Friday, 29 December 2017

Football Pie Review: Cooked for a Steven-age?

Rating the beef and onion football pie at Stevenage FC by Pukka Pies


Beef and Onion Pukka Pie Review at Stevenage FC
Beef and Onion Pukka Pie Review at Stevenage FC
Following a trip to London for Christmas drinks recently, it seemed an obvious op-pie-tunity to tick off another football ground in the area in the search for football’s best pies. This time we visited the Lamex Stadium, home to League Two side Stevenage FC.

Heading through the turnstiles, I immediately walked past the food shack for the away end, which was already tens of people long. However I wasn’t going to risk missing out on pie by waiting til half time, going for some chips and one of the many pies on offer. You’ll see from the photo I was purchasing from the imaginatively named “Tea Bar 4” from a heavily taped up menu board (one wonders what was previously offered under the red tape?!) but the pies had remained at £2.50, which is very reasonable for a football pie these days.

Pie Menu at Stevenage FC
The food menu at "Tea Bar 4" at Stevenage Football Club
The pie itself was a standard Pukka Pies Beef and Onion pie, but presented well in a white plastic tray with plastic fork. While I have to admit it was additional to my needs, as a pick-up-your-pie-in-your-hands-and-eat-it kinda guy, I did appreciate that the option was there for the, perhaps slightly more civilised among us, to eat from a tray using a fork! (Still, nothing will compete with Kate, the #AwayDayPieGirl, and her personalised metal football pie fork!)

Beef and Onion Pukka Pie Review at Stevenage FC
Beef and Onion Pukka Pie Review at Stevenage FC
I said it before but I’ll say it again - pie, tray and fork for just £2.50 puts a lot of clubs to shame (many Premier League clubs charge well over £3 for just a pie of the same brand!) But the big question was how the pie rated!

The lid was golden and flaky, as I’d expect from a well-cooked Pukka Pie, though Sam and I have certainly been to enough football games to know all is not always well when it comes to just a golden topped pie lid! Digging into the content, the beef and onion flavour was nice – not too liquid a gravy and a nice meaty mince flavour, however the capacity of the filling wasn’t great and to my disappointment I did notice what I had feared…

Did you see that we contributed to the Coral Pie Premier League article to find out fan's views on Premier League pies? We dissect it in our "We bet you'll want to know the top football pies!" article.

Also see their short one minute video below for a summary of their results, including a shock response to the nation's favourite half time snack!





Beef and Onion Pukka Pie Review at Stevenage FC
Crisp base of the Beef and Onion Pukka Pie at Stevenage FC
Mince had started to solidify on the bottom crust of the pie, much like the meat encrusting on your saucepan base if you forget to keep stirring your bolognaise properly! A classic sign of over-bake on the base of a pie, which was confirmed when I turned the base over and saw the over baked base. No soggy bottom in sight here but the other end of the pie base spectrum with an overly crisp base that was rather too solid to easily bite through. It had formed an almost biscuity layer, much like the Pukka rated at Wycombe’s ground recently.

While I enjoyed the rest of the pie, that base was severely over baked and screamed of sitting in a hot locker for too long. Alas this is a regular criticism of football pies, sometimes exasperated in smaller grounds where there is only one main kitchen pumping out pies for the whole ground. Not the worst pie I’ve had at a football ground, but that still doesn’t help it get a great position in the PIEremiership table – our football pie league.

Pukka Pies Beef and Onion Pie
Score: 3.68/7
[Colour 5, Capacity 4, Consistency 3.5, Condition 2.5, Chewiness 3, Cheapness 4.5, Content 3.25]



We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies

In the match itself, an end-to-end battle led to an entertaining but goal shy 0-0 draw between Stevenage and Wycombe Wanderers. The two best chances went Wycombe’s way, with a near comical goal from the Wycombe keeper Scott Brown who took a free kick from the half way line that looped over the keeper, hit the underside of the crossbar and almost went in bar a goal-line clearance, and an Akinfenwa header which hit the post and went wide. (Note: The BBC article incorrectly assigns the comical free kick to our defender, but being at the game I can confirm it was our keeper who took the free kick – you can’t miss his kaleidoscope kit, believe me!!)



