Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Burying our teeth into Stanbury Wild Game Pies

Stanbury Wild Game Pie Reviews


So a couple of weeks back we had the small matter of British Pie Week to enjoy, and unsur-pie-singly we had a few pies to celebrate this momentous occasion! And while we managed to document the pies we got our teeth into via our daily diary articles (see the bottom of this article), now comes the time to write up all our new pies on the world’s leading pie review blog!

Stanbury's Squirrel and Rabbit Pie and Mixed Game Pie Review
Stanbury's Squirrel and Rabbit Pie and Mixed Game Pie
A pie-light at the end of British Pie Week, enjoyed on Day Six and Day Seven, were the wild game pies that we had from Stanbury Wild Game Pie Company. This is a relatively new husband and wife team producing – you’ve guessed it! – wild game pies. They’ve been making wild game pies for about 3 years now, selling mainly at local farmers markets and food festivals near Exeter in Devon. However this has recently changed with a new online delivery option via their website, so now more people can get hold of their pies!

Venison and Pheasant Stanbury Wild Game Pie Review
Venison and Pheasant Pies from Stanbury Wild Game Pies
To mark British Pie Week, the owners of Stanbury Wild Game Pie Company arranged to send us six of their game pies – 4 of which we ate in British Pie Week and review below and 2 of which we froze to eat soon. The pies we review below are the Venison and Mushroom, Mixed Game, Pheasant and Cider and Rabbit and Squirrel pies. Each of them sell for £3 on market stalls or £3.50 online (apart from the Rabbit and Squirrel pie, which is £3.50/£4).

As with any wild game pie, you’ve got to be careful to look out for small bones or leftover shot, but I’m pleased to say all four were fine in this regard, with no fat left on the meat either. This is a great sign of a company who take care of their produce and only want to provide the best pies to their consumers. The pastry was good – especially the crisp golden pastry on top of the pie, even if the side and base were a little paler and less crisp on them all. But all in all, not bad at all.

Stanbury Pheasant and Cider Pie Review
Pheasant and Cider Pie
Pheasant and Cider Pie
Certainly a combo I’d not tried before – I think I had only consumed Pheasant within a mixed game pie before this one! And there was a good amount of meat too, with no criticism there! The cider added an interesting flavour to the mix, fortunately not making it too sweet in the process but acting as a nice balance to the pheasant’s meat flavour. I’d certainly recommend this pie. The pastry, as with all of them, was lovely and crisp on top and looked beautifully golden. Besides the meat the filling was more thick sauce than gravy, an interesting consistency, but balanced the pie well.

Score: 5.82/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5.5, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6]

Stanbury Venison Pie Review
Venison Pie
Venison and Mushroom Pie
Venison pies, understandably, are a lot more common nationwide than some of the other wild game pies on their menu, however they have done a good job of providing a lovely venison pie here. While I personally wouldn’t go for a venison and mushroom option over a straight out venison pie – and also would prefer a gravy rather than a thick sauce – when putting my personal preferences aside this was a nice pie and I still enjoyed it. The pastry (especially the lid) was nice and crisp and complemented the meaty content well. While I have to admit I was more excited by the other (more unusual) flavours, it’s encouraging to see them doing the slightly more regular flavours well too!

Score: 5.54/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 5]

Stanbury Mixed Game Pie Review
Mixed Game Pie
Mixed Game Pie
Like London buses, you have your first pie with pheasant in for a long while, and then a second comes along slightly after! This time the pheasant was in a mixed game pie also containing venison, partridge and pigeon! And we also found out on the Friday before we ate it that this pie was the Class winner at the British Pie Awards for best speciality meats and game pie 2018!

As for the pie itself, it was crammed full of lovely, tender meat. The moist succulent filling balanced well with the crisp pastry and it was an unusual mix of flavours rarely seen all in one pie. I can see why this rated well with the judges at the British Pie Awards!

Score: 6.07/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5.75, Condition 6.25, Chewiness 6, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6.5]

Stanbury Rabbit and Squirrel Pie Review
Rabbit and Squirrel Pie
Rabbit and Squirrel Pie
Of course both rabbit and squirrel pies are pretty unique (although we have tried both individually), this was the first time we were rating them in combination. And I certainly enjoyed the meat mix! Not your usual combo but one for your dinner guests to talk about! Personally I’m not sure I’d choose to pay more to have a rabbit and squirrel pie over the rest of their wild pie range but interesting flavour mix to give people the option if needed.

