Monday, 25 March 2019

Pieminister Gluten Free Moo Pie Review

Pieminister Steak & Ale Pie Review

A few years ago Pieminister started selling Gluten Free pies in their shops, but unfortunately I couldn't regularly get hold of them because there isn't a Pieminister shop near me. So I was delighted when they started selling them boxed in Sainsbury's. If I am to buy a pie from the supermarket this is my preferred choice, especially when they are on offer. It is great that there is now so much more choice in Gluten Free products including pies. It is fair to say that the standard of product has also gone up. I look back at some of the pies I reviewed a few years ago and to be honest, if I was to review some of those pies again I would probably score them lower. This Pieminister pie is probably the best you can get in a supermarket at the moment and it is well overdue a review on Pierate! Here are my thoughts on their Gluten Free Moo which is Steak & Ale Pie. I am told that this is based on one of the favourite flavours from their standard gluten containing range.

 
Condition - 5.5/7 - The pie looked nice, it was tall and appealing. It had collapsed a little and perhaps could have benefited from a foil tray rather than being free standing. It was in a plastic tray in the box which I don't like but didn't affect the s.
Colour - 5.5/7 - A nice golden brown around the edges but a bit pale and greasy looking towards the middle but overall an attractive pie.
Capacity - 6.0/7 - The pie scored strongly because it was tall, especially compared to other Gluten Free pies out there which tend to be shallow. It had a marginal sag in the middle. It was well filled with content without much air gap.
Cheapness - 5.0/7 - At £4.50 standard price this is really not a cheap pie. But it is important to remember that it is premium product. You can buy a box of two Genuis pies for around the same price but they are about half the size and have hardly any filling.  I would rather spend my money on this pie and eat it less often.
Content - 5.0/7 - The filling was a classic beef pie flavour and was very tasty although not out of this world. The chunks of meat were in a thick sauce and accompanied by pieces of carrot. The meat was tasty but in quite small pieces, I think for the price I expected bigger chunks. The smaller chunks probably made it seem like there was more meat than there was. The pastry also tasted really nice.
Chewiness - 6.0/7 - The meat was nice and lean and I didn't find any chewy bits. There was a brilliant crunch to the outside of the pastry.
Consistency - 6.5/7 - This pie is a great pastry and filling combination and works really well. The thick sauce has a satisfying consistency.

Overall a great product which is illustrated by the fact that I keep buying them! I would probably buy them more but I am trying to avoid buying any products packaged in plastic!

Gluten Free Moo (Pieminster)
5.57/7

ALE
continue reading "Pieminister Gluten Free Moo Pie Review"

Friday, 8 March 2019

Pancake Pie for British Pie Week

There are some celestial events that occur infrequently and are worth celebrating. For instance, eclipses or close passes from comets gain widespread media attention. So it is this year as British Pie Week and Pancake Day align, a relatively rare event which will not happen again until 2025.

Whilst British Pie Week always occurs the first full week in March, the date for Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday to give it's proper title) is not as fixed. It is governed by the start of the period of Lent which is 46 days before Easter. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after March 21. Therefore the alignment of British Pie Week and Pancake Day happens only about once every 3-8 years. This is something we decided should be celebrated on the Pierate Ship so we have done something we wouldn't normally do; to twist the rules surrounding what makes a pie a pie. For those that don't remember, our definition states;

1. A pie is deemed to be a filling totally encased in pastry.
2. A pie must have sides, a base and a discernible lid made from a separate piece of pastry.

But we have never defined exactly what pastry is. So for this experiment I postulated that if pastry dough were to be replaced by a suitable pancake batter and thus used to fully encase a filling, it could be argued that it is in fact a pie which would perhaps be called a Pancake Pie. Aren't batter and pastry pretty much the same thing anyway? A bit of flour, a bit of fat and a bit of liquid? Given the higher liquid and protein content perhaps batter is like a diet version of pastry, perhaps we could be onto a new pie based diet like a our attempts during British Pie Week 2014.

On with the making, firstly we had to start by cooking up some pancakes;

I mixed 100g Gluten Free plain flour, 1 egg and 0.25 litres of milk. I made thin pancakes which I fried in plenty of butter.




















The first pancake was simply placed in a pie dish....




