More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Regulars to our pie blog will know we're the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

Check out our PIEremiership article and you'll find that Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, they make the pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! We recently interviewed previous Head Chef Graham Aimson on his new adventure, but hope the pies at Morecambe stay top of the league in his absence!

RAS

Want to find out what the Pierateers really make of the state of the (pie) game in English Football? Check out our analysis in our Pies of Football 2016 article to find out what makes a great football pie!


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 "Football Pie Review: Cooked for a Steven-age?"

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A Real-ly big mince pie!

The Real Pie Company Luxury Boozy Mince Pie Review


Real Pie Company Mince Pie Review
Real Pie Company Mince Pie Review
There are mince pies. And then there are small meals in the form of a mince pie! For these are certainly no miniature mouthfuls but a real giant on your plate - the Real Pie Company’s luxury boozy mince pies!

Delivered by post in a lovely festive box and all arriving in near perfect condition, I was impressed by the size and the favour of these luxury mince pies. As can be seen in the comparison photo below, these pies dwarf your typical supermarket mince pie and are clearly homemade products. While this does mean the condition is not quite as polished as a factory made standard mince pie, it is a lot more lovingly made and the pastry tasted delicious and buttery.

Real Pie Company Tesco Mince Pie Review
Real Pie Company v Tesco Mince Pies
One of my concerns with these larger mince pies was whether the filling:pastry ratio would work in such a big mince pie, but they certainly got this pretty much spot on. The pastry was quite thick and covered in sugar (a little too much sugar personally, but at least you can brush that off the top before eating!) but held in the content well. My main critique of these pies is that the pastry is incredibly crumbly, which meant you certainly lost a significant amount of pastry crumbs when eating. It also made cutting them in half (as some friends weren’t quite ready to tackle a whole one due to their size) quite a challenge!
Real Pie Company Mince Pie Review
There was sNOw stopping the delivery!

However the filling was moist and a nice balance of fruits, with a clear boozy edge to them. I also happily enjoyed eating the pastry on its own when hovering up the bits that had broken off. While a couple of the pies weren’t quite crammed to the crust as I expected from the Real Pie Company (as that is their motto), most of them were full to the brim and I certainly didn’t finish any of the ones I’d tried feeling I was short changed in any way! Certainly not something to eat straight after your Christmas Day roast, but a lovely mince pie and one that will get your visitors talking!

Real Pie Company Mince Pie Review
Real Pie Company Mince Pie Review
At £19.95 for 10 of these mince pies, they are certainly not the cheapest option out there, and that does hold back the score a bit, but factoring in the size I can’t say I’m feeling too out of pocket paying that for such large, unique mince pies. Yet again, the Real Pie Company have set a high bar for pie making and take number 4 spot in our top mince pies (though number 1 for giant mince pies!!)

The Real Pie Company Luxury Boozy Mince Pie
Score: 5.82/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6, Consistency 6.25, Condition 5.5, Chewiness 6.75, Cheapness 4, Content 6.25]


RAS


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 "A Real-ly big mince pie!"

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Pork Pies for Christmas Breakfast?!

Dickinson and Morris Pork Pies make the headlines again - but would you have pork pie for Christmas breakfast?!


There is a legendary pie company in Melton Mowbray who run a special pork pie shop in the town called 'Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe'. This puts them in pride of place in the home of Melton Mowbray pork pies. This company goes by the name of Dickinson and Morris and has been baking pork pies since 1851. And this year they added the title of Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards 2017 to add to their list of award winning products. They also rate highly on our world leading pie review blog, with their Individual Pork Pie rated at 6.15/7 (which is Pierate Highly Recommended!)

And today our leading Pork Pie was featured in a video as part of a BBC News article on the quirky Leicestershire tradition of having a pork pie for Christmas breakfast! It features friends of the blog Stephen Hallam (from Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe) and Matthew O'Callaghan (Organiser of the British Pie Awards).

Check out the pork pie video now on the BBC website!

Dickinson and Morris Pork Pies Review
Dickinson and Morris Pork Pies


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 "Pork Pies for Christmas Breakfast?!"

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Breaking the ice on the Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie!

Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review


Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review
Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review
Yes, you read that right! An ice cream pie! And not just that, it has the word “pie” in the title twice, so that’s got to be a good thing, right?!

