The annual British Pie Awards took place on Friday 10 March in Melton Mowbray and the North was well represented. As usual, Britain’s upper crust turned out for the ceremony where pies were assessed by 140 judges from food writers, to flour makers to, *checks notes*, vicars.
The British Pie Awards is open to all producers of pies sold commercially in the UK as long as the pies entered are available to buy during the year of judging (9 March 2022 - 10 March 2023). The rules on what constitutes a pie are strict. The awards organisers state that all pies have to consist of “a filling wholly encased in pastry and baked”. It doesn’t count if it’s “lattice topped, fruit topped, potato topped” and “samosas or any fried products” are not allowed. The rules also state that “a single hole in the lid of the pie must be no more than 25mm diameter (for steam exit or jellying etc.)”. This is serious stuff.
Manchester and the surrounding areas did well this year.
While we didn’t win any of the big trophies, several pies were commended in the awards, these included Ate Days A Week’s lamb Pie of the Tiger, Baldy’s Michelle’s chicken carbonara, and The Crown Hawk Green’s chicken and leek pie. Just outside of Manchester, Plau in Preston was commended for its Plau Lancashire hotpot pie and Cheshire Pie Company in Sandbach for its Christmas pork pie with turkey, stuffing and cranberry.
Manchester pie makers also came away with pockets full of medals.
A gold medal went to Baldy’s in Wigan for its Michelle’s chicken carbonara pie in the Chicken With Other Meat Pie category. Baldy’s also won bronze in the same category for its Olivia Mai – The People’s Pie (free range chicken, chorizo, pumpkin, chilli cheese béchamel and pumpkin seed), and bronze in both the Lamb Pie category for its Uncle Joe’s mint ball lamb pie, and the Chicken & Vegetable / Herb Pie category for its Gino De Pesto pie.
In the Pub Pie category, H.M. Pasties won two gold medals for its Joseph Holts Classic with Lancashire, cheddar and mozzarella, onion and potato pie and its Joseph Holts steak and ale pie. The Crown Hawk Green in Stockport also won a gold medal in this category for its chicken ham and leek pie. Elsewhere, just outside of Manchester, Britain’s best Gastropub The Parkers Arms also won gold for its curried mutton and its offal in rendered mutton fat pastry pie. Cheshire Pie Company won silver in this category for its steak pie.
The Crown Hawk Green also won silver in the Beef & Any Flavour Pie category for its steak, mushroom and smoked cheese pie, and bronze in the Chicken With Other Meat Pie category for its creamy chicken and cider braised smoked ham hock pie.
Ate Days a Week won two silver medals in the Meat & Potato Pie category for its lamb Pie Of The Tiger and its ox cheek Pie of the Tiger. It won bronze in the Chicken Pie category for its salt and pepper chicken and chip shop curry sauce Pie Of The Tiger. It also won bronze in the Fish & Chip Shop Pie for its lamb Pie Of The Tiger.
Cake Loves Cake in Greenheys, South Manchester won bronze for its meat and potato pie in the Meat and Potato Pie category.
In Sandbach, the Cheshire Pie Company added to its medals with a gold for tis commended Christmas pie in the Cold-Eating Savoury Pie category, another silver in the Steak & Kidney Pie category and a bronze for a steak and stilton pie in the Beef & Cheese Pie category.
COOK, a frozen meal company based in Wilmslow won bronze in the Vegetarian Pie category for its roasted veg, lentils and kale pie. While Macclesfield’s Treacle Town Pie Company won bronze for its chicken, pancetta and lemon thyme pie in the Chicken With Other Meat Pie category and another bronze in the Beef & Ale Pie category for its steak and Old Tom pie.
Finally, in Lancashire, Plau Preston’s Lancashire hotpot pie won silver in the Lamb Pie category and J McRobb Butchers Ltd in Chorley won bronze in the Chicken With Other Meat Pie category for its McRobb’s chicken, ham and leek pie.
Congratulations to all the winners, we’re not sur-pie-sed you did so well.