Upon returning from the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray, we called in at Brockleby’s of Melton Mowbray to pick up some pies. After reviewing The Northerner a while back, I have since been ploughing gainfully through the rest of them.
I really enjoyed their Cocky Leeky Pie (Chicken & Leek) and the details have been sent off for inclusion in the forthcoming GOOD PIE GUIDE BOOK!!
However, today’s pie is the Brockleby’s Wild Beaver pie, and I am unsure whether it is a relief or a disappointment, upon discovering that the Brockleby’s Wild Beaver Pie, is not actually made with beaver meat. It is a steak and ale pie. It consists of large chunks of beef, infused with Grainstore Brewery ale, a layer of sliced mushrooms, carrots and gravy, all encased in a familiar buttery shortcrust pastry.
I am greeted with a dark, dark filling consisting of rich chunks of steak marinated in ale. There are carrots and mushrooms in there, but they are subtle, and with steam bursting out as I cut into it, I have somehow cooked it to perfection, despite my fan oven being a little bit on the blink recently.
Like all of the Brockleby range, it is of a generous size, deep and well filled. The crust is a work of art. The outside is sweet and crumbly in a shortcrust style, the interior is moist as the luscious, dark gravy has soaked in.
All in all, another satisfying pie with great ingredients and I still have one or two more to try I think. You can see their whole range at their website here
After our recent pie judging trip to Melton Mowbray, we decided to see what else the town has to offer in pie form, in addition to the “famous” Dickinson & Morris pork pie.
There are several other independent pie makers in the town, and two of them in particular, are very highly regarded in their own right. Myself, and my cohort Chris, decided to pay a visit to the noted pie makers, Brockleby’s on our way back from Melton to see what they have to offer.
As if to underline, the importance of pastry around these parts, Brockleby’s actually offer pie making tutorials at their premises, and they also sell a wide range of pies, which you can buy in person or online for shipping across the country.
I think you’d have to take a look at their website to get the full details of flavours and combinations that they produce, but if I was to sum up their range in one word, it would be diverse.
I’ve just had another look since my visit eight weeks ago, and it has changed dramatically again, most noticeably the addition of a Christmas themed reindeer pie (venison) and a range of Greek and Moroccan inspired flavours.
They are also one of the few bakers to really take on the fish pie theme to it’s proper conclusion and actually put fish into a fully encased pie crust, with salmon pie and a “Penguin pie”. Made with haddock and cheese, I should add, not penguin.
I picked up a range of pies on my visit and whacked them in the freezer when I got home. Of the two larger, plate pies I bought, I gave the lady of the house the choice between The Northerner (meat and potato) and Cocky Leeky (chicken and leek) for tea tonight, and she chose the former.
It feels only right that a man of my credentials, brought up in the meat and potato pie capital of the world should roadtest their Northerner minced beef and potato pie at the earliest opportunity, in any case, so here goes.
The Northerner Pie by Brockleby’s
The pie comes in an attractive, decorative box, giving details as to the origin of the ingredients and suggested cooking instructions.
The pie is deep, circular and very heavy in the hands, with a beautiful, golden egg glaze brushing the pastry lid.
It takes a full fifty minutes to cook from frozen but it’s not long before the sweet, lardy pastry flavour starts to permeate out of the oven and around the kitchen.
Upon removal, the pie is scorching hot and it is filled to the brim. From my perspective, it makes the “double flip” required to get it out of the tray and on to a plate, quite challenging. So forgive my cack handedness in the photo, and take my word for it, that this pie is jam packed with filling.
The contents are high quality, tender meaty chunks of mince, soaked in stock, onion and a bit of garlic. Kind of feels like a cottage pie type filling and Emma commented that there didn’t seem to be a lot of potato in there. Of course, her point of comparison is with the Wigan meat and potato pie, which is generally all potato and a bit of meat. The traditional North west meat and potato were actually forced to rebrand a few years back, because they were mainly potato and a bit of mince or mutton.
The ratio in this pie is strictly the other way. This pie is absolutely rammed with meat and dark gravy that has soaked into the filling and turned the potato chunks brown. I should add that my missus is not a big meat eater but I am certainly not going to complain about a high meat content and both the flavour and the texture were a delight.
As this was a proper tea, I added some chips coated with chardonnay vinegar and sea salt and a load of veg, and I was absolutely stuffed at the end of it. In short, half a pie of this size was enough for me, but obviously I could have tackled the full monty.
This was certainly a very decent appetiser for the Brockleby pies to come and I look forward to consuming and reviewing them in due course.