Welcome to part two of my Christmas venture to try the new Christmas 2017 additions to the Pieminister menu. Having visited the relatively new Birmingham store on Waterloo Street last week to try their new “The Cracker” Turkey and Ham pie, I could hardly resist a pudding pie that had “pie” in the title twice, could I?! Turns out not, as before I knew it the Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie with Gingerbread biscuit and rum sauce landed on my table, beautifully decorated with a crisp golden star as a lid.

What particularly persuaded me to go for one was the fact I’d never had an ice cream pie before! Plenty of pies WITH ice cream, but not one with ice cream in it (although Pierateer TJP had tried to make a Neapolitan ice cream pie a few years back, to mixed success). With a more biscuit like pastry to this dessert pie, which was very different to the traditional flaky Pieminister pastry I have come to know and love on their savoury pies, it did take some getting used to! And the thought of having ice cream in the pie and some of the mince outside the pie was a slight quirk! However before I go on I must say I did very much enjoy the pie and my first ice cream pie adventure.

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!



However for the pie-hard Pierate fans in the room, I am now going to have to get technical for a minute and comment about the make-up of the dessert laid in front of me. For if I am being true to our 8 year old definition of a true pie, the filling should be fully encased in pastry, which this dessert wasn’t. For one there was a star lid on a circular side/base pastry, so that immediately would mean there were gaps in full encasement. But also there was a second even more noticeable issue of the mince content of the pie spilling out of the pastry encasement onto the plate, as well as raising the height of the star lid.

Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review
Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review

Therefore, as lovely as this mince pie ice cream pie tasted, it won’t get top marks on our website for lack of a full encasement, not that this would stop me or anyone else enjoying them while they are still on the menu! The capacity was decent, the ice cream very nice and the mince fruity and flavoursome. I certainly struggled to finish it following a pie for dinner too, but as a pie soldier I managed to eat it all in the end! Very filling and very nice.

The only other thing to comment on is the price, which at £5 is quite pricy for a mince pie with ice cream (even if, as mentioned, the mince and ice cream are not in the locations you’d normally expect!) While I’d happily eat another one, I’d be slightly put off by the price, considering a mince pie can be bought for about 25p each in most supermarkets!

Still, this was a beautiful and quirky creation, looks brilliant and certainly added to my festive enjoyment of Christmas at Pieminister!

Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie
Score: 5.29/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 5, Consistency 6, Condition 5.5, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 3.5, Content 5.5]
RAS


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 "Breaking the ice on the Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie!"

Monday, 11 December 2017

Have yourself a very merry Pieminister Christmas Cracker!

Pieminister “The Cracker” (Turkey and Ham) Pie Review


Pieminister Cracker Turkey and Ham Pie Review
Pieminister Cracker Turkey and Ham Pie
Like London buses, it had been a while since I’d rated a new Pieminister pie (to be fair, with 17 reviews already, it is becoming trickier each time to find a new one!!) and now two have come almost at once! For following hot on the heels of my review of their new(ish) pie shop in Birmingham City Centre, where I rated their “Kate and Sidney” pie as Pierate Highly Recommended, I was invited by them to try their new festive pie – “The Cracker”.

Alongside a number of their regular festive pies, which include “Deer Santa” (a venison pie), “Mistle Moo” (a Christmassy take on their steak pie) and the “Christingle” pie (the vegetarian option of roast parsnip, cheddar, leek and chestnut), “The Cracker” is their new pie for Christmas 2017 and it did the classics well. It was a British Turkey and Ham pie, with cranberries, parsnips and sherry.

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!



With a slightly mixed bag from Turkey pies I’d had in the past, and a reputation as a meat for being a bit dry on occasion, I eagerly awaited how the turkey and ham pie from Pieminister would rate. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the moistness of the pie in general (from a nice sauce) and a quite well packed content with succulent meat pieces, considering the ingredients are 13% turkey and 5% ham. Unfortunately one of the pieces of turkey was rather large and chewy, but other than that it was very nice meat.

Pieminister Cracker Turkey and Ham Pie Review
Pieminister Cracker Turkey and Ham Pie - Cross Section
The other thing was that I was expecting more of a noticeable hit with cranberries, especially as some turkey pies with cranberry in have been noticeably heavy with the sweet cranberry (one was very red in colour too!) but the cranberry flavour didn’t really present itself. On a personal note I wasn’t too bothered, as I don’t really like the overly sweet cranberry flavour and the parsnips provided enough of a different flavour anyway. However we do always note in our reviews if a flavour is labelled on the pie contents but not really noticeable.

