I love the food from the Great North Pies Co, and as I said in the tagline ‘if they didn’t use the word ‘Great’ then I would have done anyway!’. I have met up with them on two occasions now both times in Bakewell You can read about those trips here at the Farmer’s Market and the Bakewell Food Festival.
This post is all about the pies that I just bought a week back at the Farmer’s Market.
The Great North Meat Pie
This is one of those pies where it is probably best to be guided by the name and not pay too much attention to the ingredients list. The pie is called The Great North Meat Pie, which sounds perfect for your average meat eating pie bloke. The thing is though the Great North Pie folks provide you with a leaflet of more detailed description as you stand at the stall waiting to be served. My mind had already been made up anyway and I had ordered my meat pie and then I started to read the leaflet; “The Great North Meat Pie – ‘R & J’s Yorkshire beef, free range pork, Stornoway Black Pudding….‘ ok that all sound good, but then it continues ‘….crushed Hob Nobs and Gingernuts…” sorry what? ‘…. nutmeg and pepper“.
I was starting to remember that episode of Friends where Rachel tries to make a Trifle but ends up making half a Cottage Pie and half a Trifle because the pages in the recipe book get stuck together. I raised my eyebrows and asked about the biscuit content. The chap on the stall looked me in the eye and told me that honestly it does work, so I took his word for it and made my purchase, after all the other pies I have had from the Great North Pie Co. have all been excellent.
So what was it like? OK it smelt a little sweet with a hint of cake or biscuit, but it did still taste savoury and if you didn’t know what was in there you would say there was a hint of ginger and perhaps some allspice or something similar. I don’t know if the biscuit parts were strictly necessary and it did seem a shame to adulterate the pure beauty of the beef, pork, and black pudding, but seeing as this was truly a very delicious pie I will let them have there little dalliance with my palate and brain and say that it was a very good idea. The meat was terrific loosely chopped, so not quite mince, giving you a mouthful with distinct texture and flavor, the water crust pastry was firm but also a little buttery as well.
Overall this is a real winner of a pie.
The Lamb Curry ‘Keema & Peas’ pie
The second pie that I purchased was The Lamb Curry ‘Keema & Peas’ pie. This one is described as being composed of “Minced Yorkshire lamb, homemade Great North curry sauce, garden peas, toasted almonds, sultanas, cumin and black onion seeds”. It was a pretty interesting concept, the lazy way to describe it would be to say it was like a pie full of lamb samosa filling, but it was a lot more complex than that flavour wise. The peas and sultanas were mildly sweet and intermingled well with the soft mildly spicy lamb mince sauce. The crunch of the pastry crust gave the pie mouthful that little bit of texture to the bite that the pie needed.
The overall impression was that this pie was possibly even better than the meat pie we tried first. I just wish I had remembered that it was a curry sauce based pie before I started cooking as I had already made a pan of runner beans with pancetta and parmesan as an accompanying side. Luckily that worked as well, I wonder if that would work as a pie filling?
Even as I finish writing this post, time has passed by and the Summer Menu is nothing more than a postscript in pie history as the Great North Pie Co release their Autumn Menu which features even more tasty sounding pie combinations.
I am especially keen to get my hands on or rather teeth in to one of the Beef Shin, Pearl Barley, Pancetta Gravy pies which lists among its fillings the following; “R & J’s Yorkshire beef, toasted pearl barley, pancetta gravy, confit carrots with star anise, Chef Healy’s “house rub” with black onion seeds, cumin, oregano, coriander and fennel”
That will be another trip now then I expect added to the MyFoodHunt rota back up to the Bakewell Farmers Market or perhaps one of the other Farmer’s Markets that they visit
Great North Pies Co is based out of Stockport in Cheshire, and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook as well as on their website