Score: 5.82/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.5, Consistency 5.5, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6]


All in all, some unique meat flavours in there and some top rated scores, particularly the mixed game pie which backs up its British Pie Awards class win with a Pierate Highly Recommended pie score! Our thanks to Nel from Stanbury Wild Game Pie Company for supplying us with these lovely Pierate Recommended pies. I certainly commend them to you if you fancy something a bit different from your standard beef or chicken pie!!



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.

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and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Burying our teeth into Stanbury Wild Game Pies"

Friday, 23 March 2018

British Pie Awards 2018

British Pie Awards 2018
Ben, Pierateer Rob and Pierateer Sam at the British Pie Awards 2018

The 10th annual British Pie Awards took place just a few short weeks ago and we were delighted to once again be there for judging and full media coverage via our Live feed

Held in the heart of pork pie country - Melton Mowbray - we saw a record 146 judges rate a record 963 pies from across Britain! And we were delighted to share on Day Five of British Pie Week that the British Pie Awards Supreme Champion of 2018 was Turner's Pies!



And after their win, Turner's Pies immediately set their eyes on another award - this time becoming the number 1 pie on Pierate!


Back to the Awards judging on Wednesday 7th March and we were glad to be back where it all began as the 10th annual British Pie Awards headed home to St Mary's Church in the heart of Melton Mowbray. You may remember that last year the Awards took place at an alternative local venue while the church was refurbished but I can confirm it was well worth the wait, as the new renovations looked great and the church really is the home of the Pie Awards!

This isn't the first time we've attended the British Pie Awards! Oh no! Find out more in our other articles here:
Media in 2017  |  Judges in 2016  |  Judges in 2015
Judges in 2014  |  Helpers in 2013


British Pie Awards 2018
Calm before the storm...

After a three hour trip from Gloucester to Melton Mowbray via Birmingham, Pierateers Sam and Rob, ably accompanied by friend of the Pierateers Ben, arrived for the 10th annual British Pie Awards. It was the first time we'd driven to the Awards and after a light breakfast and coffee upon arrival, it was time to head to see the newly refurbished church. We weren't disappointed! And having settled in, it wasn't too long before new chairman Colin Woodhead conducted the all important judges briefings, where consistency in judging was the main point stressed to the judges.

Then it was over to Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association Matthew O'Callaghan to welcome people and share a few top tips about judging, before the Vicar of St Mary's church in Melton Mowbray blessed the pies with a brief prayer, thanking the pie makers for all their hard work in baking! Amen to that!!

St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray

The Pork Pie Class at the British Pie Awards 2018
The Pork Pie Class at the British Pie Awards 2018
There were once again a number of celebrities judging the pies, in particular TV's Andy Clarke on the Pork Pie Class and food critic Charles Campion. And we were delighted to catch up with a number of friends of the blog such as Katie "AwayDayPieGirl" Peel and "Life of Pies" author Martin Tarbuck, as well as Awards hosts Matthew and Stephen Hallam.

As always there were a number of interesting occurrences, such as controversy in the Savoury Pie (cold) class as a pie with a stilton lid - rather than pastry - got disqualified and a chicken and banana pie was rated in the Chicken pie class! Plus there were once again some interesting flavours in the Speciality Meat and Game Pie class. Rabbit, venison, wild boar and duck pies were among the entries there!

Speciality Meat and Game Pies
So who were the big winners and notable entries in the British Pie Awards 2018? Some of the pie-lights this year included:

- As previously mentioned, Turner's Pies from West Sussex grabbing the big prize - the Supreme Champion 2018 for their Steak and Ale pie. This was also followed up with the win in the small producers award category too! Many congratulations to them - we look forward to getting our hands on one to rate soon!

- Lesson Family Butchers winning the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie class. This was a turn up for the books, as last year the Supreme Champion was from this class, but this year the Dickinson and Morris Pork Pie didn't even win the class!

- Ben's Kitchen - who won the small producer award last year - won the Beef and any flavour class for their Beef Bourguignon pie.

