The Packhorse at Longstone Gamekeeper’s Pie

By |2022-04-10T11:17:10+01:00April 10th, 2022|Categories: Blog, Game Pie|Tags: , , , , |

This pie isn’t available all the time but it is still worth a mention and worth a try if you can get hold of it. This pub modestly claims to be one of the best in the Peak District, but from what I’ve seen, it’s not far off the truth. I’m quite happy to research this further, mind you.

Anyway, if the pies don’t grab you, the ales certainly will as this place is basically a Thornbridge tap, situated as it is, just down the road from the famous Bakewell brewery, so perhaps this is more of a good beer review than a good pie review.

I worked my way down the pumps from the Helles style lager, Lukas; the Brother Rabbit pale ale and of course a pint or two of Jaipur, their 5.9% cask IPA.

But the pies, the sweet, sweet pies. They had both a gamekeeper’s pie (£15) and a Homity pie (£14) on when I visited. I plumped for the former, while my good lady had the latter.

Not got great photos of either, it kind of explains why I try and avoid having mash and gravy with my pies. 1. It doesn’t make for a clear view or the pie and 2. It can obfuscate the flavour within the pie.

Yes, I did use the word “obfuscate” in a pie review and yes, you’re right, that DOES appear to be a mash, rather than crust topping. Nevertheless, the pie was splendid and the chips and pickled cabbage weren’t bad either.

The Gamekeeper’s pie contained rabbit, venison and pheasant, along with sweet potato, carrot and onion inside and the Homity pie (which the missus’ loved) was mainly sweet potato, carrot, cheese and other veg, served with a radish salad.

Sadly, no inclusion in the GPG though as the menu is on rotation and pies aren’t always on it ☹

Nevertheless, a fully loaded, log fire with my in-laws giant dog, Wilf, snuggled up to it, really helpful and friendly staff and loads of real ales after a day of walking the Monsal Trail all made for a lovely day and I can recommend this place highly if you’re in the area.

The finer details
Date: 29th December 2021
Price: The price was £15 for the Gamekeeper’s Pie
Address: Main St, Little Longstone, Bakewell DE45 1NN
Website: https://www.packhorselongstone.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/packhorselongstone/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/packhorselongstone/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/packlongstone/
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Bakewell Tart Shop Steak and Ale Pie

By |2022-02-23T12:48:04+00:00February 23rd, 2022|Categories: Steak and Ale|Tags: , , , , , |

We spent Christmas in Bakewell this year, away with family and my eldest daughter is obsessed with Bakewell tarts. I didn’t have the heart to tell her, that the locals would be less than impressed by her choosing a tart over a Bakewell pudding, but the little lady gets what the little lady wants.

Of course, it is pure coincidence that the Bakewell Tart Shop sells pies too. I really should have checked to see whether the Bakewell Pudding Shop sells pies as well but I was already getting “the glare” so I had to crack on and secure purchases.
One giant Bakewell Tart, a steak and ale pie and a lamb and leek pie.

I’ve had the Lamb and leek before, I think it featured in Life of Pies and it was quite impressive from memory. So this time I’m going to weigh in firstly with the Steak and Ale. I pop it out of the branded paper bag and into the oven for 20 or so minutes.
It is quite a deep and heavy pie, which is always a pleasing sight, marked with a triangle on top to denote the flavour. As it cooks in the oven, I can confirm a slight buttery waft is emanating from inside, particularly pleasurable in my case as I am still very slowly getting my smell back after the dreaded COVID.

The crust is very prominent, a lovely golden brown colour, slightly flaky but crisp to cut into. I get some scissors to cut out the foil tray, as it doesn’t seem to be dis-lodging but I manage to keep it intact and out on to the plate and it is well baked and perfectly formed.

I open her up and find a good inch and a bit of prime steak packed into there. Any worried about dryness quickly fade away, as there is a pleasant layer of gravy type jelly (or jelly type gravy) surrounding it’s interior. The cutlery is out on the plate but it isn’t required, as this pie holds together well and can be eaten by hand. The large chunks of steak are exceeding juicy and tender, and I find myself salivating with each bite.

There is a bit of airspace at the top but this isn’t at the expense of content, it merely gives the meat a bit of air to breathe. It doesn’t feel overwhelmingly boozy, so I’m not really picking out the ale, but the gravy is sweet and wraps around the earthy finish of the beef.
Overall, a very decent portion size, which would satisfy most appetites. Me, I still want more because it was so good. Then again, I can always have a slice of Bakewell Tart for afters instead.

Review date: 1st February 2022
Price: £2.75 for a Steak & Ale Pie (I think!)
Address: 18 Matlock St, Bakewell DE45 1EE
Website: https://www.bakewelltarts.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tartshop
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBakewellTartShopAndCoffeeHouse/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bakewelltartshop/
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You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

Ginger Butchers Traditional Pork Pie

By |2022-01-04T11:45:37+00:00January 4th, 2022|Categories: Good Pie Guide, Midlands, Pork Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

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
Website: https://gingerbutchers.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/newclosefarm/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gingerbutchers/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gingerbutchers/
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You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

 

 

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