The pastry colour was once again lovely and golden, particularly on top, and while the base pastry this time round seemed a little overdone than usual, I still very much enjoyed the pie and even the base pastry was still all eaten (unlike a few over baked pies I’ve had before – particularly at football grounds!!)

Overall the pie, chips and gravy meal cost £8.50, which as I said before is a little pricey for a meal of pie, mash/chips and gravy, but being a new city centre store and comparing this to other pie meals in pubs and shops in Birmingham city centre, I don’t think this is too unreasonable a price. And I’d certainly happily buy another one this Christmas season! I’ll soon review the Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie I also had on my festive visit to Pieminister!

Pieminister “The Cracker” British Turkey and Ham pie, with cranberries, parsnips and sherry
Score: 5.75/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6, Condition 6, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 5.5]
RAS


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 "Have yourself a very merry Pieminister Christmas Cracker!"

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Pie Reviews Are Coming!!!

Pieminister Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie Review
Pieminister's Mince Pie Ice Cream Pie

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on www.pierate.co.uk as we've been cracking out the tinsel and tucking into some Christmas Pies (not that the later of those will be of any sur-pies to you!) However it has been noted that a lot of our Christmas pie reviews - primarily Turkey Pies and Mince Pies - are from yonder year and particularly from December 2013, which was when we filmed our now infamous Christmas Pie Video! So while we go about eating and rating some more Christmas pies in the coming few weeks to make up for lost time, why not enjoy our '12 pies of Christmas' video based loosely on the old classic, 'The 12 Days of Christmas', as well as our Top 5 Turkey and Mince Pies thus far!



If watching the '12 Pies of Christmas' video has ins-pie-red you to find out more about the 12 pies we reviewed, you can read the whole article and view our pie table in our "12 Pies of Christmas" article. Or to view all the reviews for the pies featured, click on #12POC.


Prior to our December 2017 pie eating, here our top 5 turkey and top 5 mince pie reviews of years gone by:

Turkey Pies (Note: Most of these are only available around Christmas!)
RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreBy
1
Sweeney and Todd [RG1 7RD]Turkey [Christmas]
6.21
RAS
2
Canteen [W1U 8EW]Turkey, Leek and Cranberry
6.14
RAS
3
Pound Farm ShopTurkey, Bacon and Leek
5.86
SJL
4
Sacks of Potatoes Pub [B4 7ER]Turkey and Sausage
5.75
RAS
5
HiggidyLincolnshire Turkey, Bacon and Stuffing [Special Guest]
5.36
RAS
Click for all Turkey Pie Reviews.

Mince Pies (Note: Most of these are only available around Christmas!)
RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreBy
1
Robinsons Bakery [M35 9PW]Mince
6.18
RAS
2
Mr KiplingMince
6.07
RAS
3
Marks and SpencerGluten Free Mince (GF)
6.00
ALE
4
Lidl / Snowy LodgeMince
5.79
RAS
5
Duchy OriginalsOrganic Mince
5.65
TJP
Click for all Mince Pie Reviews.

Finally, we want to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas! Hope you get the presents and pies you wish for, and don't forget that leftover Turkey and trimmings from Christmas day go perfectly in a pie!!


See where all these Christmas pies ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find pies per flavour such as all Turkey or Mince Pies.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Christmas Pie Reviews Are Coming!!!"

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Big Football Pie Transfer Prior To January Window!

It's not even the January football window yet and already we've had potentially the biggest shock transfer of the season. But no, it's not a multi-million pound star striker moving teams, or even a rising starlet making a big money move. In fact, it's football's loss because the biggest name in football pies has just made a shock transfer to 'try' his hand at rugby catering, as Mr Graham Aimson has moved from our number 1 football pie maker Morecambe FC!


Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
For those of you who aren't aware, two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

This had followed a previous visit to Morecambe to try out the pies at the League Two club, where we got our hands on the 'Steak & Ale', 'Chicken, Ham & Leak', 'Lamb & Mint' and 'Meat & Potato' pies, as well as the British Pie Awards winning Apple pie for dessert!

In fact the Steak and Ale pie wasn't just our favourite pie at Morecambe FC but it tops our Pieremiership Table, which ranks football’s best half time pies.

