‘Pieminister’ food review: a glorious celebration of a British classic

By Yasmin Godfrey

London’s Borough Market is one of the country’s oldest marketplaces. It’s a foodie utopia bursting with delicious delights. Under its Dickensian style iron roof boasts a mouth-watering array of fresh food stalls alongside what may be named some of the best street food in London. Atmospheric, lively and delicious this is a definite must for any connoisseur.

Firstly, I write this blog with gluttony as this may have been one of my favourite ever foodie days sauntering around London. But one I can never experience again as it was gluten filled to the max.

I recently had the ‘Coeliac Disease’ bombshell landed on me – this is my worst nightmare.

When I think of a Coeliac, I think dreadlocks, caravans and long socks as well as very picky people in restaurants. This is now me, minus the dreadlocks, caravan and long socks.

Anyway back to the review itself. Earlier this month, I took a spontaneous visit to Borough Market on a whim, after having a delicious coffee at ‘Mothers Milk’. I decided that today (as most days I spend in London are) was going to be a foodie day.

As I entered the bustling market my first stop was to buy some gorgeous French cheese to include in my evening meal, alongside those elegantly, mouth-watering ‘Bread Ahead’ doughnuts for dessert. Even though they only had classic vanilla custard ones that day, I was left far from disappointed.

My last stop was the mysterious one. I wanted to grab some lunch so I wandered around the market trying to make, what feels at the time, the hardest decision in the world.

I passed one particular stall multiple times, being drawn in by the tempting waft of red wine gravy and unusual pie flavours. After much deliberating it had to be this one, as I was almost drooling from the incredible scent the stall omitted. This stall was ‘Pieminister’.

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‘Pieminister’ began in 2002 as the brainchild of Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon. They challenged themselves to create the best pie offerings on the market. The first pies were sold from a small Bristol shop in 2003. In 2004 they were invited to become the first and only pie stall at Borough Market and business grew from there.

As I approached the stand I was politely greeted by a fetching gentleman looking rather dapper in his handsome hat. I was pretty bamboozled by the choice of pies as each and every one looked incredible. Being as baffled as I was, I asked the gentleman which pie was his particular favourite and it happened to be the Matador.

I, of course, followed his judgement and as I waited for this to cook my mind was enigmatically wondering. I knew that this pie was going to be great. But oh my goodness…

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It was a harmonious yet gutsy combination of British beef steak, chorizo, butter beans and olives. For me a pie should satisfy every single one of your senses, it should humbly make you feel warm and cosy inside and out. This pie excelled. I chose to have mine with mash and red wine gravy of course. It was gutsy with the rich, melt in your mouth steak alongside the Mediterranean vibes from the chorizo and creaminess of the butter beans, paired with the olives to cut through the richness – it was a revelation. The pastry was just as it should be, not that thin, Michelin standard stuff but the homely crisp yet soft, buttery shortcrust just as you mum used to make with a sprinkling of paprika on there too.

The mash was flawless. The red wine gravy was impeccable. Even the presentation in their branded boxes was rather fetching. What more can I say…

Oh yes. Please perfect a gluten free pie soon as I may be having a mini melt down at the thought of not experiencing your delights ever again.

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