of a traditional pie and mash shop. However perhaps that is just it, this is in quite a touristy area and while we were there it was mainly tourists who came in. The pies are not bad and there is an impressively big range but in our opinion we think you can get better traditional pie and mash elsewhere.

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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continue reading "Goddards at Greenwich - Traditional Pie and Mash review"

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

That pie will do very nicely!

Nice Pie Steak and Chicken Pie Reviews


With all the exotic pies we’ve rated from Nice Pie recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they only do pies full of meat you’d never expect to be sold in a pie! But as delicious as the kangaroo, zebra and wild squirrel pies were, sometimes people may just want a “typical” British pie to eat! After all, not everyone wants to take a walk on the wild side – and for those people you are still in for a nice pie treat!

Nice Pie Reviews
The six pies supplied by Nice Pie

Fear not, for Nice Pie haven’t neglected their homely, British pie flavours for the sole purpose of exotic pie production! Included in the traditional range of pies are a Steak and Chicken pie, both of which went down very nicely indeed when eaten and rated recently!

One of the great things about these pies is that they are just three pounds each, so fifty pence cheaper than the exotic pies in the Nice Pie range. But would this mean a skimping on filling or quality?! Not a chance. Both pies were filled very well with strong marks for capacity and while the pastry was a bit dry and crumbly, it was another very good pie effort. The pie held together well – it’s always a good sign when you can pick a pie up in your hands and take a bite! – and the pastry was nice and golden in colour.

The Steak in a Rich Red Wine Gravy Pie was packed to capacity with lots of moist, tender pieces of steak. While there could certainly have been a bit more gravy in the pie, the meat itself was moist and it appeared the red wine gravy had mainly soaked into the meat. While a bit of additional gravy would have made the pie as a whole that little bit better (counter balancing the slightly crispier pastry), you could not fault the quality and taste of the steak. The red wine gravy wasn’t at all overpowering but complemented the steak nicely.

The Chicken, Smoked Bacon and Mushrooms in a Delightful Creamy Sauce Pie was again noted for its very good pastry:filling ratio. The content was some very large chunks of chicken, but these were lovely and tender, top quality pieces of meat. The creamy sauce was very nice indeed, not overpowering as some creamy sauces can be, and the bacon and mushrooms were noticeable and added flavour well. While there could have been a bit more bacon, it was nice to see it for once, as in some ‘chicken and bacon’ pies I’ve rated you can really struggle to notice any bacon at all! The creamy sauce also helped balance the slightly drier outer pastry, the sauce being a lot more abundant than the gravy in the steak pie.

Overall the scores of the two pies even out, as many of the factors were very similar between the two pies. The delightful creamy sauce and large chicken pieces verses the slightly lower meat content balanced out against the lovely tender steak slightly lacking in additional gravy.

Once again Nice Pie have done us proud, producing two more Pierate recommended pies – and while it’s hard to resist the amazing range of exotic pies Nice Pie do, you would certainly be missing out if you didn’t tuck into a more traditional steak or chicken pie from their range when given the chance!

Nice Pie Steak in a Rich Red Wine Gravy 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; Total: 5.75/7]

Nice Pie Chicken, Smoked Bacon and Mushrooms in a Delightful Creamy Sauce 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; Total: 5.75/7]

RAS


See where these pies ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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British Pie Week – The Pierateers #PiePledge

You may have seen that we’re once again encouraging pie fans and pie companies to make promises regarding pies for British Pie Week (from 3rd to 9th March 2014). This is in the form of making a #PiePledge or two, possibly committing to eat more pies or try a new pie flavour or do special pie-motions to celebrate pie!


But it would certainly be hypocritical of us to ask you to make a #PiePledge without making a few ourselves, so over the coming days we will be revealing the various #PiePledge ideas the Pierateers will be committing to!

And why not tune into BCfm Radio on Wednesday 26th February, where we will be unveiling some of our #PiePledge ideas live on air!!! You will be able to listen in on your lunch break from 1-2pm by going to www.bcfmradio.com/player or catch up from Wednesday evening by going to www.bcfmradio.com/food to hear from Pierateer RAS and the Pierateers plans for British Pie Week!


So our #PiePledge commitments will be unveiled over the following few days and are as follows:


Wednesday 19th February
The Pierateers #PiePledge to do a day-by-day account of every pie they eat in British Pie Week! Check back daily on www.pierate.co.uk to see what crazy pie antics we’ve been up to during the week!

Friday 21st February
Pierateers RAS, SJL and TJP all #PiePledge to eat at least one pie all seven days of British Pie Week! Check back daily on www.pierate.co.uk to see what pies we've consumed each day!

Monday 24th February
Pierateer SJL reveals his pie pledge is to eat pie for every meal of British Pie Week, which means he is going to eat at least 21 pies for his #pie4everymeal challenge!

Tuesday 25th February
The Ship's Cook made a #PiePledge to "push the boat out" (so to speak) by attempting a new reci-pie in British Pie Week. Find out what that is here!

Wednesday 26th February
Pierateer RAS unveiled his #PiePledge live on BCfm Radio! You can hear it on "catch up" by going to www.bcfmradio.com/food and listening in from 1pm on 26/2/14. The #PiePledge is made at about 1:10pm but we are talking pie all hour and you can also catch Pierateer SJL phoning in and Pierateer TJP's #PiePledge being announced!

