Brockleby’s Wild Beaver Pie

By |2022-06-17T11:30:43+01:00June 17th, 2022|Categories: Blog, Midlands, Steak and Ale|Tags: , , , , , |

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

 

 

 

 

THE FINER DETAILS
Review date: 16th June 2022
Price: The retail price for online delivery is £6.00 for the Wild Beaver Pie. I got a discount mind you, not sure it was because I bought in bulk or because I’m what classifies as a pie influencer 😉
Address: Melton Road, Asfordby Hill, Melton Mowbray LE14 3QU
Website: https://www.brocklebys.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brocklebys
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brocklebys_pies/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrocklebysPies

Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/

You can buy a copy of my first pie-related book, Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

 

 

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/
Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/
You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

Slattery’s Meat and Potato Pie

By |2021-06-10T12:21:11+01:00June 10th, 2021|Categories: Good Pie Guide, Life of Pies, Meat and Potato Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

Slattery’s are somewhat better known as a cake maker and patisserie these days. My good lady, who is not a proficient pie eater, has been known to go there for afternoon tea.

Nevertheless, way back in 2012, they came highly recommended to me as a quality North Manchester pie maker, from a friend at FC United, one Maurice Twomowers, so I decided to seek them out. They still knock up a decent pie and buffet to this very day.

I should add that this was a FOUR PIE DAY for me and this was the first. For a while, Hampsons (now Pound Bakery) in Wigan used to do four pies for a pound when I worked in the centre. The first two slipped down easily, the third presented a bit of resistance and by the time I got to the 4th my stomach was growling like a hungover lion.

When you come off the motorway at Bury, after the Manchester sign you can shortly see another which says “Slatterys – World class bakers and confectioners”.

I should add that when I did this review, I visited a back street shop, which I believe has now closed as they have gone fully blown on their main site on Bury New Road. Yet even then, aside from the huge plate pies, pasties and sandwiches, I was taken aback by the cakes which looked so sweet they could make your teeth drop out, by just looking at them.

 

Slattery’s Meat and Potato Pie

5.

Purveyor:  Slatterys

Premises: Whitefield

Purchase: Meat and potato pie £1.50

Place: 8 If Willy Wonka made crusts instead of chocolate, it’d look like this place

Pastry: 7.5 A glazed top crust, with a little porthole and a large crack running through the middle, giving a seductive peek at the delights which lie inside

Presentation: 7 Authentic aroma and of a very good temperature

Package: 8 Upon attempting hand based consumption, gravy spilled down my sleeve. This is indeed a wondrous experience!

Palate: 7 Slight lack of seasoning but this enabled the individual components to come through

Price: 7 £1.50 Feels like a “value ceiling” in the meat and potato market

Portion: 7 Average size but devoured in record time as you’d expect for the first of the day

OVERALL: 51.5/70 An impressive pie and an impressive start to the day. It appears that the man in possession of both a Flymo and a Qualcast knows his stuff pie wise.

It certainly gives off a powerful aroma. I’m sat in a retail park making a proper mess of the wife’s car here, so I wander over to B&M Bargains and get some binbags and air fresheners. More accessories carried around by mass murderers basically.

The finer details:

The original review took place on Saturday 28th January 2012. As mentioned, they are a primarily a cake maker and offer lessons in baking but they still serve a range of pies and hot and cold food to take out, along with a myriad of excessively sweet and yummy things for afters.

Current pricing (June 2021)

A meat and potato pie is £2.15, they also sell cheese and onion, steak and ale and beefsteak pies, along with various specials

Website: https://slattery.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/slattery_cakes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlatteryCakes/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slattery_cakes/

Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/

Click here to review Slattery’s Pies: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/3634/slatterys/

See previous review https://goodpieguide.co.uk/percy-ingles-steak-bite/

You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

 

 

 

Wrights Meat and Potato Pie

By |2021-03-02T12:07:24+00:00March 2nd, 2021|Categories: Life of Pies, Meat and Potato Pie, North West, Pies|Tags: , , , , , |

Wright’s Meat and Potato Pie

It is British Pie Week, and it feels a little subdued, with a nation still in lockdown. There are still lots of pie suppliers out there offering a delivery service though, and often a discount should have fancy getting your gums around some golden pastry.

For now, let me take you back to chapter three of Life of Pies, with a rare excursion to the most northern bit of Stoke-On-Trent, and it doesn’t take long for this correspondent to get confused once he departs from his North West homelands…..

