Pieminister has restaurants and cafes in several locations around the UK but nothing in the Midlands. However, I'm happy to report that the rumours that they are coming to Nottingham are all true. Set to open early next year, this is music to my hungry ears! My other half is Bristolian, now living in Nottingham (another excellent export) and on our last trip down there, we made a lunch stop at the original Stokes Croft restaurant.
Anyway, lets go back to the business of the day - pie! The pieminister menu has a range of traditional and open top pies plus hot pots and even salads but really, you go there for one thing don't you? It's all about the pie, the mash and the gravy. Everything is great value with pies starting at £4.80. You then build your meal with sides so you're looking at around a tenner for a main course.
Although no longer on the menu, we used our (Dave's) insider knowledge to order The Mothership. This is all out the best you can get and works out cheaper than buying the elements separately. It includes your choice of pie plus mash, gravy and a few extra bits - crispy fried onions, cheese and minted mushy peas. Don't be scared to ask for this, they will do it for you! I had the moo & blue - British beef steak & Long Clawson Stilton and Dave had the moodog - British beef steak, smoked bacon & BrewDog 5am red ale pie. The secret is that they use two types of pastry - one for the sides and one for the top. My guess is a suet pie and shortcrust lid.
The portions were huge and the pies totally delicious. I love the combination of steak and stilton and anything with Long Clawson (local to us here in the Midlands) in it is a winner for me. There was plenty of meat in the pie and they were generous with the cheese too. The mash was proper - like you'd make at home on a good day.
We were with a big group of friends and between us, I think we covered most of the pies on the menu. By the end we hadn't all managed to clear our plates but this was absolutely due to inability to finish such huge quantities because every thing we ate was completely delicious!
My lasting memory, something which Pieminister may or may not condone, is of our friend Rich downing a ‘shot’ of crispy onions Jagerbomb style. This was swiftly followed by a gulp of something wet (gravy, drink? ... I forget) to help those dry little salty morsels down. Lots of fun!
24 Stokes Croft,
*As usual, all opinions here are my own. Pie minister did not know that we were there reviewing the food and I paid for my meal in full*