Wednesday 26th February
Shortly after it is announced on BCfm Radio, Pierateer TJP's #PiePledge is unveiled in full on Pierate. We just hope he doesn't snake his way out of it somehow!

Friday 28th February
Pierateer ARL makes her #PiePledge - to be attempted outside of Britain! Find out more here!

Saturday 1st March
Pierateer ALE pledges to risk the crumbly Gluten Free pastry to make a special Gluten Free pie during British Pie Week.

Into the history books…


The #PiePledge was introduced by the Pierateers for British Pie Week 2013 and saw the Pierateers completing the following promises:

- Pierateers RAS and SJL commited to eating a pie every day of British Pie Week 2013 and achieved this! Pierateer TJP ate a pie every working day of the week. See all the pies we are in our day-by-day Pie-ary of British Pie Week 2013

- Pierateer SJL completed his #onlypiesallowed pledge by eating only 3362 kcal of pie on Tuesday of British Pie Week last year (no mash, no veg, just pie!)
continue reading "British Pie Week – The Pierateers #PiePledge"

Monday, 17 February 2014

Vegetarian Pies on the Pierate menu

Pierate is going green! Well… getting their greens, anyway!


We’ve collated the top savoury vegetarian pies so that you know where to go if you don’t want to eat meat! Here are our top 5 vegetarian pies as of today and links to the reviews, or you can view our table of all our vegetarian pies here!

Don't forget you can view lots of different pie flavour categories and also pies sold by various supermarkets and brands on our "Pies Categorised" page!


RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreByInfo
1
Sainsbury's Taste the DifferenceRoasted Butternut Squash and Feta Cheese with Filo Pastry
6.03
TJP
V
2
Piebury Corner [N7 8DL]Goats Cheese, Spinach, Sweet Potato and Mushroom [Reg Lewis]
5.90
RAS
V
3
Canteen [W1U 8EW]Celeriac, Mushroom and Leek
5.85
SJL
V
4
HiggidySweet Potato, Feta Cheese and Pumpkin Seed
5.76
TJP
V
5
Tom's Pies / SelfridgesSpicy Cauliflower, Spinach and Lentil
5.72
SJL
V

Sainsbury's Vegetarian Pie Review
Our number one vegetarian pie from Sainsbury's



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 "Vegetarian Pies on the Pierate menu"

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Pork Pie Head 2 Head

Morrisons and Walkers - Pork Pie Comparison

Here at Pierate we have rated over 300 pies in the four years or so we have been sailing the 7 Cs. One of the challenges is trying to maintain some consistency with our pie reviews and ensure we are being fair to the producers. Of course it is impossible to be completely consistent as it is subjective as to what a great pie should taste like and we have a number of reviewers. It can also be difficult when trying to compare a pie to another one you may have eaten a year ago. To try and combat this I have here a Pie Head to Head. It will make it much easier to do a direct comparison of these two different brands of pork pie when eating them at the same time. We have in the red corner a Morrisons individual pork pie. In the blue corner a Walker & Son individual pork pie. The Morissons effort costs only 69p whereas the Walkers version was 89p. Would paying that extra 20p really mean I get a better pie? I often suspect that branded products are pretty much the same except for the packaging.

Walkers & Morrisons Half and Half Pork Pie

Taking them out of the wrappers and cutting them in half quickly showed that this wasn’t the case. For a start they were different shapes with the Walkers pie having more height and less width. For me this gave it a better pastry to filling ratio that the Morrisons version. They both looked quite appealing with the Walkers having the darker brown colour as typical of pies from the Melton Mowbray region. The meat was also more of a grey colour in the Walkers pie whereas the Morissons version was more pink. Again, I believe the greyer meat is typical of a Melton Mowbray pork pie. I was somewhat confused as to why it didn't say that the Walkers pie was a Melton because they are one of the most well known Melton Mowbray pork pie producers and this certainly seemed like a Melton. To find out more see our Melton Mowbray pork pie article.

But appearances can be deceiving, the real test was in the eating! The Morrisons pie fared pretty well on the first bite, the pastry was great, it was soft inside and crunchy on the outside which gave it a nice texture. However, the pink meat was a bit too mushy, there was also a lack of jelly meaning it wasn’t really what I expected from a pork pie. To me it tasted more what I would expect the filling of a sausage roll to taste like. Having said that, the filling did still taste good and wasn’t at all chewy, I enjoyed eating the pie. I did find that there were some minor air gaps where I would have expected jelly to have been.

Pork pie comparison halved

I was pleased to find that the Walkers was much better. The pastry had an even better crunch while again being soft on the inside. The filling had a wonderful texture, being granula rather than mushy. It did feel more like eating chunks of meat. The seasoning also captured that classic pork pie taste whist not overpowering the meaty taste. The only downside was that there were some air gaps although most of the gaps were filled with jelly. Certainly a pie I would get again.

In summary, it is interesting to see that in this case paying more really did make a difference. Whilst they were both good pies for the respective prices the Walkers pie is the one I would buy again if I could afford to. I think it was worth the difference.

Individual Pork Pie (Morrisons)
5.07/7

Individual Pork Pie (Walker and Son)
6.06/7

SJL


See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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