Wright’s Meat and Potato Pie

Got to keep up the batting average: now, where can I reasonably get to within my lunch hour without anyone noticing I’ve disappeared? I often do 12 hours days so if I take longer than an hour it’s not a huge deal but then there’s the side effects. Having a pastry heavy pie for lunch often lays a bit heavy on the stomach; I may as well have six pints I’ll be that lethargic. Like the IT developers who go to our canteen and polish off a full curry and apple custard and crumble for dessert. If I did that I’d be have my head on my desk all afternoon.

I’ve no idea how we managed before the internet. Yellow Pages I suppose. A couple of mates of mine used to go on pub crawls in towns and villages armed only with Yellow Pages, not knowing whether they’d get a warm welcome or stabbed upon entering each establishment. A great idea indeed, possibly even more fun than gallivanting around the country eating pies, but I won’t be going down that route. Some pubs are great, some pubs are lousy but pubs like pies deserve love. I do need to try and push it a bit given the missus hasn’t yet OK’d it for me to bugger off to Scotland for the weekend.

I decide on a bakery who are based in Crewe and serve the Potteries. I identify a place called Biddulph and it’s just the other side of Congleton, which I know is just a few miles away from work: 25 minutes each way, ten minutes to scoff a pie. Piece of piss. Plus I can probably cut a few minutes off that with a spot of demon driving down country lanes. It’s on Biddulph High Street, I’ve never heard of the place so it can only be a little village and will be a doddle to find once I get there.

Needlessly to say my naivety quickly finds me reversing down country lanes. I’ve got two sat Navs on my phone but they are both shit. Sheer panic sets in once or twice as I get hopelessly lost in places of Cheshire which I didn’t know existed. When I do find myself on the right track, I get stuck behind all manner of tractors, salt gritters and gun toting Farmer Palmers in Land Rovers, not to mention four Police motorbikes flying past, just as I am studiously waving the map about on my phone, in front of my seriously agitated little face.

Forty minutes and I’m still nowhere near and I consider that this might have to be an abortive mission but at that point the roads veers upwards to a viewpoint giving me a scintillating view of the whole of Staffordshire. I still haven’t a clue where I am but it’s a real Planet of the Apes moment.

Biddulph is massive and upon parking up in Sainsburys, I discover the High Street is at least half a mile long. Now to ascertain which way to walk: I’m looking for the big orange sign of Wrights but nothing jumps out at me. I then see a lad walking down the street with a couple of brown wrappers with writing on them: he’s been getting the pies in, GOOD LAD!! I trail his recent path. It’s only as I get closer that the truth is revealed by virtue of a large POVEYS OATCAKES sign above the window. I’m in Stoke country and I’ve just been had!

Some other time perhaps. I head back the other way past a Wetherspoons, with a few likely lads hanging about outside and it crosses my mind to ask them. I don’t and it’s just as well as I can’t tell a word they’re saying, as one shouts his head off to the other in that daft Potteries brogue.

I still can’t smell pies but keep walking, just as I look close to getting to the other end of the High Street, I find it. Except it’s not: it’s another pie shop, called bizarrely New Cooks. This is an interesting development and I’m torn. What now, do I go to both? Have I got time to do both? Pie shops like gift horses should not be looked in the mouth, their products should be placed in the mouth.

Maybe I just go to New Cooks, as it’s less of a chain than Wrights with their fifteen shops across Stoke and more likely to produce a better, more independent pie? Is it fair to represent two bakers from such a confined area only for me to potentially miss out a large city completely later down the line like Bristol or Portsmouth if I can’t find anywhere to procure a decent pie from? These early moral dilemmas will shape my mission and my instinct tells me to stick to Plan A, in order to fully absorb myself in the Wrights Pie experience and make a note of the other one in my pie master spreadsheet as one for the future. Time is on my side.

I eventually find Wrights another hundred or so yards down the street, right at the far end. Pie procured, tempted though I am by the offer of Staffordshire lobbies (hot pot) with peas and gravy and on my way. The pie is raging hot, if Art Garfunkel walked in here he’d probably sing “Wrights Pies, burning like fire”

Sorry. By this point I need a wee and pop in the bogs by Sainsburys, a very sleek cylindrical affair. As if I didn’t have enough of a phobia already with public conveniences, there’s grunting coming from one of the cubicles and a bloke with a flat cap comes and has a wee next to me, immediately initiating conversation about the weather. I need to get out of here!!