Stephen Hallam and Pierateer Rob!
- MyPie London won the Chicken and other meat class with their Chicken, Smoked Ham & Tarragon pie, which follows on from last year's vegetarian class win! (You may also be aware we pie rated this chicken pie a massive 6.39/7 when we reviewed it!)

- The Speciality Meat and Game pie class was won by Stanbury Wild Game Pies, whose pies we ate at the end of British Pie Week (see Day Six and Day Seven reviews) and which will be formally rated in the next week.

- The Apple Pie class was won by none other than Graham Aimson, whose name may well ring a bell as in the past he won the class (and Supreme Champion) when working for Morecambe FC but this year won the class while working for Kendall Rugby Club! Find out more about Graham's transfer here.

The full list of winners can be found on the British Pie Awards website.

Once again there was a great array of top pies made from hundreds of pie makers (many small producers of less than 5 employees!) It certainly reminds us we have many more pies to set sail towards on the Pierate Ship! We'll keep searching these Great British Isles for more top pies and, as always, let you know how they all rate on the 7 Cs of pie rating!!

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 "British Pie Awards 2018"

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Football's greatest (pie) save?!

Pie at the football!

Regulars to our pie blog know that the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances - are fans of a pie at the football! We've talked about football pies in many articles, including giving a number of o-pie-nions on the results of the annual BBC Price of Football Survey that looks at the price of pies, had the chance to share our ex-pie-tise on BBC Radio, BBC TV (through our appearance on "Rip Off Britain") and even been in a pie-related video on the BBC Sport website!


But probably the best pie related video we've seen in a while - and the best save of the season thus far - happened recently, as captured on TV and posted on the BBC Sport website! A Scottish league footballer's wayward shot over the bar narrowly avoided taking out a fan carrying his pie and drink back to his seat due to the quick reactions of a fellow fan! In the video on the BBC Sport website you can see a leg pop out at the last minute to re-direct the ball and save him from a calamitous situation! The pie was saved and all remained well in the world due to the quick thinking of his fellow supporter. I'd like to think the guy walking down the stairs bought his life-saving friend a half-time pie as a way of saying thanks, but I guess we will never know!! Thanks to friend of the Pierateers Steve for sharing the video with us!

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



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
Just over 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.

Top of our pie league, Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! They are also winners of the British Pie Awards twice, and while Head chef Graham Aimson has sadly moved on, the pies at Morecambe are still made in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Great work!

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 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Football's greatest (pie) save?!"

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Leeds Pie Tour: Where There's a Wilson's, There's a Way

As part of our Pie Pledges for British Pie Week last year, we decided to head up to Leeds to do a #LeedsPieTour! A bit delayed but we have finally caught up with this being the all important last place we really had to review!



As part of the Leeds Pie Tour one of the most highly regarded pie shops we visited was Wilsons. Some claimed that they produce the best Pork Pies in Leeds so we had to check them out!  It was nice to see that this was a shop specialing in pies which goes to show how much the good people of Leeds love their pies.

As you can see from our video, I devoured the pork pie straight away having gone for the hot option. As a Southerner, a hot pork pie is not something I would normally choose but I thought I had to give it a go. Unfortunately it made it hard to compare it to other pork pies I have eaten. The pastry was certainly nice with a crunch on the outside but nice and moist in the middle. It was a bit softer than normal because it was hot. I liked how the jelly had melted, I don't particularly like the cold jelly layer in a pork pie but when hot it makes more sense.

It did take me a bite to get through to the central pink ham meat. The filling was moist and certainly not lacking in flavour. I really enjoyed the first couple of bites but then found it got a bit sickly. I am not quite sure why this was, perhaps it was because there was quite a lot seasoning. I think it was a good pork pie but I prefer the cooked pork you find Melton Mowbray pork pie whereas this was cured meat; like eating a lump of ham. It was actually quite similar to the Voakes pork pie we had at Haley & Cliffords but I thought slightly not as good. However I was more in my comfort zone with the Voakes pie because I had it cold.

Pork (Wilsons [Leeds])
Score: 5.36/7


SJL



I also picked up a Wilson's Steak pie which TJP and myself ate hot later on. This was of course very different to the pork pie. The flavour of the filling was fairly standard Steak & Ale territory. The whole thing was moist because there was plenty of nice thick sauce. It was well filled with big chunks of meat although some were a little chewy.


