Monday 3 November 2014

The Men's Pie Manual - Book Review

I recently acquired a copy of Andrew Webb’s new pie recipe book, the Haynes Men’s Pie Manual, and this being Pierate I felt it was only right to give an honest review using the Seven Cs. Here we go!


The book makes effective use of colour, featuring many colour photographs and bold coloured text boxes.


The book arrived in excellent condition, complete with that seductive “new-book smell” (one of my favourite smells, after pies obviously).


The content of this book is terrific. I feel that Andrew has written this book with someone like me in mind; I love pies, but lack the confidence (and skill) to cook. Andrew guides the novice chef with ease through the complexities of suet and hot-water crust pastry, propelling even the most saucepan-phobic cookery-illiterate male such as myself into the realms of semi-proficiency. “Can you make a cup of tea?” he asks. “Then you can make stock.” Even you’re an experienced pie cookery pro, there’s a lot to gain from this comprehensive book. My one qualm is that the section on things-that-are-nearly-but-not-quite-pies is preceded by a paragraph stating that a shepherds (or other potato-topped pie) pie is a pie, but putting that one detail aside this book is a triumph for the can’t-cook-won’t-cook male. It includes a brilliant section on the tools of the trade, including what knives to buy, what flour to use, and how to correctly use an oven for pies (for it is “here that you pie efforts will literally rise or fall”). My favourite part was stumbling across a mention of Pierate in the Troubleshooting section – I genuinely had no idea we would feature! I will be posting my attempt at making one of Andrew’s pies in the not too distant future. And before you say “I can’t use this book, I’m not a man”, this book is suitable for all pie-lovers, regardless of gender, beginner or advanced.


This book is 188 pages long.


This book is chewy, especially the hardback cover, and is not recommended for eating.


Andrew’s warmth, humour and instruction remain consistent throughout this book.


This book is £21.99 which, when you think about it, does offer value for money. You might never have to eat out again.

Andrew is also a fellow judge at the British Pie Awards, where we judged in 2014.

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