Onto the filling. Whilst this would probably work equally well with a savoury filling, I had already eaten dinner so I opted for a sweet filling of sliced Banana and some Hazelnut and Cocoa spread. I have to give a special shout out for this Meridian spread, it is expensive but it is palm oil free and 75% Hazelnut which means it is pretty nutritious but I think it tastes just as good as Nuttela (which by contrast is mostly sugar and palm oil with only 13% Hazelnut).
















Next I brushed the pancake base with a bit of raw batter. Unlike pastry, pancakes aren't going to stick together so this was an attempt to make the lid hold in place.
















The next pancake was freshly fried and placed on top of the pie, it formed a surprisingly good lid.
















Then I placed the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees and it came out looking like this...

Pancake Pie















And it actually sliced up pretty well! It held together better than many genuine pies that I have eaten.
















Despite not being a true pie, the Pancake Pie tasted great. It had a really interesting mottled brown Colour and the lid and sides held together well so it was in good Condition. The pancake lid had a nice crispy texture, as you might want from good pastry, whilst the base and sides had a more gooey texture having mingled with the banana. As for the filling, the Hazelnut spread had melted into the warm banana very nicely. It tasted great and made me wonder why there aren't more Banana, Hazelnut and Chocolate pies out there. The benefit of having made a Pancake Pie rather than just eating this as pancakes is that it meant the filling had really heated up and the filling and pancake had mingled together rather than simply just being on the same plate. The crispy pancake was also really nice which was an unexpected surprise.

So there you have it, we have tried a few experiments on the Pierate Ship but unlike the Pie-thon (Python Pie), the Piezza or the Popcorn Pie, this is one of the rare occasions where it actually worked! Do try this at home, I think I will try it again in 2025.

SJL
continue reading "Pancake Pie for British Pie Week"

Thursday, 7 March 2019

British Pie Week - Day Four

British Pie Week is a chance for pie makers big and small to celebrate the humble pie. Whether that's a company making thousands of the pastry beauties each day or someone in their home kitchen making a pie for their tea, we want to celebrate pies of all shapes and sizes! You may have seen on Twitter that Pierateer Sam made a "Pancake Pie" on Tuesday - to celebrate the clash of pie week and pancake day - and another quirky pie with beautiful decoration has been sent in to us from Victoria of Sweet Art Cakes in Darlington.


Mother and Child Cookie Crust Apple Pie by Sweet Art Cakes
I'm sure you'll agree with us that this Cookie Crust Apple Pie looks stunning! A very unique take on a classic pie flavour and a beautiful top crust. You can read more on her blog and find out more about this and the cakes she normally makes there. Plus there's a little history lesson on the origins of pie there too! Do check it out!

As for us, Pierateer Rob sunk his teeth into two pies from Jarvis Pickle Pie Company on Thursday evening - their Chicken and Leek and their Pork and Blue Cheese pies. He'll be rating them soon and trying some more tomorrow night!!

Tweet of the Day


Excited to hear that that Turner's Pies - who won the British Pie Awards last year - have been stoking up their ovens ready to make the pies for the pie lunch at the British Pie Awards prize giving tomorrow! Enjoy!!



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 4th March 2019
Day Two – Tuesday 5th March 2019
Day Three – Wednesday 6th March 2019
Day Four – Thursday 7th March 2019
Day Five - Friday 8th March 2019
Day Six - Saturday 9th March 2019
Day Seven - Sunday 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 "British Pie Week - Day Four"

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

British Pie Awards 2019 - Live!

British Pie Awards 2015 Judges
Judges at the British Pie Awards, including Pierateer Sam

The day of the British Pie Awards has arrived! Held in the heart of pork pie country - Melton Mowbray - the scene is once again set for around 100 judges to rate well over 900 pies from across Britain and beyond! Of course you won't be surprised to know we've been invited again this year - having been a judge, media or helper at the British Pie Awards since 2013 - and this year Pierateer Rob will be there as judge and media to give you the inside scoop of what takes place - Live! Plus check out this exciting news about the Pie Awards being filmed this year:



The 11th annual British Pie Awards heads home to St Mary's Church in the heart of Melton Mowbray once again. And as well as looking forward to seeing lots of our pie friends at the Awards, we're looking forward to sharing our ex-pie-tese with fellow judges and providing the inside scoop with some media coverage too.

As you may know the British Pie Awards use a significantly different set of criteria to us (rather than the 7 Cs of pie rating that we have used to rate over 625 pies on Pierate) but there are very few pie experts with more ex-pie-rience than us when it comes to the pie-fect pie!

