If you’re looking for an excuse to eat lots of buttery pastry and hearty fillings, well look no further because this week (7-13 March 2016) is British Pie Week.
Vegetarians sometimes get a raw deal when it comes to pie - with mushrooms featuring a little too heavily, or a quiche being passed off as a pie. Ever tried quiche with gravy? I wouldn't recommend it.
British pie company Pieminister are trying to do something about this and are encouraging everyone to #tryavegpie this week. They’ve even launched a brand new vegetarian pie, meaning that there are now five completely veggie pies in their range making it easier to choose meat free.
The new pie is the Saag Pie-neer, the winner of a competition to come up with a new veggie offering especially for this year’s Pie Week.
The founders of Pieminister, Jon and Tristan, are committed to eating less meat for both health and environmental reasons. I’m hoping that the next step will be a vegan pie - for those of us who are either trying to eat more plant-based food, or just cut down on the amount of dairy we eat. It can be hard as a vegetarian to avoid eating too much cheese.
Pieminister asked if we’d like to try their vegetarian pie range. It’s a tough job isn’t it, but someone’s got to do it - so of course I said yes.
The full range of vegetarian pies are as follows:
Heidi - goats cheese, sweet potato and spinach
Wild Shroom - wild mushroom, asparagus, cream and white wine
Green Goddess - spinach, feta, squash and chickpea
Mighty Aphrodite - aubergine, green lentil and red pepper
Saag Pie-Neer - pea, paneer, spinach, potato, chilli and mango
So first of all - what did the kids make of all this? Well, they love a delivery, and while a box full of pies might not be their first choice, Miss R was excited to help me open the box and have a look at all the pies in the box. She chose which pie they would have for their tea and picked Heidi, completely on the basis of it having pink writing on the box. It’s probably just as well R was at school when the box arrived because he can now read and would have convinced her not to choose the one with sweet potato and spinach in it!
So Heidi it was for their tea. I served it up with homemade baked beans and jacket potatoes. Much to my astonishment R tucked straight into the pie and ate nearly his whole portion giving me a thumbs up before he suddenly realising it was sweet potato which he ‘doesn’t like’ and so he refused to eat the rest. I tried to gently explain that he’d been enjoying it before but no - once he realised what it was he wouldn’t go near the rest. Such a shame. But still progress I think. Miss R ate only the pastry and not the filling, and baby S ate the filling but not the pastry!
Which to be honest around here means that it was a successful meal!
To help us out with the rest of the pies we invited two friends round to help us eat them and to see if we could pick a unanimous favourite.
The four of us sat down to eat and my friend Paul immediately took over the proceedings, treating it like the official pie tasting it should be. We all tried a portion of each pie at the same time, sharing our thoughts as we went. I wasn’t convinced that we’d all agree, with two meat eaters and two vegetarians around the table but there was indeed a unanimous verdict.
So what do you think it’s going to be?
Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer - we all agreed that the new pie - the Saag Pie-Neer - was definitely our favourite, with the Mighty Aphrodite coming a close second.
If you fancy trying a veg pie this week check out pieminister.co.uk where you can see details of the full range and order online.
If you fancy getting in the kitchen and making your own vegetarian pie check out these seven recipes I chose for a veggie pie round-up in the Metro.
Disclaimer: I was sent some Pieminister pies for the purpose of this review. No other payment was received.