To celebrate British Pie Week (March 7 – 13 th), I have teamed up with Pieminister who have kindly sent me a selection of their vegetarian pies to try out.
Pieminister is a family business based in Bristol that was set up in 2003. To this date they are still making their award-winning pies themselves, using ethically sourced ingredients from Britain’s top world-class cheese makers, micro-brewers and artisan producers.
Founders Jon Simon and Tristan Hogg believe that, like themselves, many of their customers are eating less meat nowadays and would welcome more vegetarian choices. Starting this week, all Pieminister’s restaurants and cafés will now take part in Meat Free Mondays, showcasing their Vegetarian Society Approved pie range by offering them all at 50p off every Monday, nationwide.
Tristan Hogg says, “Our Vegetarian Society Approved Heidi and Wild Shroom Classics have always been as popular as our steak and chicken pies. And with many of us choosing to eat a more vegetable based diet for health and environmental reasons, it seemed right to celebrate Pie Week with the launch of a new vegetarian pie; one full-bodied and robust enough to tempt meat eaters and vegetarians alike.”
In search of the perfect new pie recipe, Pieminister asked Britain’s pie eaters what they’d put in their ideal vegetarian pie. The winner of the competition “The Saag Pie-Neer” is made with chunks of Paneer cheese cooked with garden peas, spinach, potato, chilli and mango. Packed with punchy flavours, this new pie launch is part of Pieminister’s plan to encourage even the most committed carnivores to swap their usual pie choice and #tryavegpie once in a while.
Back home, the arrival of the “pie box” was greeted with a lot of excitement from both adults and children. What can I say, we love opening boxes!
Included were two types of pie: Classic and Open Top. Where the Classic pie is encased in a light flaky pastry all over, the Open Top pie resembles a deep dish quiche with a béchamel sauce top.
Our mission for the week end was to eat through the following selection:
- Saag Pie-Neer: a Classic pie made with chunks of Paneer cheese, garden peas, spinach, potato, chilli and mango.
- Heidi: a Classic pie made with Somerset Goats’ cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion.
- Wild Shroom: a Classic pie made with wild mushroom, asparagus, cream and white wine.
- Mighty Aphrodite: An Open Top pie made with aubergine, green lentils and red pepper with a béchamel sauce top.
- Green Goddess: An Open Top pie made with spinach, feta, butternut squash and chick pea with a béchamel sauce top .
I kept one of the Saag Pie-Neer for my husband’s lunch box. The rest of the pies were cooked together and presented over Sunday lunch with a green salad and some oven baked fries.
Of course the kids asked what was in the pies. It find it funny how from eating everything, they have now decided to eliminate certain vegetables as if they had gone out of fashion. So we had to convince them to try a bit first, see if they liked them and then we would tell them what was in it. My daughter tried Heidi and loved it so much it was hard for anyone else to try a bite. My son carefully dissected the pastry around Mighty Aphrodite but left the rest. These are the frustrations of parenthood, as he generally happily tucks into Delia’s vegetarian moussaka made of a similar filling of aubergine, green lentils, red pepper and béchamel sauce. Go and figure!
Graham and I tried a portion of each pie. We enjoyed them all and it was very hard to pick a favourite. Mine were Saag Pie-Neer, Heidi and Green Goddess. His were Wild Shroom, Heidi and Saag Pie-Neer. Both of us agreed though that Saag Pie-Neer, with its bold and delicious flavours, was a perfect new addition to Pieminister’s vegetarian range.
If you would like to #tryavegpie from Pieminister’s range, make sure you check back in tomorrow, as I will be running a competition for a box of their full vegetarian selection.
If you cannot wait that long, then visit pieminister.co.uk for details of their full range and to order online.