So check back here during the day for live blog posts below and on Twitter and we hope you enjoy hearing about the British Pie Awards 2019!

This isn't the first time we've attended the British Pie Awards! Oh no! Find out more in our other articles here:
Judges in 2018  |  Media in 2017  |  Judges in 2016  |  Judges in 2015
Judges in 2014  |  Helpers in 2013



9:30 It seems amazing to think that a whole year has passed by since the last British Pie Awards but here we are again, travelling up to the greatest show in pies! It's just Pierateer Rob attending this time round and he is on his way on the train from Birmingham now.

9:35 It's great to see Cross country trains have added free WiFi to their train service - makes live blogging so much easier!!!

10:00 Just been familiarising myself with the Judges briefing pack ready for later! Wonder what category I will have this time - having done "Other meats" on my last judging visit!

10:15 Just left Leicester train station - next stop Melton Mowbray!!

10:35 I have arrived in Melton! Time to find some pies!!!

British pie awards 2019
Arriving at St Mary's church in Melton Mowbray


10:50 So confirmation that I am on Class 13 - Chicken and other meat! I'm in the same class as fellow pie blogger Katie Peel, our newest Honourary Pierateer!

11:10 Apron collected and now it's time for the judges briefing to commence, to welcome everyone and fill everyone in on what is happening today.

The trophy's are on display!
11:25 We have just had our briefing and are now going to file into the main hall ready for the control pie, which shows how the head judge would score a pie.

TV cameras are in place this year for a BBC documentary
11:30 Matthew, the chairman of the Melton Mowbray pork pie association, is thanking all the judges and the sponsors of the pie awards.

11:35 Reverend Kevin from St Mary's church has just blessed the pies, as is traditional for the awards. That means it's almost time to rate!!

11:40 The head judge Colin Woodhead is going through the control pies - one cold pork pie and one hot beef pie - to say why he would give the scores he has.

11:50 Let the judging commence!!! I'm judging with Sue Woodall, from ladies in pigs, who has judged 7 or 8 times now. First up in the chicken and other meats category is a chicken and ham hock pie! The first of many, I predict...

12:15 The judging is in full flow. Mainly chicken and ham but a few with haggis or chorizo to mix things up!

Melton Mowbray pork pies
12:45 I have been doing the rounds to find out how others are finding it and there are certainly some intriguing flavours - especially in the speciality meats and game pies class. Lots of venison (including one with dark chocolate) plus a duck and blueberry pie and rabbit pie.

13:00 Once again the top table (class 1) is the Melton Mowbray pork pies - all judged in pairs. Looking fantastic!

13:10 A few pies have had to be disqualified due to being over weight and a pasty definitely snuck into the beef pie class but overall people seem to be enjoying themselves!

13:25 Just been speaking to TV's Andy Clarke who is looking very patriotic (pastryotic?!) in a union jack shirt. He has enjoyed a number of venison pies in the speciality meat and game class.

13:35 A mix bag in the free from class, with a lot of steak and ale pies in there. Some pastry holding together better than others!

13:40 Our last pie wasn't a cracker but overall the standard was pretty high. Some definite gold medal winners and will be interested to see who made our chicken and other meats class winner!

13:50 Still judging going on in some of the larger classes but we're all done for the day, with our top 3 selected. Fellow pie blogger Katie Peel had a chicken and haggis pie but lots of chicken and ham too.

14:00 Filming is complete for the day. Looking forward to seeing the documentary later this summer about the awards! Check out the British Pie Awards Twitter feed on Friday to find out who wins it all!!

Pierateer Rob assessing the final 3 pies!


The winners at the 11th annual British Pie Awards will be announced on Friday 8th March on the @BritishPies twitter feed and updated on the British Pie Awards website.


British Pie Week 2019If you want to find out more about the British Pie Awards 2019, check out our Countdown to the British Pie Awards article.


Did you know? This is the fourth time that the British Pie Awards are happening in British Pie Week, following a successful but controversial first time out in 2016 when a pasty was crowned supreme champion and a more regular win for Dickinson and Morris Pork Pie in 2017 and Turner's Pies Steak and Ale Pie in 2018.

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 2019 - Live!"

British Pie Week 2019 - Day Three

We'll once again be heading to Melton Mowbray!