The pastry was not your standard hot pie pastry, this was thick and in some ways a little dry but this did mean it had a good crunch and an almost biscuity flavour. It was quite nice to have this as a change to the soft and stodgy pastry you get with mass produced pies. Overall I enjoyed the pie and it was great value. I note that I also picked up a Meat & Potato pie which really wasn't as good so stick with the Meat & Meat!

Steak & Ale (Wilsons [Leeds])
Score: 5.05/7



SJL & TJP




See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:


Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017 - featuring the Leeds Pie Tour


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 "Leeds Pie Tour: Where There's a Wilson's, There's a Way"

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Birmingham Pie Night celebrated at Pieminister!

For those who missed the news, on Day Two of British Pie Week the Pierateers rummaged and pillaged the pies at Pieminister Birmingham as we hosted a Pierateer Takeover!


Pierateer Rob at Pieminister Pie Night
Pierateer Rob at the Pieminister Pie Night
You can read more about the plans we had in our preview article but from 5:30-7:30pm on Tuesday 6th March, Pierateer Rob and friends of the Pierateers enjoyed eating and rating some delicious pies!

For those who don't know, Bristol pie giant Pieminister opened up a shop in Birmingham city centre in mid-2017 and we've frequented it a number of times already. However we certainly hadn't waited until they opened a shop in Birmingham before rating one of their pies, for we have rated 19 Pieminister pies in total and one of our very first reviews over 8 years ago was from Pieminister!

Since then we've tried some of their "Pie Election" winners (when pie fans got to choose which old favourites to bring back to the menu for British Pie Week 2015) and we were even crazy enough to try their Cricket pie last year! Yes, that's right - it had actual whole insects in it!!

This year Pieminister decided to do a special offer each day of British Pie Week and it was a veggie pie-motion on the Tuesday - whereby meat free pies were only £2 when you bought a side. Lots of Pierateer Rob's friends chose a meat free pie, including their new vegan pie "Kevin" - but even a cheaper pie couldn't stop Pierateer Rob going for the meaty Moodog Pie! Here's what he thought, followed by a number of pie ratings from the guests at the Birmingham Pie Night!

The Moodog is British Beef Steak, Bacon and Brewdog 5am Red Ale (though with the recent news of a new "pink ale" from Brewdog, who knows if there will be a new "pink ale" pie in future?!) The pie was classic Pieminister, with a delicious crisp outer pastry and a well filled and meaty filling. The steak and bacon combined well and the gravy was a nice consistency - runny but not too runny! A little bigger and a bit more steak would have made this even higher rated, but in all I very much enjoyed the Moodog and hope to have another soon! (Remember, a pie - and thus a pie night - is not just for British Pie Week, as our "7 ways to survive post British Pie Week" article reminds us!!)

Pieminister “Moodog” British Beef Steak, Bacon and Brewdog 5am Red Ale Pie
Score: 6.11/7
[Colour 6, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 6.25, Condition 6.25, Chewiness 6.25, Cheapness 5.5, Content 6.25]




During the two hours Pierateer Rob chatted pies with his friends, including giving info about how to rate a pie on the 7 Cs of pie rating. This led to a number of guests completing a Pierate scoring card, the scores of which are as follows:

Moo and Blue (by Miranda) - 6.71/7 (Colour 6, Capacity 7, Consistency 7, Condition 7, Chewiness 7, Cheapness 6, Content 7)

Wild Shroom (by Aradhana) - 6.14/7 (Colour 5, Capacity 6, Consistency 6, Condition 7, Chewiness 6, Cheapness 7, Content 6)

"Kevin" Vegan (by Claire) - 5.86/7 (Colour 6, Capacity 7, Consistency 6, Condition 6, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 7, Content 4)

Wild Shroom (by Joel) - 5.86/7 (Colour 7, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 6, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 6, Content 6)

Saag Pie-neer (by Hajra) - 5.57/7 (Colour 5, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 6, Content 7)

Heidi (by Shereen) - 5/7 (Colour 4, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 5, Chewiness 4, Cheapness 6, Content 5)


Thanks to Pieminister Birmingham for hosting our Pierateer Takeover and we hope to organise another next British Pie Week! As you can see from the scores, everyone thought the pies were Pierate Recommended or better (5/7 or above) so I'm sure there will be plenty of guests again next British Pie Week!!

