After a few significant distractions, it is time I got back in the pie hotseat. This was unscheduled but one of the classics. After a break in York with the family a few weeks back to celebrate a “significant” birthday, it would be remiss of me not to pay a visit to it’s crowning glory. No. not the Minster, or the Dungeons or even The House of Trembling Madness (brill, by the way) but of course, the old(e) pie shoppe!!

This particular shoppe, sod, it I’m calling it a SHOP from here on in, is located deep within the bowels of the city centre in the narrow, traditional Shambles shopping area. You don’t actually walk in the shop these days, there is a little serving counter where you can order, after perusing the fantastic produce in the window.

Char Sui pork pies! Chorizo pork pies!! Chilli pork pies! Huntsman’s pies! All manner of pork combinations from black pudding to apple, to stilton. Then I cast my eye over the sausage rolls, which I would also be all over if this wasn’t strictly a pie based periodical. The chorizo one again looks the pick of them, although I am intrigued as to what a Toulouse sausage roll consists of.

I could have bought the lot but as technically I was out having a mid morning run down the riverbank, I opted for the classic standard pork pie, priced at a very reasonable £2.00 (for a tourist area!) It was quiet at 10am and the service was brisk and pleasant, I paid by contactless card, just like in medieval times and received a still warm growler in the palm of my hand within seconds.

To the pie, and it doesn’t let me down: it is sensational. A luminous golden colour to it, a masterclass in hot water pastry giving it a very satisfying crunch, yet warm and moist inside. I don’t detect a great deal of jelly in there**, but the meat is so soft and tender it isn’t missed too much. The sausage meat is colourful and slightly uncured but has a rich texture to it, which simply melts in the mouth.

**I don’t whether I’ve just been unlucky recently but the last few pork pies have all had something of a jelly absence. Is this yet more evidence of Big Brother controlling us? A bigger scandal than COVID and Brexit rolled into one if this is the case. Stay vigilant folks! Fight for your pork pie jelly!

Back to the pie shoppe and you can just tell that this is a pie that has stood the test of time and only got better over the years due to it’s reassuring qualities. I didn’t notice too many sausages on sale, apart from the huge clumps found in sausage rolls, but there’s enough pie choices in the window to keep your average pie gannet going for a few weeks.






The finer details
Review date: 2nd June 2023
Price: £2.00 for a standard pork pie
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