British Pie Week has for the last few years coincided with the greatest show in pie - the British Pie Awards. Previously held in April, it is a very logical step to move the Pie Awards to coincide with British Pie Week and get an even bigger audience's eyes on those pies! Once again the awards are being held in St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray and we for one can't wait to attend again! Pierateer Rob will be reporting live from Melton Mowbray in our "British Pie Awards 2019 - Live!" article coming online soon and you can also find out more about the awards by following the Pierateers on Twitter!


After enjoying the Turner's Pies Steak and Ale last night for dinner, which you may recall won the British Pie Awards last year, we look forward to seeing the range of pies on show today and judging the pies that will lead to the crowing of the 2019 Supreme Champion! Will it be the year of the vegan pie? Or will Turner's get the double? Find out more about the awards in our British Pie Awards 2019 preview article!

And 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!

Tweet of the Day


We are very excited by the prospect of a 30 minute documentary on the British Pie Awards that's in the pie-peline!!



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 4th March 2019
Day Two – Tuesday 5th March 2019
Day Three – Wednesday 6th March 2019
Day Four – Thursday 7th March 2019
Day Five - Friday 8th March 2019
Day Six - Saturday 9th March 2019
Day Seven - Sunday 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 "British Pie Week 2019 - Day Three"

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

British Pie Week 2019 - Day Two

British Pie Week 2019 is now in full swing – so what more motivation do you need?! Grab a pie, make a pie, tweet your #PiePledge. Don't forget that despite this year's British Pie Week clashing today with Pancake Day, there's still no excuse not to enjoy a pie with your pancake or even instead of one! Check out all these things you can do today and this pie week:


You can follow the Pierateers on Twitter and find out how our #PiePledges are going!
You can read about pies - after all we've had over 1 million pageviews now!!
You can choose a pie (we have well over 625 pies reviewed in our rankings table!)
You can think up some puns for the Pie Dictionary!
You can suggest a pie you’ve enjoyed.

British Pie Week 2019 Logo

While we are still a day away from the British Pie Awards on Wednesday, we think we have warmed up for it well by kicking the week off with our Birmingham Pie Night yesterday, and have a number of Turner's Pies to enjoy with friends tonight! You may recall that Turner's Pies won the British Pie Awards last year and so we are very much looking forward to digging into some more of their lovely pies!

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!

Tweet of the Day






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 4th March 2019
Day Two – Tuesday 5th March 2019
Day Three – Wednesday 6th March 2019
Day Four – Thursday 7th March 2019
Day Five - Friday 8th March 2019
Day Six - Saturday 9th March 2019
Day Seven - Sunday 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 "British Pie Week 2019 - Day Two"

Monday, 4 March 2019

British Pie Week 2019 - Day One

The countdown timer has struck zero and British Pie Week 2019 has begun – so what more motivation do you need?! Grab a pie, make a pie, tweet your #PiePledge. Whether you already have plans or this is all new to you, 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 - after all we've had over 1 million pageviews now!!
You can choose a pie (we have well over 625 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 and waiting for possibly the biggest British Pie Week yet! The British Pie Awards are once again taking place in British Pie Week with Pierateer Rob in attendance as media to cover the event and judge a few pies! We have an exciting trip planned for this coming weekend. Plus the week will all kick off with our Birmingham Pie Night on Monday!


British Pie Week Nice Pie Pierate Pie
Nice Pie's Pierate Logo Pie from British Pie Week 2014!
It seems this year, more than any before, people are bigging up British Pie Week. Plenty of pubs and shops are doing something special for British Pie Week... but weirdly the pastry company who invented British Pie Week (to sell more pastry) have decided to once again ditch it! The end result of which is this... Pierate Pie Reviews is the home of British Pie Week!!!

And while we may not have the amazing Pierate Logo pie to enjoy this year (made especially for us by Nice Pie in 2014), we do have an exciting new logo to share with you all! As unveiled in mid-January, here is the British Pie Week 2019 logo:

British Pie Week 2019 Logo

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 five #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 tonight in Birmingham!
4) Live blog the British Pie Awards
5) Go on an e-pie-c adventure with Pierateers Sam and Tim this coming weekend!

I look forward to keeping you updated with how I get on with all these pie pledges this week!

After a cheeky Mr Kipling apple pie for Breakfast at work, the main pie of the day was a British Pie Week special at Pieminister's Birmingham pie shop, as we hosted a pie night there! Pierateer Rob was joined by 12 friends to enjoy their new "Lady Baa Baa" Lamb Pie, which rated very well on the 7 Cs. Look out for the full review later this week! Everyone had a lovely time and we were very grateful for the special ice cream Sundae's that Pieminister bestowed on our group. Thanks very much!!

