Prior to my annual pilgrimage to Melton Mowbray, I got in touch with the fantastic Stoke fanzine, Duck magazine, and asked if any of it’s readers could provide me with a few tips for decent Potteries pies. Of course, I should try oatcakes really but this is a pie blog, I’ve nothing against them, indeed I could quite fancy one, depending on the filling but it’s British Pie Week, not British Oatcake Week.
The reason for the location is firstly, that it is on the way to Melton Mowbray, and secondly, I’ve perhaps not done this area justice in the past, other than going for the ubiquitous Wright’s Pies.

So stop number one was Taylor’s Butchers, situated in a residential part of Trentham. I find it in what seems a quiet, suburban area, but at 8.30am, it is peak school run time, so I dump the car a few hundred yards away and walk the rest.

The shop is perhaps a bit smaller than I expected, but there’s lots of fantastic looking cuts of meats on display: all the BBQ specials, burgers, sausages and seasoned chicken breasts and gourmet ready meals. It is only when I look behind me I see the pies, and find a good mix of plate pies and pork pies. The uniformed shape pork pies seemed to be in a pack of four, so I left them and went for the round, parcel type variety. What I mean by this is that, often, on this side of the Midlands (West/North not East) the pork pies are even more bow shaped than in Melton, almost completely round in fact, with the crust turned right in.

I then plumped for a plate pie after some deliberation. The lamb and potato pie tickled my fancy, as did the myriad of steak combinations (Guinness, stilton, ale and so on) but I try and think of the family when I buy a plate pie, so I went for the Chicken, Bacon and Leek pie, as something I can share half of with the better half.

Of course, upon arrival at the Pie Awards a couple of hours later, I found that I would be spending the afternoon judging in the Chicken and other meat category, which were nearly all chicken and some kind of pork meat. Oh well, I know sympathy isn’t forthcoming here!

The price was seven quid combined, so let’s guess at £2 for the pork pie and £5 for the plate pie. The service was prompt, a pleasant young chap with very colourful artwork on his sleeves. I was in and out promptly, which was fine by me, given the lengthy pie based “to do list” I had pulled together.

I eat the pork pie the next day, the pastry still smells very fresh. The crust has a lovely colour to it, and the pastry is thick and soft and it is very well baked, consistent throughout. The meat is quite gentle and smooth, mainly pink in colour and with greyish edges. However, jelly fans look away now: as you can see, there is next to no jelly in here apart from possibly a thinnish layer clinging to the crust interior.

The meat filling is nevertheless ample and fresh with slight peppery undertones. Overall, solid but not spectacular. Furthermore, I suspect this pork pie might actually be made by Winkle’s of Wolverhampton given the similarity.

Given the other pie I procured was made by “Bev’s Bakery”, it is quite possible that this was also bought in from elsewhere but nevertheless I enjoyed the pork pie because, I mean who doesn’t love a pork pie?

The Bev’s Bakery chicken and bacon pie will be road tested for tea shortly and I will report back. I also got a decent stash of pies from Parker’s of Meir on my A50 pie tour, of which I am expecting VERY GOOD things indeed

 

The finer details
Review date: 9th March 2023
Price: £2.00 from Taylor’s Butchers, Trentham
Address: The Lea, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 8DY

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