Venue: Hayman’s Butchers, 6 Church Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8LY
Facebook Site: Haymans Butchers
Pie: Steak and Ale
Temperature as eaten: Hot
On a recent essential visit to Devon I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of pies from a local shop, Hayman’s Butchers in Sidmouth. Hayman’s have been serving the Sidmouth community with high class meat produce for over 100 years, since 1907 to be precise when John Hayman acquired the premises in Church Street. The family business has been handed down over the generations and the current proprietor Stewart, is John Hayman’s Great Grandson. Stewart Hayman along with his wife Shirley, continue the Butcher trade in the same premises and in 1996 expanded the business to include the baking of award-winning pies and pasties. As my trip to Devon was fleeting, there and back in a day, I took the pies home with me, popped them in the fridge and ate them, when re-heated over the next couple of days.
So to the pies…..
The first pie was a Rabbit Pie. Described as a Small Rabbit Pie the oblong pie was just great for a snack on the go, or as a full meal with a few chunky chips or mash if that would be your preference. The pastry was thin enough to bite into and hold the pie together if you were eating it as a snack. It was golden in colour with a heart shaped button on the top. The filling in the pie consisted of nicely sized chunks of rabbit, diced carrot, finely chopped leek (or may be spring onion) and was generous with no visible air-gap. The mixture was moist and not cloggy when eaten, even though there was no discernible gravy, and was seasoned to mouth-watering perfection. It was in fact one of the best Rabbit Pies that I’ve eaten, and I would give this pie a very worth score of 9.5
As an aside, rabbit has the highest percentage of protein, the lowest percentage of fat, and the fewest calories per pound than any other meats usually baked in a pie, so the heart sort of makes sense.
The second pie was Steak and Ale. Again, the pie was described as a Small Steak and Ale and again, it was a good size for a snack or a full meal with the usual accompaniments. The pastry was golden and crisp, this times with a club shaped button on the top (so maybe the heart on the rabbit pie wasn’t significant in any way other than distinguishing between the offerings). The filling was generous again, packed with succulent pieces of beef, bathed in a velvety ale gravy which melted in the mouth. Superbly seasoned again, it was a delight to eat. It was a really good Steak and Ale pie and I would score this at 9.3
As I mentioned at the start Hayman’s have won many awards for their produce including a plethora of awards for their pies, but in the end it’s all about personal experience and I have to say that for both pies, the Rabbit and the Steak and Ale, my personal experience was extremely satisfying.
I just need an excuse to drive the 530-mile round trip to pick up a few more of Stewart’s and Shirley’s wonderful pies.
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