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]

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
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.

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