Award-winning Bristol pie makers plan to open by the end of the month (but they've got some local competition)
WORK has begun on Pieminister’s brand new Liverpool branch on Bold Street, which is set to open by the end of this month.
The pie company, which started out in Bristol in 2013, has expanded to sixteen branches across the UK - including sites in London, Manchester and Birmingham - winning a clutch of awards along the way, including seven gold Great Taste stars and a British Pie Award.
Pieminister’s Liverpool branch will take over the premises formerly occupied by Vincent Kitchen and offer a range of fourteen pies, alongside 'craft beers, cocktails, music and good times’.
The pie makers have also developed a range of gluten-free pies and a vegan society-approved pie called Kevin. The restaurants also offer pastry free skillets with fillings baked in a cast iron pan, sides (mash, peas, cheese, gravy) and puddings.
However, Pieminister will face some healthy competition for the hearts of Liverpool's pie lovers. Here are three of our favourite pies right now...
Shankly pie, Homebaked
Homebaked Anfield is part of a project set up under the umbrella of Liverpool Biennial. The Homebaked Bakery Co-operative re-opened the local bakery under community ownership and their pies have been steadily gaining in popularity since they re-opened in 2013.
The Shankly Pie, named after the legendary Reds manager, is a delicious beast containing melting steak, mushrooms, bacon, leeks and celery that won gold in the recent British Pie Awards.
Homebaked Anfield, 197 Oakfield Rd, L4 0UF
Hot Pot Pie, Ray’s Craft Bakery
Ray’s renowned Prescot premises opened over 90 years ago, but their much newer pie shop on Allerton Road in Mossley Hill has helped to widen their appeal – although current owner Michele Ray admits that pie sales are brisker in Prescot, whereas Liverpool customers prefer to buy bread and cakes. But pie sales are steadily increasing thanks to Ray’s commitment to high quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods.
The hot pot pie is exactly that; a traditional, slow cook meat filling in a handmade pastry case. Some Liverpool customers have even renamed it Scouse pie – can’t really get higher praise than that.
Ray’s Craft Bakery, 116-118 Allerton Road, Mossley Hill, L18 2DG
Pork Pie, Burchull's Pies, St Helens
John Burchall and his team bake and offload 1,000 pork pies a day at £1.20 a time in the tiny bakery at the back of the corner shop in St Helens - it's been that way for four generations. Queues start forming from 11am to grab a taste of the recipe, handed down from John’s great-great grandfather. But what makes them so special?
“We use jellied stock from pork trotters,” John says, “and a hot water 'biscuit' shortcrust, made from our own rendered lard (which you can buy in tubs on Friday mornings). There's nothing artificial or processed about any of it.
They’re best eaten piping hot from one of the trays that come out of the oven every few minutes, as they are messy beasts. We recommend you take a bite from the top edge of the crust, tilt your head back, allowing the savoury liquid stock to drain into the mouth, like you would an oyster.
Burchall's Pork Butchers, 24 Westfield Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1QF (Burchall’s even have their own Facebook fan page)