Lady Baa Baa Lamb Pie Review
Lady Baa Baa Roast Lamb pie at Pieminister Birmingham



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 4th March 2019
Day Two – Tuesday 5th March 2019
Day Three – Wednesday 6th March 2019
Day Four – Thursday 7th March 2019
Day Five - Friday 8th March 2019
Day Six - Saturday 9th March 2019
Day Seven - Sunday 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 "British Pie Week 2019 - Day One"

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

British Pie Week 2019 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!

The countdown to British Pie Week continues with our most exciting announcement yet! Pierate are going to rummage and pillage the pies at Pieminister Birmingham once again as we host a Pierateer Takeover in British Pie Week 2019 - just like we did last year!


Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Being held from 5:30-7:30pm on Monday 4th March, the night will be a chance for pie fans across the Midlands and friends of the Pierateers to catch up on what's been going down on the Pierate Ship, and most importantly to eat and rate some delicious pies! It's going to be a great way to kick off British Pie Week 2019 and comes just days before we go to the 11th annual British Pie Awards to provide our live feed of all the pie action!

Pieminister Birmingham at 16 Waterloo Street
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 in 2017! Yes, that's right - it had actual whole insects in it!!

So here's the details of the pie night and how you can get involved:

Kick off 5:30pm
Delicious pies on offer at Pieminister - we've rated 19!
We'll be arriving at the Pieminister Birmingham store at about 5:30pm, where we'll have some dedicated Pierateer Takeover tables set aside for us! (We advise you book up to avoid disappointment!)

Pick your pie!
While there are a whole host of pies to choose from on their menu, as it will be British Pie Week the shop has a special Mothership offer on Monday. For those who don't know, a Mothership is your favourite pie with mash, peas, crispy shallots, Cheddar cheese and gravy - all for just a fiver! And that includes their British Pie Week 2019 special - Lady Baa Baa (yes, you guessed it - a lamb pie!!)

Who rate all the Pies?!
During the two hours Pierateer Rob will be around to chat pies, give you a bit of info about how to rate a pie on the 7 Cs of pie rating, as well as a brief update on what we've been up to recently! And if he can, he'll try to answer your pie-related questions (like when is a pie not a pie?!) Just look out for him in his black Pierate t-shirt and don't be afraid to come up and say hi!

And while we'd be delighted to see a few of you there on the Monday, if that date or time doesn't suit you then don't forget that British Pie Week lasts all week and the Pieminister restaurants up and down the country have a fab pie-motions on, a different one each day. More info at https://www.pieminister.co.uk/pie-week-19/


This pie night is open to friends plus readers of our pie blog and entry is free - you just pay the pie shop for your food and drinks as normal - but to attend we advise you ring and book into the Pieminister Birmingham Store on 0121 285 3743 (as places in the restaurant are limited).

We hope to see some of you there!



In the meantime, you can find out more about The Pierateers or about what we've been up to in previous British Pie Weeks on the world's leading pie review blog! Plus we'll soon be posting our British Pie Week #PiePledge article - with our full plans for British Pie Week - but for now why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too?




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 2019 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!"

Monday, 25 February 2019

Best Pies in Birmingham 2019

Birmingham City Centre Pie Reviews


Pieminister Birmingham Pie Review
Pierateer Rob in the Birmingham Pieminister Pie Shop
Are you wondering what the best pie in Birmingham is? Well then, you've come to the right place - Pierate, the Pie Review Blog! Like any big city, Birmingham has had its fair share of pie providers come and go over the years and so with it having been over three years since we last updated you on what pies to eat in Birmingham, we thought it worth updating you!

With Pierateer Rob based in Birmingham for over 14 years now, we've reviewed quite a few pies in England's second city. And while we admit there's still a number of the little beige delights still tucked away in various shops, stalls and pubs around the city that we haven't got our hands on yet, we've rated loads of top Birmingham pies and our mission is to try and pie rate them all!

So without further ado, here are our top 3 recommended pies in Birmingham, as well as a number of honourable mentions:

1) Pieminister - Waterloo Street


Pieminister Steak Pie Review
Pieminister Steak Pie Review
Opening on Waterloo Street by Victoria Square in Summer 2017, it has been great to have a new addition to the pie scene in Birmingham in the form of the very successful Pieminister pie shop chain. We have had many a great pie in the shop in Birmingham since it opened, enjoyed a Birmingham pie night there last British Pie Week and look forward to returning in British Pie Week 2019! We have reviewed almost 20 pies from Pieminister and they have nearly all been Pierate Recommended or Pierate Highly Recommended, with scores of 5/7 or higher for most of them and a top score of 6.42/7 for their Beef and Brandy pie! The most consistent and highly rated pie shop in Birmingham.

