My history with Pieminister goes back some way. I used to buy them so frequently from Waitrose that a former colleague of mine, a lady by the name of Penny Stubbs, wrote to them and got me a signed cookbook for my birthday. I was the original groupie, a V.I.Pie whose purchase was always one Chicken of Aragon for me, and always a Heidi for the former vegetarian former partner (*shakes fist in jubilation/anger*). The girls in Harborne Waitrose used to poke fun at my inflexibility. I once ate six of their pies in four days at Isle of Wight festival. Cut me back in those days and I bled pie. I like pie. More particularly, I like Pieminister.
So this is a difficult one for me, because by all accounts my relationship with Pieminister should have led to it being the greatest opening in Birmingham since my mothers legs parted and I popped out back in ’82. The reality is that it left me yearning for my own pie, with my own accessories, in my own home.
We cut straight to the chase and dive in with the main event. My dining companion likes her Moo pie, which is generous in beef filling. She does not like the mash which is oddly floury and bland, or the beef and port gravy that is bitter and gloopy.
I try one I have not eaten from the supermarket. A green Thai chicken curry pie that is oddly muted in flavour. It needs more punch of seasoning, more kick of chilli, an elbow to the head of vibrancy. It basically needs a Thai boxing lesson. I take fries at a supplement with chilli seasoning that are the best thing on the plate. A jug of chicken gravy should never have been there (it was supposed to come with tzatziki which eventually arrived when I asked), and I wish it hadn’t. It was acrid and destroyed anything it came in contact with. Jalapeños are ordered as an addition that I don’t require in hindsight.
We skip dessert and finish off the cocktails that are good value if you catch them at the 2-4-1 period like we did. I leave a little jaded. Like the moment I have dreamt of for the last six years ends with this. The fact is I still love a Pieminister – they are easily the best pie in any supermarket. I will just stick to eating them at home with my overly buttery mash and thick caramelised onion gravy. I have safety there, where I know that the salt pot is easily within reach and I have two firm hands on my potato ricer. That’s where the good stuff happens. But for now the dream is over. Only a shut supermarket and a craving would see me go back.
Pieminister sent me a voucher to cover a proportion of the bill
And now the plug. I am up for Best Food Blog at the forthcoming MFDH Awards. If you are reading this before the 4th June please give me a vote here http://www.mfdhawards.co.uk/vote-now/