The pies have now been ordered for the next meeting of the LPPAS will commence at 9:30PM on Monday 6th November at The Black Bull. This time the pies will be from Atherton and East Lancashire with promise of a third mystery pie. The last meeting saw a new leader and Monday promises to be another excellent night for pie lovers.
A resident of Cleveleys had tipped us off about the quality of Grimes’ pies. We are proud that the pies we have sampled cover every corner of the county and given the glowing report we had received our North Lancs representative made the journey to collect the usual dozen pies. It was well worth the journey to a butchers that take great pride in everything that they do!
The pies where quite distinctive. Instead of the usual hole (or holes) for jelly these pies had two lines scored in their lids for the purpose. With just two more months to go in our search for the best pork pies in Lancashire, the pies finished the night top of the pile in what is a very close run thing at the top of the table. The overall mark of 84% marks these out as outstanding pies and they will surely be in our finals night to decide the overall champion. As for any score in the 80s they are comfortably awarded the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status. Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.
Pies are always a matter of taste. Some prefer more seasoning for the meat, others less. Some prefer runny jelly, others prefer none. Some prefer thin pastry, others like it crispy. So even the highest rated pie will have its detractors. In this case it was noticeable that there were almost no negative comments. For overall quality the pie scored an outstanding 84: The comments a great insight into why. ‘One of the nicest pork pies that I have ever tasted’; ‘the perfect pie’; ‘beautifully produced, stacked with jelly’, ‘the best yet’ and ‘brilliant’ perhaps captures the mood on the night.
The marks for the pastry were 81 which puts the pie joint second in that category. Most appreciated the pastry was crisp. ‘Excellent flavour and nicely crisp’ was one comment supported by the similar remark ‘good, crisp and flavourful.’ ‘Near perfect’ was a third comment and for those that look hard for imperfections one judge commented’very nice – possibly a touch too dry on the extremities of the crust’ while another was of the view that the pie was ‘perhaps a bit soggy on top.’ A feature that is no doubt due to the overflowing jelly on the surface of the pie. A feature that this reviewer particularly likes.
Next to the pork. Here the meat was distinctive and again at a score of 82 the pie is joint second in that category. Some pork pies have smooth, uniform textured meat. This pie is more characterful. ‘Chunky meat with a great texture’ summarises it well as does the glowing report of ‘very, very nice indeed. Well seasoned, great texture.’ The fact that 10 of the 20 scores on the night for the pork were 90 or above speaks volumes for the quality here.
Finally the jelly. With another score of 82 the pie goes to a clear second in this category too. To have such high score in each category marks the pie out as one taster remarked ‘a great all rounder’. The rough edges to the meat meant that there was usually room for plenty jelly and that room was fully filled, with a little bit extra for the top. As always, jelly seems to produce the biggest disparity in the scores awarded on the night, but here there were very few low scores. ‘Full of flavour and well distributed’ summarises it well as does the remark ‘beautiful & lots of it!’ The one negative comment from a reviewer was ‘limited…’, but even that was followed by the qualifier that ‘… but what there was was very tasty!’.
Overall then, the Grimes’pie is, at the time of writing, top in our overall rankingand second in every individual category. The butcher there is justifiably proud of his produce and the pies in particular. If you fancy a day out at the seaside then a visit to Grimes will provide the perfect snack for on the beach. Try them – you won’t be disappointed.
Grime’s of Cleveleys
60 Victoria Road West
Thornton-Cleveleys FY5 1AG
Or use our Pie Finder for directions!
A late change of supplier meant that the first pie tasted on Monday 4th September was that of Heys Family Butchers of Burnley. Hey’s very kindly donated the pies to us as part of our money raising efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. Once again all present were very appreciative of this gesture – more so when they realised the quality of the pies!
The standard dozen pies were provided for the LPPAS tasters. The pies came in their foil pastry cases and proved to be excellent in every category. With three more months to go in our search for the best pork pies in Lancashire, the pies missed top spot by the narrowest of margins. The overall mark of 82% shows these are outstanding pies and they will almost certainly be in our finals night to decide the overall champion. In doing so they are comfortably awarded the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status. Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.
Let’s consider the characteristics that make this such a highly rated pie. Firstly the overall quality with the excellent score of 82: The comments provide high praise indeed. ‘Mmmmm!!’ perhaps provides the simplest summary. Other, more discursive comments included ‘excellent combination’; ‘very good pie – best yet!’; ‘very well balanced’ and ‘a perfect combination’.
The marks for the pastry were 82 which puts the pie at the top of that category. Most appreciated the pastry was crisp. ‘Perfect’ commented one judge. It seemed that there was unanimous agreement, with no single negative comment form the 15 tasters. ‘Delicious’; ‘crisp, tasty, just the right thickness’ and ‘beautiful colour’ are the combination of factors that take this pie to the top of the tree for the pastry lovers.