2) The Stable - John Bright Street


The Stable Beef Pie Review
The Stable Beef Pie Review Cross-Section
The marketing of The Stable near New Street Station focuses on three things - pizza, pies and cider! While friends of mine have thoroughly enjoyed their pizza and cider, I can confirm that the pies there pie rate very well indeed! Scoring a fantastic 5.96/7 the "Steak Out" beef pie was packed with great content, with a nice flavoursome filling mixing steak and vegetables. The pastry was crisp but not overly thick. Definitely worth an outing!

3) The Botanist - Temple Street


The Botanist Chicken and Chorizo Pie Review
The Botanist Chicken and Chorizo Pie Review
Tucked away on a side street just off New Street, the Botanist has a great relaxed vibe to it and some top pies to match! There are some quirky elements to the restaurant, such as food served on trowels and drinks from mini watering cans, but the important thing for us is that the pies are packed to capacity with good content. The highest rated was their Chicken and Chorizo pie, which pie rated at 5.5/7!

Best of the Rest


It's also worth noting that we have had some top pies at the Old Joint Stock by Birmingham Cathedral, which is a Fullers Pie and Ale House, as well as some quirky pies at The Pie Factory pub in Tipton.

Honourable Mentions


It's also worth noting a few comings and goings in the Birmingham pie scene since we last updated you on the top pies in Birmingham.

Firstly, it is with great sadness that we found out the Jekyll and Hyde Pub on Steelhouse Lane stopped serving food around this time last year. Having served us some amazing pies at our Birmingham Pie Night in 2017 and our top rated pie in Birmingham (6.45/7 for a Steak pie in 2013), they have sadly now stopped serving food (and thus pies).

Also in this time we've seen the coming and going of Square Pie, who we were very excited to see open in Grand Central but sadly the company went into Administration in February 2018.

We also can't write an article about pies in Birmingham without reference to the sad closure of Urban Pie in the Bullring a few years back, who once referred to us on their blog saying "Pie bloggers the Pierateers have been hit with Urban Pie fever - even the pie experts love our pies!"

Of course, we'll keep our eyes on the pies in Birmingham and look forward to rating some more pies in the city soon!


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 "Best Pies in Birmingham 2019"

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Countdown to the British Pie Awards 2019

British Pie Awards 2015 Judges
Judges at the British Pie Awards, including Pierateer Sam

Back for their 11th year - and in British Pie Week no less - the British Pie Awards returns as a highlight of the year in pie. Held in the heart of Pork Pie country, pie makers, pie enthusiasts and - most importantly - the pies themselves head to Melton Mowbray every year for the judging of up to 1,000 pies in just one day and to crown their supreme champion. Having returned last year to the beautiful St Mary’s Church, located in the heart of Melton Mowbray, the judging will take place on Wednesday 6th March and the Award's Lunch will be on Friday 8th March.


British Pie Awards 2014 - Church
The British Pie Awards will again be in
St Mary's Church in 2019!
This year will see Pierateer Rob return to provide media coverage of the Awards, where last year 962 pies were sent in from across Britain and beyond. With over 625 pies rated on our pie blog we've had no shortage of pie judging both at and outside the Awards, so this year we will let others have the pie-leasure and instead focus on insightful media analysis of the day with yet another "British Pie Awards - Live!" blog.

So following our "British Pie Awards 2018 - Live!" article, on Wednesday 6th March we'll again be providing a pie-filled day of photos, interviews and behind the scenes info!

With previous years judges including Food and Drink TV producer Andy Clarke, Channel 4's Felicity Spector and pie judging regular Xanthe Clay from the Daily Telegraph, in addition to pie author Martin Tarbuck - who you may recall wrote pie review book "Life of Pies" - and fellow football pie pundit Jonny Smith, we look forward to finding out who will be judging this year. And we will also be recognising newly crowned Queen of Pies AND our latest Honorary Pierateer Katie Peal at the Awards!

And while the British Pie Awards use a significantly different set of criteria to us, rather than the 7 Cs of pie rating that we have used to rate over 625 pies on Pierate, there are very few pie experts they could call on with more ex-pie-rience than us when it comes to judging the pie-fect pie!