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 "Birmingham Pie Night celebrated at Pieminister!"

Monday, 12 March 2018

7 ways to survive post British Pie Week

Yes, British Pie Week is over. We hear ya! Pie specials will disappear from pub menus. Pie Week discounts will no longer apply. But we’ve got one important message for pie fans: “A pie is for life, not just British Pie Week!” We all know that pies are far too good to celebrate just one week of the year! So here's 7 ways to survive post British Pie Week:


1) Enjoy a pie as soon as possible post British Pie Week - after all, there's no need to just eat pies in British Pie Week!

2) Reminisce about your favourite pie or pies from British Pie Week and plan to eat them again soon!

3) Save up your money to buy some top pies even once the promos and discounts have disappeared.

4) Petition your local pub or pie shop to bring back some of their specials if they were only on sale for British Pie Week.


5) Search our pie rankings list of over 600 pies to find a new pie to try in the coming weeks!

Stephen Hallam (l) - compare at the British
Pie Awards - and Pierateer Rob
6) Use your extra time to catch up on all the crazy antics the Pierateers got up to in British Pie Week 2018 via our pie diary:



7) Remember - it's now less than 365 days until we do it all again, for British Pie Week 2019! It'll be from 4th-10th March 2019.


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 "7 ways to survive post British Pie Week"

Sunday, 11 March 2018

British Pie Week 2018 - Day Seven

The final day of British Pie Week 2018 saw us trying another two pies from Stanbury Wild Game Pies, including the British Pie Awards class winner in the Taste of Game "Game Pie" class which was the Mixed Game Pie from Stanbury Wild Game Pies. Find out more below!

As always there is a summary of each day of Pie Week at the bottom of this article and on our dedicated British Pie Week page. Enjoy!


This article will be updated throughout the day/week, so do check back for what we've been up to!

British Pie Awards Game Pies
Judging the Speciality Meats and Game Pies

Pierateer RAS

I've made four #PiePledge commitments this British Pie Week, which are the following:

1) One or more pies eaten every day
2) 2 days of annual leave taken to eat, rate and tweet about pies (one of which was Friday just gone, in pre-pie-ration and to get some pies delivered for pie week!)
3) Organise a pie night - which happened on Tuesday evening in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards


We're delighted to say that this British Pie Week has given us the most page views of any of the last 8 years, with over 41,000 page views already (and still a few hours remaining!!) Helped hugely by the massive response to the Radfords Pie Review we did on Tuesday night, which has had over 22,000 views in the past 5 days, we're delighted that there has been so much interest in British Pie Week and in our pie blog during it! Thanks to everyone who's taken a look!!

As mentioned on Friday, all bar the eating of pies each day of British Pie Week had been completed and I was very excited to get pie rating some top game pies from Stanbury Wild Game Pies again today! The two I had for lunch today were a Rabbit and Squirrel pie (which trades at £3.50 on market stalls and £4 on the Stanbury Wild Game Pies website) and the Mixed Game Pie - which won the Speciality Meats and Game Pie class at the British Pie Awards on Friday - which trades at £3 on market stalls and £3.50 on the website. Considering the unique nature of Squirrel meat, I can understand this costing a bit more, and the mixed game pie I thought was again very reasonably priced.

Both were well packed with meat, especially the mixed game pie which packed in four different meats - venison, pheasant, partridge and pigeon! Like yesterday, both pies were crisp on the lid pastry (though a little paler and softer on the side and base) with a moist, succulent filling. They had what I'd describe as more of a thick sauce than a gravy inside them both, which added to the flavour even if it wasn't quite as runny a consistency as I would personally prefer. However I could not fault the meat content and quality, and despite the warning they have to give that game pies like this may contain bones, there was nothing of the sort - so a good job in preparation there! I will review them fully soon!

Stanbury's Squirrel and Rabbit Pie and Mixed Game Pie Review
Stanbury's Squirrel and Rabbit Pie and Mixed Game Pie


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week 2018 - Day Seven"

Saturday, 10 March 2018

British Pie Week 2018 - Day Six

With the results of the 10th annual British Pie Awards making the headlines on Day Five of British Pie Week, Day Six was a far more relaxed affair! However we were delighted to find out on the Friday that the British Pie Awards class winner in the Taste of Game "Game Pie" class was none-other than Stanbury Wild Game Pies, who we had arranged earlier in the week to obtain a box of game pies from to enjoy this weekend! Find out more below!

