Sunday 24 February 2013

Premier League Piebury Pies

Piebury Corner Pie Reviews

I’m gunner have to put a disclaimer at the start: There will be an Arsenal of football puns in this review! It is a fixture of many a pie review from us Pierateers, but as soon as the place you purchase the pies from starts using puns (e.g. the Viera’getarian) and footballer’s names (e.g. the Thierry Henry), the result is a pun-tastic review of them. And let me say from the start, there are some world-class pies served at Piebury Corner that won’t be propping up any league tables.

Piebury Corner
209-211 Holloway Road - a pie's throw from the Emirates!

So let me show you the team-sheet for today’s review:

piebury corner
Top Row [L-R]: Reg Lewis; Ian Wright; Dennis Bergkamp
Front Row: Evie's cheeky hand; Thierry Henry; Ray Parlour (well, a third of it!)

That’s right – quite an attacking formation, with a meaty Ray Parlour in the heart of the midfield, before a forward line up of Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and Thierry Henry (with a combined goal tally of 533 goals between the three, fact fans) and a Ray Lewis – a pre- and post-wartime gooner striker who scored 118 goals in 176 first team appearances. Thanks to Barnaby, Ro and Arthur for hosting the Piefest and for their helpful comments. Completing the line up was an early run out for Charlie George (eaten a few weeks earlier by Pierateer TJP on a scouting mission for pies).

Piebury Corner Menu
The Pie Legend Menu... need I say any more?

So enough of this pun and games, let’s kick off with the pie reviews...

Firstly, a quick summary of the pies in general (to save repetition in the 6 reviews to follow). The general consensus on the pies was that they were top scorers – though some players were slightly better than others – with some delicious pastry and good capacity all round. The pies were perceived by a number of onlookers, as well as the Pierateers themselves, as being a bit small (for dinner we had 1 & 1/3 each) but a fair price for a top pie in a London establishment. The meat was on the whole top notch, though it was felt that the pieces of meat could have been a bit finer in order to keep the same quantity of meat but spread more evenly throughout the pies. All in all though, they made a cracking team line up.

Ray Parlour (Pork, Apple & Stuffing) – RAS – 6.4/7
I have to admit, I’ve been looking for a pork flavoured pie that contained chunks of prime pork meat and gravy (as opposed to the standard cured pork meat you find in a lot of your standard pork pies) for a while now, but Piebury are the first place I remember being offered the option. I therefore took advantage of the op-pie-tunity, adding this pie to the list even though I technically speaking didn’t need it (but since when has that ever stopped me before?!)

The pieces of pork meat were delicious, nicely cooked and bursting with flavour. It mixed well with the nice, moist stuffing to add good flavour to the pie. The apple was perhaps slightly excessive at times, not particularly evenly distributed throughout the pie but, rather like the meat chunks, you could end up getting a mouthful of apple in one bite and then none for the next few bites. Likewise, there were some very meatilicious mouthfuls, and some that were almost meat-free. If I could make a recommendation to the chef, I’d suggest just cutting the pork and apple into slightly smaller chunk, so that the meat and apple were spread more evenly throughout the pie, thus making every mouthful meaty and delicious. Saying that, the pastry of the pie was lovely and golden, complementing the contents well.  I was certainly left wanting more of this pie (if not only because other little hands were taking pieces too! *ahem*Ev,Lo&Is*ahem*)

Thierry Henry (Venison & Red Wine) – RAS – 6.5/7
Top notch meat for a top notch player! The Thierry Henry has a very meaty rich flavour with a lovely red wine gravy. The meaty chunks taste delicious and the full capacity is once again reached (you know it’s a fully packed pie when the lid is lumpy due to the meaty chunks almost bursting through the top layer of crust! Though slightly more pricey, you expect to pay more for more exotic meat and it really hits the back of the net. The jewel within the crown – certainly a crowd pleaser.

Dennis Bergkamp (Chicken, Ham & Leek) – RAS – 5.7/7
I did check that there were no air miles involved in the production of the Dennis Bergkamp – because I know he doesn’t fly well! Despite being arguably the most technically gifted player to put on the red shirt, this pie is sadly not quite up to that standard. The pastry and pieces of meat were very nice, however I wasn’t blown away by the chicken pie’s sauce and would thus rank this my least favourite (but out of a very good bunch).

Ian Wright (Lamb & Veg with a hint of mint) – RAS – 6.5/7
What a player and what a pie! The lamb tasted delicious, again with very nice tender chunks of meat and just the (Ian) Wright Wright Wright level of mintiness in the gravy to compliment the contents well. The mix of meat and veg was decent (meat heavy, of course!) and is my choice when – not if – I go back to Piebury Corner. 

Reg Lewis (Goats Cheese, Spinach, Sweet Potato & Mushroom) – RAS – 5.9/7
The vegetarian choice in amongst a team of meaty pies, the Reg Lewis had a soft, tasty filling of sweet potato with a nice goats cheese after taste. I’m not kidding to say that this was a surprisingly tasty vegetarian pie, with the content again packing a punch.

There’s no doubt I’m gooner be visiting again upon my next visit to the North London area!

Over to Pierateer TJP for the "Charlie George":

piebury cornerI had been meaning to try out the gourmet pie deli Piebury Corner for a little while, so when I found myself in the Holloway Road area of London I seized the opportunity. I had a real hankering for a beef and onion pie - a real insatiable desire - so although there were many different varieties of pie on offer, there was only one option I was going to be choosing. This is a picture of Arsenal striker and beef & onion pie 'Charlie George'.

The pie came hot. With mash it was £6.50, without mash £4.50 (if you're a student or pensioner then you can get it £5 with mash). I thought that was a fairly hefty price tag for not a particularly big pie (the pies are quite shallow).

piebury cornerThe content of the pie. It's minced beef, which some might say is indicative of a lower quality meat, but to be honest it was absolutely what I was craving.

It's a very pretty looking pie. The top of the pie is lovely and glossy - how do they get it so glossy? Handsome looks apart, how does the pie taste? It's a yum. The pastry is good quality. I find it hard to assess the quality of beef and onion pies, but it tasted great. In retrospect I should have chosen a different pie where it would have been easier to assess the content, as I don't think this beef and onion content brought anything original to the table. The real winner here though is the pastry. Did I mention the glossiness of it? I'm not sure I've seen something like that before. For me, however, the pie was a little shallow. An intriguing shape and looks pretty, but means the pie compromises on content volume for the price.

Piebury Corner 'Charlie George' Beef and Onion pie
Score: 5.15/7

See where these pies ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

These pies also top score in our Pies and Football - a match made in heaven pie review!

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  1. You forgot to mention the Goonerpies are only £3.50 to take home fresh from the deli counter.

  2. Thanks Piebury. Yes, Goonerpies are only £3.50 to take home fresh :)


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