This isn't the first time we've attended the British Pie Awards! Oh no! Find out more in our other articles here:
Judges in 2018  |  Media in 2017  |  Judges in 2016  |  Judges in 2015
Judges in 2014  |  Helpers in 2013



Pierate Rip Off Britain
Pierateer Rob on Rip Off Britain
Last year was another exciting year for Pierate at the British Pie Awards, with over 5,000 of you viewing our live blogging from the pie event of the year, our post-event review and preview articles.

This year providing the media analysis once again will be Pierateer Rob, who you may recognise from TV shows "The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice" and "Rip Off Britain: Food".

So what have we got to look forward to at the British Pie Awards 2019?


Well... first of all you need to know how long it is until British Pie Awards 2019, which is happening on Wednesday 6th March at 11am:


Of course if you are a pie producer, you also need to remember you only have until 5pm on Friday 15th February to make your application! This year the organisers have made it even easier to enter your pies with an online form available, so don't miss out on this fantastic way to promote your pies!


Celebrating the Great British Chippy in 2019


Bridal Pies Review British Pie Awards 2015
The amazing Speciality Class "Bridal Pies"
at British Pie Awards 2015
We're looking forward to once again seeing what pie producers come up with in the Speciality Class, following an amazing selection of entries in the 2015 Speciality Class of Bridal Pies, some royally good pies in the "Pies Fit for the Queen" Speciality Class in 2016 and some fantastic pies available in the public services in 2018.

For the 2019 Awards, the Speciality Class will celebrate pies sold in the Great British Chip Shops up and down the country!

This year there are expected to be more pies than ever following the announcement of another new category - the Vegan pie class. Unsurprising following the rise of Vegan food in the past few years, including a number of vegan pies and even exclusively vegan pie shops, this is a welcome addition to the classes at the Awards in 2019. Plus there will also be a new award for the Best Young Piemaker!


All that remains to be said is you won't be surprised to hear we will once again be covering the event and providing regular tweet updates from Melton Mowbray as we once again get involved in the greatest pie show on Earth, so check back on Wednesday 6th March for more pies than you can possibly imagine!

RAS


The Pierateers are on a mission to find the best pie they can and you can see a list of their pies rated so far in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find pies of a similar flavour on the Pies: Categorised page.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Countdown to the British Pie Awards 2019"

Monday, 4 February 2019

Countdown to British Pie Week 2019

The countdown to British Pie Week has begun!


British Pie Week 2019 - which runs from Monday 4th March to Sunday 10th March - is now just one month away and we're busy at Pierate HQ making our final pre-pie-rations for the big event! We're planning another Birmingham Pie Night (like the Pie Night we had in 2018) and once again we'll be attending the British Pie Awards, which will be happening in British Pie Week too!

British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2019 is from 4th to 10th March!
Those of you on Twitter may have noticed #NationalPieDay trending recently, for on 23rd January it was America's National Pie Day - where Americans spend a whole day celebrating the pastry beauties.

But in Britain this is simply not enough! We can't compress all our pie-excitement into one day! Oh no! We need a whole week to celebrate and enjoy the wonder of pie, which is why we are proud backers and - some would argue - the strongest advocates of British Pie Week! Yes, it's a week dedicated to pie!





It's official! The British Pie Week 2019 Logo has been launched! Check it out in our "British Pie Week 2019 Logo Launch" article!

Some of you may well have come across British Pie Week before, which has in fact been around since 2007 as the ingenious marketing spin off of pastry company "Jus-Rol" - and they managed to bag the lucrative web domain www.britishpieweek.co.uk to encourage pie makers up and down the land to get involved. However in an obscure turn of events, it appears they have ditched this lucrative web domain again this year to re-direct straight to the generic Jus-Rol website and no real mention of pies or pie week! With the @BritPieWeek twitter account having not tweeted since March 2016 it appears Jus-Rol may have had their pie and eaten it, meaning we may be defaulted to be the premier resource for pie advice this British Pie Week!!!

And while others may have used British Pie Week to just promote some pastry, as good as it is, we at Pierate are dedicated to promoting THE PIE!

That's why on Pierate you won't just find an encouragement for you to make a pie this British Pie Week - though we certainly do encourage you do! We don't just suggest a reci-pie or two - though we plan to do that as well! We don't even just encourage you to go out and eat a pie (or two) during British Pie Week. We go above and beyond!

