After a long day procuring growlers on the other side of the Pennines, I found myself negotiating the labyrinth that is the narrow winding streets of Stockport town centre in search of one more pie. I parked on a meter outside a nightclub cum lapdancing bar and headed for the bright lights and noise emanating from Stockport market over the bridge. Lord of the Pies (ace literary pun there) is situated at the quieter end of Jordangate but it is a smart, clean, functional unit with plenty seating inside and display racks full of hot or cold pies to take away.
The gentleman serving, who may also be the proprietor is amiable throughout and calls me “captain” or “chief”, nicknames of authority clearly demonstrating a mark of respect in both the military and fast food industry. I’m aghast by the pie selection however, it seems like there’s dozens of them and they all take a similar wide diameter form, with no little depth to them either. They’ve got lamb and mint, pulled chicken balti, cheese and onion and beef, chestnut mushrooms and real ale plus a range of sweet pies, for when one pastry course is never enough. This is truly a pie shop to be proud of, as the many awards testify.
The pies are £2.75 each but this is a pie and a half – at least! It’s the sort of size which gentleman (or ladies) with a heartier appetite – OK I’ll spell it out then – FAT BASTARDS – will truly drool over. A heavy, sturdier package you will not find, topped with herbs and pastry which maintains that waft you get when you’re walking past a bakery for several hours later. And it doesn’t just claim to be a gourmet pie – it really is one.
After some deliberation as to which flavour to procure, I decide to go for their signature dish “The Stockport Pie”, essentially a fully encased beef stew, or if you prefer – a posh meat and potato. I buy it cold and take it home to follow the cooking instructions. Even cold, the pastry smells lush and I find myself nuzzling up to it through the wrapper.
As I unwrap this pressie, it comes with its own greaseproof sheet to put on the baking tray and as I wait twenty five minutes, the aroma emanating from the oven just gets better and better. It’s done to a tee and upon opening up the product, the inside is equally appealing. A circular layer of mincemeat, golden slabs of potato and rampant slithers of onion operating in a free role throughout. There is no sloppy gravy here but the combination of the three constituent ingredients makes it delightfully moist and a real treasure on the tongue.
It’s above average size makes it a filling proposition and the onion adds a real sharpness and juicy edge to the content. This is a pie beyond parallel to satisfy even the most demanding of appetites. It’s like every meat and potato pie I’ve ever had but a bit of added oomph to it. It’s the sort of pie that posh people can enjoy too or it could be served up as part of a sit down meal in a pub, where you’d pay considerably more than three quid. Indeed, Lord of the Pies service several niche outlets as far afield as Liverpool!
Despite the pie’s density, it is nevertheless soon gone from the plate (although eaten with hands obviously) and my stomach is left to continue the applause. A truly fantastic pie and I really need to get back there soon to try my hand at some of their other, more exotic flavours!
For more information on Lord of the Pies, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LordofthePiesGB
There’s another 314 pies like the above featured in Life of Pies. If you want to order a copy of the book for just £9.99 plus postage please click this link to order www.lifeofpies.co.uk/buy