Saturday, 23 January 2016
Wizard of Oz
MyPie - Pie Reviews
If you have been reading Pierate recently you will realise that our favourite pies of 2015 were those made by "MyPie", a business set up by entreprenuer Chris Brumby who we first met back in 2014. In 2015 he started selling his excellent pies in London food markets from a refurbished Bedford van. The Steak & Ale has gone in at number 3 in our all time pie rankings and Chris was good enough to bring joy to our recent Pie Party by doing the catering! We had so many good comments we know it is not just the Pierateers that have fallen in love with these pies!
We do like to think that pies are quintessentially British and that we do the best pies. Hence it is perhaps a bit controversial that Chris is Austrialian and bringing a bit of Aussie pie magic to the streets of London. The Aussies are in fact more obsessed with pie that us Brits. Whilst we have an abundance of hot Cornish pasty outlets and Greggs (who sell hardly any pies) the Australians have a number of shops specialising in hot pies. We found this out first hand in our special investigation when Pierateer TJP was dispatched to warmer climes. Having tasted how good Chris' pies are I can now understand The Kinks song 'Australia'. It has the line 'everyone walks around with a perpetual smile across their face' which is not surprising when the pies are this good.
It is a bit of a treasure hunt tracking down Chris and his Bedford van. Wandering around the South Bank it took me a while to find him, you don't get the same problem with a pie shop, once you know where it is it tends to stay in the same place (if you ignore the effects of plate tectonics). But MyPie is transient and somewhat mysterious. I am now quite familiar with MyPie but I don't really know where I will find the MyPie van each day of the week. It is also uncertain what pies will be served. Then, once you have found him, before you know it he is gone again, such a tease. MyPie is much like the transient and mysterious nature of the pie itself. You never quite know what is going to be contained within the golden pastry case and if you are anything like me, once you do find out, it doesn't hang about for long. I think this all adds to the suspense and theater of the pie eating experience.
When I did track Chris down on London's South Bank, I was surprised to find what seemed like a London pie makers meeting, Paul and Nicky from Piebury Corner were busy chatting to Chris. Paul seemed quite taken with MyPie, which is a massive complement when they have been so successful with their own pie business.
All of the pies had the same fantastic pastry we enjoyed with the Steak & Ale and the Chicken, Ham & Tarragon where it was crisp on the outside and softer in the middle. They look terrific and very close to my vision of the quintessential, ultimate pie.
Firstly the Venison, Chili & Cheese. The pie was packed with chunks of great tasting meat which had a bit more flavour than your average meat pie. The chunks of meat were soft and satisfying to get your teeth into. The small amount of cheese at the base of the pie also added an interesting texture. It was a little like mozzarella in texture and didn't have a strong flavour. This kind of cheese in a pie seems to be a bit of an Aussie trait with the now defunct Jumbucks using cheese in a similar way. It is less common in British pies where Stilton seems to be the cheese of choice. The pie was full of rich gravy which had the perfect consistency in that it didn't just ooze out when the pie was cut open. It was perfectly seasoned but what made the flavour stand out was the heat from the chili. There wasn't too much of a kick but it was enough to give a good kicking to the com-pie-tition and make this pie enter into our top 10 all of all time in the number 4 spot!
|Venison & Chili|
Venison, Chili & Cheese (MyPie)
[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.75, Content 6.25, Consistency 6.50]
|Beef & Horseradish|
[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.75, Content 5.00, Consistency 4.50]
Now onto the Mince, Bacon & Cheese. This pie was somewhat different but no less special that the others. It is the closest I have ever come to eating a cheese burger in a pie. If that sounds appealing then you should really try this pie because it really nailed it. It had a full, smokey flavour, perhaps from the use of bacon. Unlike an actual cheese burger, the meat could be very moist which was the most beautiful thing about this pie; whilst it was like a cheese burger it was even better due to being fully encased in pastry. There was no liquid gravy as such but it didn't need it. There was a layer of classic burger cheese at the top which added variety to the flavour. In some ways it captured all the aspects that I love about Scotch pies. Despite having no big meaty chunks, it felt like the texture wasn't lacking, there was plenty to get your teeth into. Another standout effort from MyPie although scores slightly less than the venison as I think I would more often choose a pie with big chunks of meat. Also, the pastry was slightly too thick in places.
|Mince & Cheese|
[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.00, Content 6.25, Consistency 6.50]
Onto the Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese vegetarian pie review by Pierateer ARL.
I didn’t know what flavour this was so it was a surprise. Or a sup-pies. Given the taste I guess that it was sweet potato, pea and some sort of cheese or cream. It was really tasty regardless of what flavour it was. The sauce was thick and creamy and the unidentified orange vegetable was soft and tender. The pastry was utterly perfect. It was crisp and buttery and I don’t know what else to say- it was so good. Generally, the pie lacked a depth of flavour. It was sweet (but nicely so!) and creamy, but that was all I really got from it.
Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese (MyPie)
[Condition 6.00, Colour 7.00, Cheapness 6.5, Capacity 5.00, Chewiness 7.00, Content 4.00, Consistency 6.00]