Next to the pork. Here again the scores were superb. The score of 83 in this category sees the pie move to joint top of this category. The comments here were almost, but not quite, unanimous. ‘Great texture and flavour’; ‘great taste and seasoning’; and ‘well packed’ summarises the overwhelming positive comments. Two tasters would have preferred a little more pepper. This just goes to show that pies are always a matter of personal taste. What is perfectly seasoned to some can seem bland to others. The fact that the Heys’ pie achieved top score in this category shows that the butcher here must be getting the balance just right.
Finally on to the jelly. One of the features of the pies was how well filled with meat they were. Nevertheless, what room there was between the meat and the pastry was expertly filled with jelly. As always, it seems jelly is the most disputed category. Here a score of 76 was obtained taking the pie up to 4th place in this category. ‘Flavoursome jelly – good proportion in relation to meat’ was a comment echoed by many tasters. The slightly lower score here (although still high) is probably due to the fact the pies were crammed so full of pork. Although the big majority of tasters remarked that the jelly was ‘plentiful’ others would have still preferred more, with two of our tasters claiming that there was ‘not enough’ jelly.
Overall, the Heys Family Butcher’s pie is, at the time of writing, one point below top in our overall ranking, top for pastry and joint top for pork. So, if you want to taste a top class pie, we strongly recommend you make the journey to Burnley to sample them for yourselves. If you are a football fan, the shop is a stones throw from Turf Moor, so why not pop in when you’re at the match?
Heys Family Butchers
70a Lyndhurst Road
Or use our Pie Finder for directions!
The pies have now been ordered for the next meeting of the LPPAS will commence at 9:30PM on Monday 4th September at The Black Bull. This time the pies will be from West Lancashire with pies from St Helens & Poulton-le-Fylde. The last meeting was our best attended so far and Monday promises to be another excellent night for pie lovers.
While our mission is to find and promote the best pork pies in Lancashire, there’s no point in turning down a good pie from elsewhere. Recently LPPAS have been privileged to sample pies from two outstanding bakers – Mr C’s of Fife and Powell’s of Whitchurch (Shropshire). The pies are different in style from our normal Lancashire pies, which is how it should be. So whilst we would always champion the Lancashire style, what did we make of these pies? In short, both Mr C’s and Powell’s make excellent pies and their enthusiasm and commitment to quality shines through. We’ll look at each in turn:
Mr C’s Pies
Mr C’s supply a wide range of high quality establishments and it was easy to see why. A wide range of pies were sampled: Pork, Pork & Chorizo, Pork & Black Pudding (Piggy Black), Venison, Chicken & Ham, Salmon & Smoked Seafood. As a general comment the quality of the ingredients was very clear. The jelly in particular was amongst the best we’ve tasted. The pastry was thicker than Lancashire style but expertly cooked and very tasty. The pork was Melton Mowbray style and perfectly seasoned. My preference is for plain pork pies but the pork and chorizo and chicken and ham provide good variety for those looking for a bit extra. The venison and smoked salmon & seafood were outstanding pies. The venison had a rich taste and flavour and met expectations. The salmon & smoked seafood exceeded expectations. It was hard to know what to expect from this pie, having never tasted anything like it, but it was a delightful blend of ingredients and of all the pies tasted must take the highest level of skill to balance ingredients to such an effect. Finally the personal favourite on the night was the piggy black pie. This is pork surrounded by black pudding and the overall effect was exquisite. Citizens of Bury, look away now, but the Scottish Black Pudding was as good as anything I’ve tasted and complemented the pork perfectly – a real treat.
In contrast to Mr C’s, Powell Pies do just one thing, but they do it very well. They make pork pies to their traditional family recipe using the best locally sourced ingredients. Again their style is more Melton Mowbray than Lancashire, but nevertheless these are great pork pies. The pastry was again thicker than it would be in Lancs, but nevertheless managed to retain an excellent crispness. The pork had an excellent texture and perfect seasoning and finally the jelly was rich and peppery even if there was room for a little more. All in all excellent pies and it’s great to see local and family traditions upheld in this way.
Mr C’s Pies: http://www.mrcspies.co.uk
Powell’s Pies: https://www.facebook.com/PowellsPorkPies/
Monday 7th August saw two LPPAS records broken. With a total of 34 pies and 20 tasters this was the highest number of pies and the highest number of participants. Three good pies were served up all of which achieved LPPAS Recommended status. The winner on the night was Howarth’s of Urmston which just missed out by one mark on Highly Recommended status with an excellent overall score of 74 and moved into fourth place in the jelly category and ninth place overall.
While all the pies were judged positively there was a feeling that no one pie had a perfect balance of pastry, meat and jelly and that if the best of all three were to be combined a top rated pie could have been produced.