We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies

So it is with some sadness that we heard this week that Graham Aimson, the man behind the pies as head chef at Morecambe Football Club, has moved down the road to cater at a local Rugby Club. We therefore caught up with him to find out more about his big transfer:

Graham Aimson Pies
Graham Aimson with a tray of his football pies
1) We hear you've just moved role! What's the new job?

Head chef of Kendal rugby union club.

2) What are you most looking forward to there?

The challenge of building a reputation for another new stadium and hopefully exceeding what I achieved at Morecambe FC, the bonus that we have a restaurant and servers to operate as well as a banqueting suite, all bringing new and exciting challenges.

3) Will you be doing the same pies there or going to 'try' something new? (We can do rugby puns too!!)

Yes, we will be doing pies here but all pies will be developed for Kendal Rugby Club. I am trying to improve on my previous recipes to give Kendal RC there very own pies. I've been playing with pastry recipes and filling recipes. Although nothing out of the ordinary, what we are doing in the kitchen should hopefully be better than before!

4) Football and pies are well associated. Are you aware of many pies in rugby?

At this moment I've not heard of any special pies in rugby as yet, however, I'm hopeful that soon once words gets around, there will be some good competition just like in football!

5) What will you miss most about working at Morecambe? (Other than us Pierateers visiting for Morecambe v Wycombe games!!)

Obviously the Pierateers visiting is one of the highlights of the year that I will now miss. I will miss working with the great people I met working there, including a couple of footballers. The pie successes there were down to the whole kitchen team, and sadly at this moment we are not together. I deeply miss the brigade more than anything but hope we will be all together in the future once again as an award winning team! It is the team that made the pies what they were!


MyPie produce the shock of the FA Cup Second Round!!!


MyPie Pie Truck
MyPie's silver pie truck at the ground
Photo supplied by Chris @ MyPie
Forget the David and Goliath encounters in the FA Cup, where the small minnow knocks out the football league side. The shock of the FA Cup for us was seeing what looked like one of the MyPie pie trucks in the crowd for Monday's BBC televised FA Cup tie between Slough Town and Rochdale.


We contacted Chris, the owner of MyPie London - our number 1 pie maker out of over 600 pies, to get the low down and found out that the rumours were true! As a special one-off for this bumper FA Cup crowd the Slough officials had decided to get the MyPie truck in and serve their football pies to the fans! What a genius idea - I'd certainly rather have a MyPie than pretty much any other pie, and certainly more than the standard pie fayre you tend to get at a football stadium! It makes us wonder where the MyPie truck might turn up next and we long for it to show up at Adams Park (home to our team, Wycombe Wanderers) sometime soon!!!


We certainly echo that it is a real team effort to make so many great pies for every Morecambe game and therefore wish Graham well in his new venture, while his old colleagues at Morecambe FC hold the fort. We're intrigued to know what the future will be for Morecambe FC's pies, as the only major English club we're aware of that make their own pies on the premises. We'll have to try and get along again soon to check the pies are still up to the same high standard!

What's also intriguing is that the British Pie Awards category for football pies is actually a "sports pie" category, so being a Rugby head chef now we could well see Graham try and win the award for two different pies in two different sports!

For now though, we'll leave you with a brief little video filmed on the day BBC Sport visited Graham and the team to find out more about his football pies, including their rather quirky new flavour at the time:



RAS

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 "Big Football Pie Transfer Prior To January Window!"

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Football Pie: Moor Pukka Pies

The 1st round of the FA Cup saw me venture outside the football league when I went to Solihull Moors for their 0-2 defeat at the hands of the mighty Wycombe Wanderers. Perhaps because the Moors were struggling at the bottom of the National League there was a disappointingly poor attendance for what was one of the biggest matches in their history. The 807 Wycombe fan actually outnumbered the home fans who were very quiet. The Wycombe fans even took it upon themselves to sing the name of the Solihull goalkeeper when he was announced as the man of the match.