 

3.

Purveyor: Wrights

Premises: Crewe

Purchase: Meat and potato pie £1.30

Place: 7 Pastry: 6.5 Presentation: 8 Package: 8 Palate: 7 Price: 7.5 Portion: 8

OVERALL: 52/70 An above average size pie, with a crust which had a lovely feel to it, but wasted no time introducing me to Mr Heartburn. A delightful, powerful aroma came off it which veritably stunk my car out. A fine mix of fresh, almost green potato and generous meat content, which retained its heat superbly. Slight amount of airspace at the top giving it an aircraft hangar type effect but overall a valiant effort.

 

The finer details:

The original review took place on Monday 23rd January 2012. It transpires that the shop is still there but has been sold to Woods Catering. I took the liberty of ringing the shop and they do still sell meat and potato pies and use a combinaton of Wrights Pies and their own.

I have also sampled Wrights Pies at the DW Stadium, as they were official pie supplier for a while and the chicken Balti pie is indeed a cracker, albeit it was priced at considerably more than £1.30 in a football ground!

Current pricing (March 2021)

Potato and meat pie £1.70 (Woods Catering in Biddulph)

Website: Wrights: Wholesale Pies | Pastries | Quiches | Pastry And Shell Supplier | Wrights Food Group

Twitter: Wrights Food Group (@WrightsFoodGrp) / Twitter

Facebook: Wrights Pies | Facebook

Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/

As you can see, I am slowly in the process of adding the hundreds of pie reviews I captured over the years. If you don’t want to wait a while, you can read all 314 reviews in Life of Pies for the bargain price of just £4.99 & P&P here

 

 

Welcome to the Good Pie Guide!

By |2020-12-10T12:38:03+00:00December 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Pies|Tags: , , , , |

Let us try this again, shall we?

Welcome to the Good Pie Guide. We love pies and our mission is to celebrate them in print and digital form!

THE WEBSITE

This site contains thousands of listings and hundreds of reviews and we are adding to it all the time. Please feel free to have a browse around our virtual pie world and see what tickles your fancy.

We want to celebrate our great nation of independent, traditional butchers and bakers alongside the more modern artisan, innovative pie makers and we are asking you to get involved.

We are asking you, as pie aficionados, to send us your pies. Whether you make them or eat them.

THE BOOK

The Good Pie Guide will be the ultimate handbook for the pie lover in your life with over 100 featured reviews and 1,000+ listings, ensuring that wherever you are in the UK, you will never be far from a good pie.

Last time I put pen to paper on this matter, I embarked on a secret incognito mission whereby I travelled the country in search of the country’s best pies. I made the decision myself, based on my own personal preferences. Even though I have impeccable taste, and a lifetime of eating pies like most Wigan residents, I am understandably a sample size of one. This time, I am going to listen and compile the ultimate pie chart toppers based on the views of others and how you score them.

So if YOU think you know where the best pies are and indeed, you think you make the best pies, get in touch and you might just make it into this much prized inaugural edition of THE GOOD PIE GUIDE 2022*

We will be putting a small extract from the forthcoming book online here in the coming weeks to whet your appetite so keep checking back and subscribe to our email list below.

*Current expected publication date Summer 2021. Ha ha, who am I kidding?

THE PIE SHOP

Both the book and the site were conceived over 12 months ago now and we are still populating content. It has hit one, fairly obvious snag. As the author of the book, my biggest challenge right now is to finish my pie research for volume one by travelling to various parts of the country, whilst said country is in indefinite lockdown.

Nevertheless, it will be resolved in due course. However, in the meantime, if we can’t go and find the pies, the pies will come to us. To this end, we will be setting up a PIE SHOP where you can buy pies online from GPG approved suppliers to satisfy your pastry cravings. Again, if you a pie maker of some repute, please get it touch and we’d love to feature you….

There is lots more to come as we continue to build our content and community but for the time being, please follow us on social media using the links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thelifeofpies?lang=en
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Life-of-Pies-562687713756385
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/goodpieguide
Instagram: https://instagram.com/goodpieguide

And please, please, come and share your favourite pies with us….

This is all metaphorically speaking of course. There is NO CHANCE of us actually sharing a pie with anyone here at GPG, the pies are all ours!

With best Wishes

Martin Tarbuck
Life of Pies and Good Pie Guide Author

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