Being British, it’s only natural to be devoted fans of the traditional pie and mash combination. For us, there’s simply no other dish that’s as comforting as this in the bleak Blighty winter months.
At British Corner Shop, we pride ourselves on our wide range of popular British pastries – but it’s one name that’s been on our minds the past few weeks. As inhabitants of the City of Bristol, we’re fortunate enough to live close to a cluster of Pieminister restaurants – which is why last month we decided to pay the team (and their enviable menu) a visit at their HQ in Stokes Croft.
- So, guys, Pieminister has been a long-term resident in Bristol for many years now – tell us where the concept originated from?
Inspired by the delicious pies they tried on their travels around Australia, founders Jon Simon and Tristan Hogg decided to open a pie shop on their return to the UK. Back then, in 2003, British pies didn’t have a great reputation, so Jon and Tristan’s vision was to create a range of their own, using really good quality ingredients encased in the most prefect pastry. This vision helped revolutionise the British pie industry and Pieminister has become Britain’s most trusted pie brand.
- What is it about the Pieminister products that will tempt customers to purchase your pies from their home abroad?
Pieminister have been perfecting the art of pie making since 2003. From free range British meat classics including the Moo, Matador and Free Ranger to the legendary Heidi (one of a growing number of meat free recipes), these are British pies at their very best. The pie experts recently introduced a trio of gluten free pies to the range, to great acclaim. If the humble British pie isn’t enough to tempt them, we don’t know what is!
- Enough said! What do your international customers think of your pies?
We’ve got dedicated pie fans dotted all over the world, with weekly requests for us to open shops from Canada and Japan to Germany and Ibiza!
- Clearly people can’t get enough of their British home comfort foods! Can you tell us a bit more about how your pies are made?
We’re as famous for our delicious pastry recipes as we are for our pie fillings and a lot of rolling, kneading and baking has gone in to getting them just right. We make our shortcrust pastry bases with British farm assured butter and British flour from Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire. And for our suet pastry pie lids we use a vegetarian suet made from fully sustainable RSPO Approved palm oil to create a lovely crispy finish in the oven. Our pie tops are glazed using free range British egg. Our pie fillings are slow-cooked in our kitchens, to get the full-bodied richness that people so love about our pies.
- What do you think it is about Pie and Mash that makes it such a traditional dish in Britain?
Traditionally a cheap, portable meal, the British pie has been transformed over the years and Pieminister now serve up some of the most premium pies in the country. Comfort and joy on a plate, pie is the ultimate great British dish – a little taste of Britain wherever you are in the world! Just add mashed potato!
- At Pieminister, how do you ensure that you’re doing your bit in supporting provenance and sustainability?
Pieminister is the UK’s only national pie company to use 100% free range British chicken and pork in its products and holds three Compassion in World Farming Awards, given to producers who show a commitment to high farm animal welfare. Pieminister also support British artisan producers for its cheeses and other key ingredients. Everything is responsibly sourced (and local to the kitchens in Bristol where possible).
- Lastly, for those of us that live in the UK, what can people expect from a visit to one of your Pieminister restaurants?
Our full range Great Taste Award-winning pies, including our restaurant exclusive – the Moodog, which recently won three gold stars in the Great Taste Awards (the highest food award there is). All the pies are served with a wide range of sides and great beers and ciders. We make ice cream pies in our restaurants too!
So if we’ve set your tongues wagging at the sound of Pieminister’s mouth watering offerings, be sure to check out which best-sellers we have in stock – and don’t forget the mushy peas.