British Pie Week, Pieminister Pie Election

In a recent poll, commissioned by a well-known pastry brand, 75% of us love nothing better than a pie at least once a month.  I enjoy making both sweet and savoury pies but love eating them more.
I’ve written before about Pieminister pies who are taking part in British Pie Week (2-8 March 2015) with full gusto.  They’re holding their own Pie Election bringing back old favourites into the chiller ‘Cabinet’.   It’s a chance for pie-lovers everywhere to see an old favourite from the Pieminister back catalogue back on the shelves.
I’m a lucky girl and got sent the six of the nine contenders, the full list is here.
Pieminister Pies
I set up a polling station in the kitchen and invited a couple of local pie-loving constituents in to vote with their stomach.
Arriba Banditos is a vegetarian pie although the filling is so rich, as a meat-eater, I was pleasantly surprised.  A beautiful all-butter short crust, encased butternut squash, borlotti beans, red kidney beans, red onion and chopped tomatoes, it’s garnished with a sprinkling of cumin seeds.
It was full of beans, which I love and red pepper which I don’t.  The cumin seeds added a nice depth of flavour but for me was a glorified three-bean chilli in a pastry case, we weren’t too impressed but then again we were all meat lovers.  Maybe for a vegetarian in need of a bean-filled pie, this might be your favourite.
Scores: 5, 6, 6, 5.
Minty lamb is like a Sunday Roast in a pie, delicious lamb, red wine, carrots, swede and the obligatory mint sauce, packed into a pastry casing and finished with cracked black pepper.  It was a firm favourite but dropped from the shelves when the company couldn’t source quality British lamb all year round.
This pie was delicious, plenty of lamb and not overpowered by any of the other flavours, a really good example of a meat filled, flavourful pie.
Scores: 1, 2, 3, 2.
Pieminister, Minty Lamb
Poussin Boots is Pieminister’s take on Coq au Vin with chicken, red wine, Marsala Wine, Bacon, Mushroom and prunes stuffed into their fabulous pastry.
A lovely, flavour-packed pie with plenty of moist chicken chunks, sweet with the taste of prune and the Masala wine, but not overly so.
Scores: 2, 2, 4, 3.
Highlander has beef, white onion, carrots, beef stock and the craft ale,  Innis and Gunn, in true Scottish style oats top the pastry lid.
It was a truly beautiful pie, rich, thick gravy, chunks of lean steak and whole sweet onions.
The Highlander, Pieminister Pies
Scores: 1, 2, 3, 2
Thai Chook is a creamy take on green Thai curry without the spice.  Chicken, sweet potato and red onion cooked in a creamy coconut milk sauce and the only heat you’ll find is the crushed chilli sprinkle on top of the pastry.
We all agreed that the name of this pie wouldn’t have us grabbing it off the shelves, that said, the best we could come up with was ‘Thai in a Pie’. Moist chunks of chicken in a delicate coconut sauce gave it a hint of sweetness and we thought it was a great pie but one that we probably wouldn’t have tried, ever.
Scores: 1, 4, 4, 4.
Kate & Wills is a celebration pie created for the Royal Wedding in 2011.  Brandy, British Beef, bacon, red wine, baby onions and wild mushrooms go into this regal pie, sure to get the seal of approval from many a discerning subject.
This pie scored low as the overall taste of mushrooms dominated this primarily beef pie.  We didn’t get the bacon or the brandy.
Scores: 5, 6, 5, 6.
The result ….. a joint first for Minty Lamb and the Highlander (8 points) , followed closely by Poussin (11 points), Thai Chook (13 points), and the joint final places went to Arriba Banditos and Kate & Wills (22 points).
So, get buying, eating, and voting to win a box of your favourite pies and let me know what you think.