A full report will follow but for the moment the ratings for the three pies are shown below:
Monday 3rd July proved to be the best night so far in terms of the quality of the two pies tasted. The second pie to be reviewed by the hungry LPPAS members were the pies from Higginson’s of Grange. Although now in Cumbria, Grange is very firmly in the County Palatine of Lancashire. Higginson’s had very kindly donated the pies to us as part of our money raising efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. All were very appreciative of this gesture – more so when they realised the quality of the pies!
The standard dozen pies were provided for the LPPAS tasters. Despite this being the second pie of the night the hunger of the tasters remained undiminished. The overall mark of 83% shows these are outstanding pies and puts them, at the time of writing, joint top of our very competitive leader board. In doing so they are comfortably awarded the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status. Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.
Let’s look at the characteristics which make this our joint top rated pie. Firstly the overall quality with the excellent score of 83: Here there were a wide range of plaudits. ‘Wow!!’ perhaps summarises it best, with other comments being ‘spot on’, ‘excellent all round’ and ‘beautiful balance between pastry, pork and jelly’. The marks for the pastry were a high 80 but slightly lower than the marks for overall quality and pork, Most appreciated the at the pastry was ‘crisp and tasty’ but the one small gripe from some was that it was thick in places. No doubt this is in part due to the substantial size and depth of the pie. The pork achieved the top mark of 83. – ‘Well what can I say!’ was one remark with another member saying that the meat had ‘a lovely texture, good colour and impressively smokey’. This time the jelly seemed to be to everyone’s liking. The size of the pie meant there was room for jelly but no scrimping on the meat. The two complemented each other perfectly. The ‘just slightly runny’ consistency of the jelly was well received and in conjuction with the jelly’s clarity and well seasoned flavour it proved a winning combination.
Overall, the Higginson’s Pie is, at the time of writing, joint top in our overall and pork pie rankings and second for both pastry and jelly. So if you want to taste a top class pie we strongly recommend you make the journey to sample them for yourselves.
Grange Over Sands
Or use our Pie Finder for directions!
Monday 3rd July proved to be the best night so far in terms of the quality of the two pies tasted. First to be reviews by the hungry LPPAS members were the pies from Wildblood’s of Norden. The pies had been baked specially for us on Monday morning (a day when Wildblood’s are normally closed) and once tasting began everyone was very grateful indeed.
As usual a dozen standard pies were provided for the hungry crowd and at the end of the tasting only Pepsi, the LPPAS dog, was disappointed as there was very little to spare. The overall mark of 79% is testament to the quality of the pie, comfortably achieving the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status, and putting the pie joint 3rd on what is an increasingly tight pork pie leader board. Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.
Let’s look at the characteristics which make this such a highly rated pie. Firstly the overall quality with the excellent score of 79: Here there was general agreement that this was a ‘solid’ pie. ‘Sturdy’ and ‘packed full of meat’ were two of the terms used. The marks for the pastry and the pork were similar at 79 and 80. ‘Just up my street’ was a comment from one of the tasters on the pastry, while another remarked that the pastry was ‘crisp, thin & tasty with an excellent sheen. The pork too was much respected. Delicious and well-seasoned were two comments alongside the remark that he pork was ‘not too spicy’ and there was ‘lots of it!’ Finally the jelly, which once again illustrates how individual preferences can vary. The pie was so full of meat that in some pies there was little room for the jelly. Where there was jelly it was rated very highly with marks as high as 85 and 90%. It can hardly be a criticism that the pie was too full of meat but a little more room for jelly might have seen the pies score higher still amongst our jelly loving tasters.
Overall, the Wildblood’s Pie is, at the time of writing, joint third in our overall pie rankings and in the top three for both pastry and pork. If you haven’t already sample Wilblood’s pies, as a LPPAS Highly Recommended Pie, we strongly recommend you make the journey to sample them for yourselves.
Wildbloods of Norden
836 Edenfield Road
Or use our Pie Finder for directions!
A superb night was had by all at The Great Lancashire Pork Pie Off. Pies of all shapes and sizes, from across Lancashire, were devoured by a ravenous crowd. The pies were washed down with Black Edge Brewery’s excellent Pie PA made specially for the event. The Pie PA sold out, but the enjoyment continued with an excellent set from Andy Mudd. Well over £200 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support putting us on track to meet our target of raising £500 for the year.
The pies were of a very high quality. Despite the quantity there was very little left at the end of the night. As the saying goes ‘It’s the taking part that counts’, but nevertheless there was a huge amount of local pride at stake and there was fierce interest in who would be crowned champion. The voting was close but, in the end, Andy Neil of Chapeltown was a worthy winner. Andy Kernick, who definitely would have won the prize for biggest pie was a close second, while third place went to Gordon Cain.