The bumper away crowd was perhaps why the catering suffered some problems. There were massive queues at what was effectively just a burger van parked to the side of the away stand. I got to the front and was dismayed at the lack of choice. Meat in bread was really the only option on view despite the clear superiority of meat in pastry.  (Who prefers bread to pastry?!?) I asked about pies and was initially told they didn't have any. However, upon seeing how crestfallen I was he shouted to someone else who confirmed that there was one pie left in the beer tent just behind the stand. This had now been closed off so someone had to pass the pie to me through the railings. I handed £3 back through the railings in return. I didn't ask about the flavour because it didn't really matter. If this was the last pie I was eating it whatever flavour it was! Sadly, this is not the first time we have found pies not readily available in a football ground, which is a shame when pies and football are so closely associated.

Returning to my seat I tried to guess the flavour of the pie. I thought it looked like Steak and Kidney so got a surprise to find out it was Chicken Balti when I took my first bite! Fortunately it was easy to tell who made the pie because it had the Pukka pie logo on the bottom of the foil. I have enjoyed the Pukka Balti pies a few times before and this one was equally enjoyable. Thankfully it wasn't burnt like the last few Pukka pies I have had. Rather than being too hard, this time the pastry was too soft! It was so soft it fell apart while eating it. I was thankful for the plate which caught most of the pie contents as I ate the pastry. This was pretty messy and certainly not an ideal pie to eat at the football. Despite being soft, the pastry wasn't raw and did seem fully cooked.

The contents tasted pretty good although unspectacular. It had a bit of spice but was not overly hot. Like most Pukka pies, the thick sauce was tasty but it was heavy on the salt. There was a reasonable amount of chicken buried in the sauce. Unsurprisingly it was pretty similar to when I have had this pie before. Therefore a fairly decent effort but a bit uninspiring to find that clubs outside the Football League are also entralled by the Pukka pie empire.

Chicken Balti (Solihull Moors/Pukka)
4.23/7

SJL

continue reading "Football Pie: Moor Pukka Pies"

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Pierate Pie Night 2017

Pierate Pie Night raises some "dough" for Charity!


Sandy and the Pierateers
Sandy and the Pierateers!
It's only right that we celebrated our 8th Birthday in style - with what else but a pie night! And while there were a few last minute hitches - not most the oven in the hall we were going to be using being written off! - we were able to still go ahead with the night by hosting it at the home of one of the Pierateers! It was a delight to see 36 pie fans (including Pierateers Rob, Sam and Tim) enjoy pie and mash alongside one of the stars of Great British Bake Off 2015, Sandy Docherty! All in all, I think everyone had a great evening and the lid on the pie, so to speak, was raising a whopping £358 for charity Action Against Hunger.

We'd like to say a massive thank you to all those who came to our Birmingham Pie Night and particularly our star guest Sandy Docherty for coming down and to Chris from MyPie London, who generously donated the pies so that we could raise more money for charity. The guests loved them and could see why the Steak and Ale pie is number 1 out of over 625 pies in our pie rankings!


We were delighted to be able to enjoy pies that Chris from MyPie London sent us for our Charity Pie Night! Now our number 1 pie maker on Pierate, taking the top spot since our 6th birthday, Chris holds the number 1 and number 2 spots in our pie rankings!


His Steak and Ale pie scoring 6.61/7 has beaten off the com-pie-tition of over 600 other pies to top our pie rankings!


Our apple and blackcurrant pie!
Sandy was a great guest, sharing some of her tips at the start of the evening and even helping us peel the potatoes beforehand. She kindly brought two homemade pies with her to be raffle prizes. We also were gifted a few Pieminister vouchers for their new(ish) Birmingham pie shop for our raffle and someone even went away with their very own Pierate mug! We were also grateful to Ruth and Sarah for bringing a number of homemade pies for our dessert, alongside our own attempt at an apple and blackcurrant pie.

It was a great evening, sharing a bit about what we'd been up to, watching our Leeds Pie Tour video and hearing a bit about the work of charity Action Against Hunger. But as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are some of the pielights of our pie night in photo form:






The Pierateers busy in the kitchen!

Another delicious MyPie





Our star baker Sandy talking to guests


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 "Pierate Pie Night 2017"

Sunday, 12 November 2017

International Pierate Day 2017

We Pierateers of pie review website www.pierate.co.uk are today celebrating our 8th Birthday, and we'd love you to join us by simply eating a pie and rating it!


That’s why we’ve designated
12th November as International Pierate Day!


