Venue: The Royal Oak Inn, Heights, Delph, Saddleworth.
Pies by post from: Passion For Pie and To-Pie-For
Temperature as eaten: Hot
What a splendid time was had at the British Pie Association annual tasting event. This is an annual event where a number of our team get together in a local pub and spend the afternoon tasting a selection of pies from a couple of selected Bakers recommended to us over the year for consideration.
The weather as we all know has been miserable, but once we were in the pub and settled at our tables with an open fire roaring heat out into the room any lingering gloom was soon chased away.
As usual we had a little fun first. This year we had thrown out a challenge for those attending to bake their own recipe “Christmas Meal” pie. Unfortunately there were only two who took up the challenge on the day (there were more, but that’s another story) both had similar ideas on what constituted a Christmas Meal but with slightly different ingredients, from a selection of Turkey, Stuffing, Chipolata Sausage, Honey Glazed Parsnip, Roast Potato, Carrot, Sprout etc and of course Gravy.
However, both were excellent, very tasty and would have easily filled an empty stomach. The Chef who won by the slenderest of margins was…………
Tony, seen here with the BPA Chef’s Hat passed over from Gary who held the honour for 2019. As you can see Tony looks thrilled or is that a look of embarrassment 😉 So, back to the pies from the two bakeries……
From Passion For Pie we had Meat & Potato, Devon Dragon, Chicken & Ham.
All were good pies to eat. The pastry used by Passion For Pie was indeed buttery as their website states, it melted in your mouth as you took a bite. The pies were of a good standard pie size and their Chicken Leek and Ham pie (Chunks of British Chicken Breast and Wiltshire Gammon Ham in a Chardonnay and Double Cream Sauce with a hint of Garlic) was their stand out offering from those we ate on the day, full of flavour with a creamy filling and melt in the mouth pastry. It achieved a high score of 7.8
From To-Pie-For we had Italian Meatball & Cheese, Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork, Steak & Mushy Pea.
The pies from To-Pie-For were significantly deeper in a shortcrust pastry with large crimping and decorative pastry design on the top. Due to the size there was more filling and as such are a substantial meal on their own. The stand out pie from this bakery was the Steak & Mushy Pea pie. Every single person in the room voted this to be the best pie and it gained a very high score of 9.2 and on the day was the Winning Pie!
Here is a selection of images of the pies we tasted on the day:
As a final note, we received some sad new that our beloved venue The Royal Oak Inn is closing down in March and our kind and warm-hearted hosts Sheila and Mike are stepping away from the hospitality trade. Sheila in particular has been a fantastic host to us over the last three years and the joy, merriment and memories of eating pies, drinking real ale and sharing thoughts, views and stories, sat in front of roaring log fires will live with us forever. Thank you, Mike and Sheila, for letting us into your cosy pub and home.
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