As always there is a summary of each day of Pie Week at the bottom of this article and on our dedicated British Pie Week page. Enjoy!


This article will be updated throughout the day/week, so do check back for what we've been up to!

British Pie Awards Game Pies
Judging the Speciality Meats and Game Pies

Pierateer RAS

I've made four #PiePledge commitments this British Pie Week, which are the following:

1) One or more pies eaten every day
2) 2 days of annual leave taken to eat, rate and tweet about pies (one of which was Friday just gone, in pre-pie-ration and to get some pies delivered for pie week!)
3) Organise a pie night - which happened on Tuesday evening in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards


As mentioned yesterday, all bar the eating of pies each day of British Pie Week had been completed and I was very excited to get pie rating some top game pies from Stanbury Wild Game Pies for the next two days! The two I had for lunch today were a Pheasant and Cider pie and a Venison and Mushroom pie. Both trade for £3 on market stalls or £3.50 on the Stanbury Wild Game Pies website, which for a game pie I thought was very reasonable!

Both were well packed with meat, especially the pheasant pie due to it not containing the mushroom that the venison pie had. Both pies were crisp on the lid pastry (though a little paler and softer on the side and base) with a moist, succulent filling. They had what I'd describe as more of a thick sauce than a gravy inside them both, which added to the flavour even if it wasn't quite as runny a consistency as I would personally prefer. However I could not fault the meat content and quality, and despite the warning they have to give that game pies like this may contain bones, there was nothing of the sort - so a good job in preparation there! I will review them fully soon!

Venison and Pheasant Stanbury Wild Game Pie Review
Venison and Pheasant Pies from Stanbury Wild Game Pies


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week 2018 - Day Six"

British Pie Week Reci-pie: Pasticcio di Maccheroni (Pasta Pie)

The Ship's Cook once again cooks up a storm in the kitchen during British Pie Week to try out an intriguing new pie flavour we've yet to try before! For all 20+ of the previous reci-pies made by the Ship's Cook, check out our Reci-pie Page!



Grab a pie, take a seat, and let me tell you a tale about a legendary pasta pie!


Many years ago, before I’d joined the Pierateers as Ship’s Cook, a television cookery show introduced me to a pie concept so fantastic that I spent the next decade dreaming about making it. Seriously, I just looked it up and it was an episode of the Hairy Bikers back in 2006. They went to Emilia Romagna in central Italy and made a recipe called “Pasticcio di Maccheroni” inspired by Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. “Pasticcio di Maccheroni” is a pasta pie – how brilliant is that?!

 
Ever since then I’ve been threatening to make my own pasta pie. Twelve years later and I’ve acquired an English translation of Pellegrino Artusi’s book and a husband who’s part-Italian, and I’ve put a four course dinner and a three-tiered cake in pastry, so this British Pie Week I decided it was finally time to tackle the Pasticcio di Maccheroni…

It didn’t quite go to plan.

For a start, the recipe has a very long list of ingredients that didn’t sound all that appealing. We’ve put a lot of things in pies over the years (pythons and crocodiles, for a start) but I really didn’t fancy chicken gizzards. I also didn’t have a clue where to get them from, and even if I had there was a bigger problem heading my way – some of the worst snow, ice and storms that the UK had seen in years. Getting to the shops proved to be pretty hazardous, but a Pierateer will not be stopped, so I decided I was going to make my very own pasta pie with whatever I could find in my kitchen cupboards.

The Recipe: 


This is probably one of the shortest ingredient lists you’ll ever see:


  • Shortcrust pastry - I only had wholemeal flour, so that’s what I used, and I added some grated parmesan in an attempt to be a bit more Italian.
  • Pasta – I used rigatoni but I see no reason why you couldn’t use spaghetti or any other type of pasta.
  • Pasta sauce - I had some Dolmio Pasta Bake sauce, but you could use whatever you’ve got left in your cupboard after the Beast from the East.
  • Cheese – I used Parmesan.
  • Milk or egg to brush the top of the pie.
The method is just as simple. I rolled out two thirds of the pastry to line the pie dish, then blind baked the base.

