Happy New Year! I found myself in Bakewell with family over the festive season, of course the kids wanted to bring back some Bakewell Tarts. No, not Bakewell puddings and I know that is sacrilege in local circles.
I picked up a couple of pies, to be reviewed later but also on our mini tour de Bakewell (toy shop, sweet shop, full English at a café and the Tart shop) I also spotted Ginger Butchers, or more importantly, their strapline which read: “speciality pork pies sold here”.
I made my excuses and left the wife and children for a minute, only to find a queue of a dozen people inside. Foiled at first attempt but thankfully when I passed by again a few minutes later, the queue had subsided.
As you’d expect, it is a busy establishment with cooked meals and meat galore but it doesn’t take long for me to hone in on the pie selection. There are steak, meat and potato, chicken and mushroom and what appears to be stilton topped pork pies. I have decided I just want a pork pie and spot a picnic pie, individually sized and priced at £1.95.
However, after placing my order I spot the larger sharing pork pies for £3.95 and upgrade to one of those instead. It feels like a house brick in my hands, but hey it’s Christmas and you’ve got to have a big pork pie at Christmas, it is the law.
I take it home and choose to eat it from the fridge after letting it settle for twenty minutes or so, and it takes a big old knife to cut through it’s considerable depth. The crust is an even, golden colour with a solid, well cooked shape and base to it.
Inside there is a decent layer of succulent jelly inside the casing and the meat is chewy but still tender enough to melt in the mouth. The filling style feels a little bit hybrid, between the refined style preferred in the North of England but also a bit untextured and coarse as favoured in the Midlands, the Melton Mowbray style. I suppose that makes sense given the location of Derbyshire. There is moderate seasoning but the overwhelming flavour is that of savoury sausage meat, which goes down great with the crust and jelly.
In retrospect, I am a bit envious upon looking at their website that I didn’t pick up a Huntsman’s Pie instead but the traditional pork pie is still a lovely product and highly filling.
To this end, after polishing off half of it, I decide to eat the other half the following day but I decide to warm it up in the oven for ten minutes or so. I’ve been around this debate many times, the old hot versus cold pork pie and my conclusion is that ideally, the pie should be served whilst cooling from the oven and eaten promptly. Perhaps wait until you get out of the butchers first though.
This method has been used to score highly by many a butcher such as Burchall’s of St Helens, Stanforths of Skipton and Percy’s in Barnsley. I defy you to name any more pleasurable experience in life than the sensation of hot jelly dribbling down your chin.
The finer details
Review date: 2nd January 2022
Price: £3.95 for a large pork pie
Address: Granby Rd, Bakewell DE45 1ES
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