Five wonderful local pies and puddings - we’re not telling porkies
YES, we know. We should be celebrating one of our finest culinary heritage dishes everyday (no, ancient Greeks, we invented them) but the powers that be/the sponsors have designated the 5-12 March as this year’s official British Pie Week.
As a nation, we just can’t get enough of this portable snack, which has an endless combination of fillings encased in pastry (if it’s topped with mash rather than pastry, is it still a pie?). Hot or cold, savoury or sweet, short crust, flaky or water pastry, pie is a versatile food stuff that transcends wealth, class or politics - no-one is too posh for pie.
Here’s where to find some of the best pies in the city this week...
Where: Great North Pie Co
What: Swaledale beef mince and onion pie
How much? £3.99
In 2015, this Wilmslow-based company was named Supreme Champion in the British Pie Awards. Owner Neil Broomfield, an ex-police officer, began the business selling at local farmers markets. After obsessing over the perfect pie size and the ideal pastry recipe, he got to work on creating fillings using some of the finest ingredients from the North.
There is no set menu for his handcrafted multi-award winning pies, but each season he produces four flavours – our pick for Spring 2018 is Swaledale rare breed beef mince with roast onion puree, peas, Bovril, beef dripping, cinnamon, white pepper. Find them at Market House Altrincham, 26 Market St, Altrincham WA14 1PF
Where: Mr Thomas’s Chop House
What: Slow-braised steak and kidney pudding
How much? £14.95
The oldest continuously running restaurant in Manchester, set in a grade II listed building, first opened as a public house in 1870. Their menu is still unashamedly British, so here (and in sibling chophouses, Sam’s and Albert’s) they serve The Great Northern Pie Company’s Lancashire cheese and onion pie, as well as a homemade, slow-braised steak and kidney pudding (which has the same components as a pie, but is steamed instead of baked) served with hand-cut chips, mushy peas and a jug of gravy. 52 Cross St, Manchester M2 7AR
What: Spring vegetable pie
How much: £12.50
Somewhere that describes itself as ‘a Mancunian eatery’ is bound to serve a good pie and this restaurant, which only opened a few months ago, is an independent British restaurant passionate about local seasonal food and heritage recipes. They have two heart-warming pies on their current menu: chicken and mushroom pie and a vegetarian spring vegetable pie. Both are served with baby cabbage and matching gravy.
Where: Pie and Ale from Bakerie
What: Steak and Yippie Pie ale
How much: £9.95
“It’s all about the Pie” is their motto, so Pie & Ale offers what is says on the tin; freshly baked pies served with award winning real ales, craft beers and fine spirits. On the menu you’ll find a range of homemade pies from the more traditional three cheese and leek, to a more exotic range including crocodile, horse and even zebra on the specials board. The steak and Yippie pie ale pie features braised steak cooked with celery, carrots, silverskin onions, garlic, rosemary and horseradish in an ale gravy. All pies are handmade on site and are served with mash and red wine gravy. Veggie and vegan pies are also available. Unit 1 & 2, The Hive, Lever Street, M1 1FN
The River Restaurant, Lowry Hotel
What: Steamed beef shin, oxtail and kidney pudding
While it might be at the pricier end of our pie charts, this is a great example of a lovingly made pie (well, pudding) served in a well respected city centre hotel dining room. Chef Andrew Green has created a delicious slow-cooked beefy filling and has encased it in a traditional suet pastry dome. Along with a comforting buttery side of pommes puree, it’s satisfying enough to put you in a happy carb coma for the rest of the afternoon. 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, M3 5LH