British Pie Week Pierate Pie
The Pierate Logo Pie made for us in British Pie Week 2014!
Find out more about this Nice Pie here.
We aim to be the pie experts you turn to for all your pie rating and eating needs during British Pie Week and beyond! With over 625 pies rated and reviewed on our unique 7 Cs pie rating system, we commend pies to you, tell you which ones to avoid, and give you the low down on what we think makes the perfect pie!

PIE-LIGHTS OF PAST BRITISH PIE WEEKS

During British Pie Week 2014 we Pierateers consumed a quite incredible 55 pies and you can see the breakdown right here! There were so many highlights that we had to do a whole day-by-day account of it, including a Python pie, a day of just eating apple pie and Pierateer SJL eating 21 pies - one for every meal of British Pie Week.

In fact, Pierateer SJL didn't just eat a pie for every meal but he proved that you can eat pie and lose weight!!! Yes, we can hardly believe it either!

In 2015 we raised the bar even higher by consuming a whopping 71 pies between 2 Pierateers! This included a Pieathon (seeing how long we could just eat pies for) and Rob eating pie for 67% of his diet that week!


Also on 6th March we'll once again be involved in the British Pie Awards, where we have helped judge the pies for many years, and we'll be previewing those awards later this week! So whatever pie (or pies!) you enjoy in British Pie Week, we hope it's a good one that rates well on the 7 Cs of pie rating! If you need any ins-pie-ration, you can of course see the hundreds of pies we've rated on our pie blog via our Pie Rankings or our Pies Categorised!

Why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too! For more ins-pie-ration see our #PiePledge article!





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 "Countdown to British Pie Week 2019"

Friday, 25 January 2019

A million thank yous to pie fans of the World!

At times like this, when you sit back and actually reflect on the pie-oneering work that we have done, as writers of the world's leading pie review blog, it can sometimes blow you away! Never in a million years would we have thought back in November 2009, when www.pierate.co.uk turned from a "funny idea" into a registered domain, that today we would be celebrating 1,000,000 page views! I'll pause there and say it again - ONE MILLION page views... to a website that pretty much only talks about pies!!!


#QueenOfPies Katie Peel
Photo Credit: Fabio @KazooPR @PukkaPies
But that is exactly what has happened! And it's only due to the loyal support of friends and family and the wider community of pie fanatics out there across the world! While most of our views have been from the UK and USA, there have been views from all over the world, including Australia, China, Canada and much of mainland Europe! Pies really are a world cuisine!

Of course you know how highly we regard the pie here on Pierate, having rated over 625 in the past nine years, but along the way it has been great to meet so many pie makers and other pie fans, whether via twitter or in person. And one of the biggest fans we’ve had the honour of meeting is Katie Peel aka @AwayDayPieGirl, who is a fellow pie blogger and has also judged with us at the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray. Katie even made the time to come down to one of our Pierate Pie Nights in Birmingham a few years ago and regularly joins us in a twitter conversation (or should we say pie debate!!)

#QueenOfPies Katie Peel
Photo Credit: Fabio @KazooPR @PukkaPies


Katie’s football pie blog #AwayDayPieGirl has traced the pies and lows of the National League North as she follows her team Telford United (a team we admittedly still need to get in our Pieremiership Table!) And get this, she even has her own branded pie fork!!! But her recent crowning moment was when she was crowned by Pukka Pies (who were celebrating their birthday) with the title Queen of Pies, after winning a social media vote for most passionate pie fan! It’s been great getting to know her, seeing her great voluntary work both with the football club she supports and beyond, and we look forward to seeing her again at the British Pie Awards this March, where we will officially bestow on her a new accolade – that of being an Honorary Pierateer! She joins an illustrious list of pie fans and pie makers who really do show their passion for pies and Katie has certainly demonstrated that! Well done Katie!!

Katie's Pie Fork!!!

It seems crazy to think that on the 4th July 2016 we were celebrating another impressive milestone being reached - that of us having had 500,000 pageviews! Less than three years on, we've had twice that number, and are delighted so many pie fans have been able to enjoy and benefit from our pie research! Our slogan has always been "We rate all the pies so you don't have to" and 1,000,000 page views down the line, it appears many of you enjoy our musings aboard the Pierate Ship and on twitter @pierateers! So... here's to the million pie views! So long, and thanks for all the pie views!!

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 million thank yous to pie fans of the World!"