 
Meanwhile, I cooked the pasta and added the sauce. Once the pie base was ready I filled it with pasta and sauce and grated some cheese on top.

 
Finally, I rolled out the rest of the pastry to make a lid, put it on top of the pasta and crimped the edges to make a proper pie. I didn’t have any eggs so I brushed the top with milk, then baked the pie until pastry was crisp and golden brown.

 
The Seven Cs:

Colour: A lovely golden brown – I find it a bit harder to tell when wholemeal pastry is cooked so I had to tap it to check it was nice and crisp.

Consistency: A little bit boring, as it was just pastry, pasta and sauce. It needed some meat or vegetables or something to add some more texture.

Capacity: Very full, but if you made this and really squashed the pasta down, or poured a really thick sauce over the top before adding the pie lid, you could probably get even more filling in here.

Chewiness: I’ll admit, this was a bit chewy, but then pasta is meant to have a bit of bite to it so if you’re going to put pasta in a pie then there’s not a lot you can do about the texture.

Content: Not the most exciting of fillings, but it tasted nice. I think Pellegrino Artusi might have been onto something with his much longer list of ingredients - pasta pie needs an interesting sauce (layers of Bolognese or cheese sauce would have been nice, I think).

Cheapness: Really cheap. In my case it was technically free because I had all the ingredients in the cupboard already. It’s also really filling because it’s pasta wrapped in pastry, so you get quite a few servings from one pie.

Condition: Surprisingly good! The first slice fell apart completely but the rest of the pie stayed intact and once it had cooled down a bit the slices held their shape really well – I think pasta pie needs time to set and should be served warm instead of hot.

 
So in the end, my pasta pie didn’t end up being anything like Pellegrino Artusi’s. It was a lot of fun to make, and it definitely fulfilled some of the key pie criteria of being warming, filling and tasty. Having said that, I’m not altogether sure that pasta needs to be in a pie after all.

Next British Pie Week perhaps I’ll try a pizza pie like SJL…


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week Reci-pie: Pasticcio di Maccheroni (Pasta Pie) "

British Pie Week 2018 - Day Five

The results of the 10th annual British Pie Awards are the headline of Day Five of British Pie Week. We were delighted to be able to judge and provide media coverage of the Pie Awards with friend of the blog Ben (who was judging for the first time) and would like to officially congratulate Turners Pies on taking home the Supreme Champion award this year! More details below and a full summary of all the results will be coming next week!

As always there is a summary of each day of Pie Week at the bottom of this article and on our dedicated British Pie Week page. Enjoy!


This article will be updated throughout the day/week, so do check back for what we've been up to!

Pierateer RAS

I've made four #PiePledge commitments this British Pie Week, which are the following:

1) One or more pies eaten every day
2) 2 days of annual leave taken to eat, rate and tweet about pies (one of which was Friday just gone, in pre-pie-ration and to get some pies delivered for pie week!)
3) Organise a pie night - which happened on Tuesday evening in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards


British Pie Awards 2018
Ben, Pierateer Rob and Pierateer Sam at the British Pie Awards 2018
With hundreds of you following our live blog of the British Pie Awards 2018 - Live! on Wednesday, it's clear that there's an ap-pie-tite for top pies and knowing who will be crowned the Supreme Champion out of the 960 pies that were rated on Wednesday! So without further ado, we are delighted to announce that the winner of the British Pie Awards 2018 is Turner's Pies Steak and Ale pie with Highland Top Rump and Dark Ale.

The news was unveiled by the Evening Standard online this year as the British Pie Awards twitter feed didn't do a class-by-class unveil or even post about who had won as Supreme Champion! We're grateful to Gareth from Dubs Pies for unveiling the winning shot on his twitter later Friday evening:




And after their win yesterday, Turner's Pies immediately set their eyes on another award - this time becoming the number 1 pie on Pierate!



After an oven failure unfortunately meant we never got to rate the pies we obtained from Turners a few years ago, we certainly need to get our hands on them now following their Supreme Champion win! We'll make that arrrrghhh mission in the coming months!!


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week 2018 - Day Five"

Friday, 9 March 2018

British Pie Week 2018 - Day Four

Day Four of British Pie Week always feels like a bit of a lull each year, coming between the judging of the British Pie Awards on the Wednesday and the results being announced on the Friday. However there's still plenty of pies to eat and a great landmark to celebrate today on the Pierate Ship!