It follows in the footsteps of the very first International Pierate Day in 2013, which was once again celebrated in 2014 and 2015 and last year. But we don’t want you – pie lovers worldwide – to just sit at home and watch as we eat all the pies! Oh no! Pie eating and pie rating is something we can all enjoy. Something that can bring friends, family and communities together. Pies are celebrated and eaten in so many countries worldwide and so today – marking our eighth birthday – we would love you to join us in eating and rating pies this week to celebrate!


Pie Birthday Card
Quite an apt pie card to celebrate our Birthday!

This year our main highlight was the charity pie night we held last night, which saw over 35 people enjoy pies from MyPie alongside our celebrity guest, 2015 Bake Off contestant Sandy! We managed to raise a great total of £358.00 for charity Action Against Hunger and there were many happy pie fans there too! We'll do a proper write up soon!

Last year we got a lovely pie-related Birthday card to celebrate our 7th year (above), and you may also remember that to celebrate the occasion of our 6th birthday, we commissioned fellow food blogger and amazing illustrator Emily from www.recipesandreviews.co.uk to create us this lovely, personalised print - an illustrated guide on how to rate a pie, based on our 7 Cs of pie rating!


An illustrated guide on how to rate a pie by @emily_etc


So here’s the deal... in six simple words: Eat a pie and rate it!

It doesn’t matter whether it’s savoury or sweet, or whether you prefer your pies without the wheat or meat! We really do rate anything and everything that is a true pie and sometimes a number of interesting things that try to be pies to! But the important thing is we love to eat pie and rate it – for we are, after all, the Pierateers!

So once you’ve found a pie to eat – whether in the local bakery, butchers, supermarket or your favourite pie shop or one you have made in the luxury of your own home – why not rate your pie using the Seven Cs of pie rating in our lovely illustrated guide above?



In addition to celebrating #InternationalPierateDay today, we were also delighted to be able to enjoy pies that Chris from MyPie London sent us for our Charity Pie Night last night! Now our number 1 pie maker on Pierate, taking the top spot since our 6th birthday, Chris holds the number 1 and number 2 spots in our pie rankings!


His Steak and Ale pie scoring 6.61/7 has beaten off the com-pie-tition of over 600 other pies to top our pie rankings!



So what do you need to do now?


Well, first things first - you need a pie (or two!) For insPIEration you might find our Pie Rankings helpful, with over 600 pies we've rated and reviewed over the past 8 years! Or perhaps you want to make one of the pies our Ship's Cook has made, following her reci-pies here.

You can even watch us on the BBC website advising what to look for in a pie!

Most of all, we hope you enjoy eating and rating pies this week! We sure will and will be posting about the pies we ate for our birthday Charity Pie Night this week!!!



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 "International Pierate Day 2017"

Friday, 10 November 2017

Pieminister have arrived in Birmingham!!!

Pieminister “Kate and Sidney” British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale Pie Review


Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
It hasn’t escaped my attention as a pie connoisseur in England’s second city Birmingham that there has been a bit of a lack of pie shops in the city, especially following the closure of “Urban Pie” a few years back. It was therefore encouraging to see that top pie maker Pieminister – from whom we have rated sixteen pies previously, the majority of whom have been Pierate Recommended or Pierate Highly Recommended – have changed all that with a new shop opening a few months ago in the heart of the city centre.

While some of you may have noticed on Twitter that we visited early on in their first week of trading in the city a few months back, we decided to visit again more recently once they had properly settled in to their new location to get a proper reflection of the new store. Of course we weren’t disappointed, with another top rated and highly recommended pie! The store itself is decorated in standard Pieminister fashion – quite simple brick fa├žade with neon lights. It’s great to have another pie option right in the heart of the city, just off Victoria Square at 16 Waterloo Street.

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!




So onto the pie I had, which when I looked at the menu was becoming a struggle to find a new option we hadn’t already rated!! I went for the “Kate and Sidney” pie, which was British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale. I went for the classic meal with a super side upgrade of skin on fries, which meant my meal cost £8.50. This is a little pricey for a meal of pie, mash and gravy, but being in a new city centre store and comparing this to pie meals in pubs and shops in the city centre, I don’t think this is too unreasonable a price.

Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review
Pieminister Steak and Kidney Pie Review

As you can see from the pictures, the pie was lovely and golden on top, though certainly a lot more pale on the sides. However the sides and base were quite crisp too, alongside the golden top. The lovely Pieminister pastry one again surrounded a well filled content, with a definite focus on meaty steak chunks rather than the kidney. I was appreciative of this decent blend, as many steak and kidney pies can use the kidney as a cheap filler for a pie, but this was certainly not the case here! The balance between crisp pastry and a moist, meaty filling was delightful and I’ll definitely look to have another one soon!

Once again Pieminister have produced a Pierate Highly Recommended pie and I for one am delighted they’ve decided to sell it – alongside their other top range of pies - in the heart of England’s second city, Birmingham!

Pieminister “Kate and Sidney” British Beef Steak, Kidney and Craft Ale Pie
Score: 6.04/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6, Condition 6.25, Chewiness 6.25, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6]
RAS


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 "Pieminister have arrived in Birmingham!!!"

Monday, 30 October 2017

Are Piebury Corner Still-ton the best London Pie Shop?

Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review from their new King’s Cross Shop!


Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
If anyone ever asks which pie shop they should visit in London, there is only one answer I give them – Piebury Corner. For many a year, since we first reviewed them in February 2013, they have been at the top of our pie rankings which span well over 600 pies from across the world. But there has always been one slight issue – their pie shop is slightly out of the way for the typical London visitor, being up in Islington (N7).

You can therefore imagine our delight when we heard a number of months back from owners Paul and Nikki that they were in negotiations for a property just a few minutes from Kings Cross Station – which really is prime retail location for thousands of London commuters and tourists each and every day! Now that the new store has been open a few months, it was about time that we set the Pierate Ship down to London for a visit, and a Friday Pieday visit was the ideal op-pie-tunity!

Read all about when the new Piebury Corner pie shop was "hot" off the press in this Hot-Dinners.com article!

Piebury Corner Pie Shop Review
The new Piebury Corner Pie Shop - Image supplied by Piebury Corner

Arriving mid-afternoon, I avoided the rush hour craziness on my 4-minute walk from Kings Cross Tube station and settled into my own seating booth, which comes with free wifi and USB charging points for your phone. It’s significantly more spacious than the Holloway Road store in Islington, providing adequate seating for around 40 customers. I perused the menu and – while not eating straight away, as it was a bit early – picked from the increasingly small list of Piebury Corner pies we have yet to rate! With 14 already rated, I went for one of the only meat pies left on my list – the Steak and Stilton.

Piebury Corner Pie Shop Review
Inside Piebury's new store - Image supplied by Piebury Corner
One of the most obvious differences between the two pie shops is that the new Kings Cross store has dropped the Arsenal footballer pie names – but this is hardly a surprise given its location much further away from the Emirates Stadium and its target audience no longer primarily being Arsenal fans! The main pies all still feature though, even if they are a bit pricier than when we first started tucking into Piebury Corner pies those five years ago! A standard range pie at the Kings Cross shop sets you back £6 hot and eating in, with the luxury range 50p more and gluten free 50p more again. While you can get deals at certain times to make this a meal with pie, potato and gravy, it is quite an expensive cost for just a pie but then this is no ordinary quality pie, as the shop's kitchen manager Anthony testified to me during a chat with him after my pie. He has many years’ experience as a chef in London but was surprised at the high quality of these pies, which he hasn’t been able to match in quality from a supplier anywhere else in London!

Click here for all our Piebury Pie Reviews in one place!

Featuring legends (on the pitch and on the plate) like Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp!


Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie Review
Onto the pie itself and the great thing is the Steak and Stilton 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 a fine balance of tender steak and a Stilton gravy. The meat was lovely and had a good noticeable flavour to it without being overpowered by the Stilton cheese, which has been the downside of a fair few Stilton Cheese pies I’ve had lately (either too much Stilton or lacking any noticeable cheese flavour to it!) The only real downsides to these pies, mentioned a number of times in Piebury Corner reviews, are that the pie is rather shallow for a pie of its price range and therefore while they taste great, they do often leave you wanting more! But I guess that’s a good sign what you are eating is a top pie! The Steak and Stilton is yet another “Pierate Highly Recommended” pie from Piebury Corner.

Piebury Corner Steak and Stilton Pie
Score: 6.18/7
[Colour 6.75/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 5.5/7; Chewiness 6.5/7; Condition 6.75/7; Content 6/7; Capacity 6/7]


RAS

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 "Are Piebury Corner Still-ton the best London Pie Shop?"