As always there is a summary of each day of Pie Week at the bottom of this article and on our dedicated British Pie Week page. Enjoy!


This article will be updated throughout the day/week, so do check back for what we've been up to!

Pierateer RAS

I've made four #PiePledge commitments this British Pie Week, which are the following:

1) One or more pies eaten every day
2) 2 days of annual leave taken to eat, rate and tweet about pies (one of which was Friday just gone, in pre-pie-ration and to get some pies delivered for pie week!)
3) Organise a pie night - which happened on Tuesday evening in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards


With all bar the pie eating completed in terms of my #PiePledges it was a bit of a quiet day on the blog and twitter, in part due to sad news in the family with the passing of my gran this morning, so I dedicate this post to her memory.

British Pie Awards 2018
Ben, Pierateer Rob and Pierateer Sam at the British Pie Awards 2018
Something that put a bit of a smile on my face on Thursday evening after quite a hard day was seeing the amazing response to our blog on the Wednesday and Thursday, with over 20,000 views of our Radfords Pie Review on Wednesday (our most hits on an article in one day in Pierate history!) and thousands more of our British Pie Awards 2018 - Live! article and other pie week posts meaning that by Thursday night we had officially passed 900,000 views!!

It's quite amazing to think that what started as a little bit of fun from a punny name has spawned into the world's leading pie review blog that is now under 100,000 views from a landmark 1 million views!! Thanks to everyone who has even glanced over just one of our articles, making it what it is today!

The pie of the day was this Bowen's Steak pie and Steak and Stilton pie, which I hope to review later in the week. We've already pie rated the Steak pie as Pierate Highly Recommended, and will review the Steak and Stilton soon!



See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week 2018 - Day Four"

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

British Pie Week 2018 - Day Three

With Day Three of British Pie Week 2018 featuring the 10th annual British Pie Awards, what more motivation do you need?! Grab a pie, make a pie, tweet your #PiePledge. You may have already read our article "Everything you need to know about British Pie Week" but either way, here’s some things you can do this British Pie Week:


You can follow the Pierateers on Twitter and find out how our #PiePledges are going!
You can read about pies.
You can choose a pie (we have well over 600 pies reviewed in our rankings table!)
You can think up some puns for the Pie Dictionary!
You can suggest a pie you’ve enjoyed.

As for the Pierateers, we are ready for probably the biggest British Pie Week yet! We've made Pie Pledges for this week in our Friday Pieday Pie Week Special, showing our commitment to pie, plus this year the British Pie Awards 2018 are once again taking place today in British Pie Week! We'll be there as media to cover the event and Pierateer Sam will be judging again.

So whatever you do, go crazy for pie this British Pie Week! Enjoy!


This article will be updated throughout the day/week, so do check back for what we've been up to!

Pierateer RAS

I've made four #PiePledge commitments this British Pie Week, which are the following:

1) One or more pies eaten every day
2) 2 days of annual leave taken to eat, rate and tweet about pies (one of which was Friday just gone, in pre-pie-ration and to get some pies delivered for pie week!)
3) Organise a pie night - which is what is happening on Tuesday evening in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards


On Day Three of British Pie Week all eyes were on Melton Mowbray for the 10th annual British Pie Awards, which both Pierateer Sam and I were attending. Sam was there to judge the Savoury Pies (Cold) class and I had taken the day off to provide live blogging of the greatest show in pies!

We will be writing up the results of the British Pie Awards 2018 after the results are out on Friday. However for now you can check out our @pierateers twitter feed for photos from the British Pie Awards, a number of which are also viewable on our British Pie Awards 2018 - Live! article.

British Pie Awards 2018
Ben, Pierateer Rob and Pierateer Sam at the British Pie Awards 2018


See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles (added and updated throughout the week):


Day One – Monday 5th March 2018
Day Two – Tuesday 6th March 2018
Day Three – Wednesday 7th March 2018
Day Four - Thursday 8th March 2018
Day Five - Friday 9th March 2018
Day Six - Saturday 10th March 2018
Day Seven - Sunday 11th March 2018


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 "British Pie Week 2018 - Day Three"