Book review and chance to win: Pieminister by Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon

shot by James Bowden and layouts designed by A-Side StudioAs the weather cruelly switches from Indian summer to wind, rain and grey skies, a recipe book full of pies for every possible occasion has definitely got my attention.

Pieminister creators Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon fancy themselves as the leaders of a ‘pie revolution’ – reinventing the pie for a new generation. Personally I don’t think the Brits needs their arms twisting, as it’s the one part of our food heritage I think we’re all rather fond of.

Anyway the two brothers-in-law founded the company back in 2003 and started knocking out pies in a shop in Bristol. The boys were passionate that their products contain fresh, responsibly sourced, free-range and natural ingredients gathered from as close to home as possible.

They hit the big time with their pies after serving them up at Glastonbury festival and at London’s Borough Market where they really caught people’s attention. You can now get hold of them all around the country at delis, food halls, famers markets and supermarkets.

So now they’ve written a book spilling all their secrets… generous of them eh?!

Who is it for?

Pie enthusiasts and those amongst us who love eating pies but perhaps have never tried to make one before. It’s not just winter food either, there are pies for summer parties, spring suppers and even one you can serve in a mug while camping!

Easy to follow

The first section of the book is given over to the important matter of pastry. There’s recipes and instructions for all the variations, from shortcrust to rough puff, suet to filo. I’ve never been brave when it comes to making pastry – I usually chicken out and buy ready-made. This book did inspire me to have a go as it made it seem so much more straightforward.

There’s a handy glossary in the pastry section too which explain all those technical terms like baking blind and crimping. There are also tips of what to do with your leftover pastry trimmings. I usually let my kids play with it like edible playdough, but I guess jam tarts would be a bonus!

shot by James Bowden and layouts designed by A-Side Studio

The rest of the book is less instruction manual and more coffee table read. Full of lovely photographs and rambling text that’s not broken up into numbered points. It’s a book to sit with on the sofa and read of an evening, and then stick post-it notes on the recipes you fancy. It’s not really a book you can just dive into and quickly find a recipe – it demands to be savoured.

It’s helpfully divided into seasons though, with an intro to the vegetables, fruit, meat and fish that are available at that time. There’s also a section at the back with ideas for what to serve with your pie.

Family friendly

The very nature of a pie is family friendly. It conjures up images of a big kitchen table with a huge steaming pie in the middle surrounded by a hungry family waiting to dig in.

In terms of recipes some of them are quite gourmet using game and spices which are perhaps not strictly suited to the tastes of small fuss pots.

However there are plenty of other more approachable recipes to choose from. There’s the wonderfully named poussin boots pie which is a fantastic spin on the traditional chicken filling, with bacon, red wine and a soured cream pastry topper.

Glamping pies with a delish sounding sausage and bean filling eaten out of mugs with puff pastry lids – great for camping or just a fun tea-time at home.

And the classic pietanic! Billed in the book as the finest fish pie to sail the seven seas, it certainly looks like family food at it’s best.

Vegetarian friendly?

The book could do with a vegetarian heading in the index so you can quickly find all the veggie recipes that are liberally dotted around the book. I was really pleased with the amount of appealing meat-free pies on offer though – I have to admit I wasn’t expecting there to be so many.

There’s a vegan friendly courgette and chickpea filo pie which looks vibrant and astonishingly healthy. The red pepper and butter bean ‘bada boom’ mini pies with herby breadcrumb crusts look tempting. And the glorious fan-taffy pie full of leeks, cheese, wine and double cream is definitely worth a go.

Most likely to cook

Well I’ve already made sausage, cider and potato pie, which was a roaring success. I’m certainly going to work my way through the vegetarian offerings, and I think I’ll make a non-spicy version of chilli ‘pie-angles’ for the kids’ lunchboxes.

Least likely to cook

I used to have a pet rabbit called Thumper, so wabbit roll and love bunny pie would never ever in a million years get served up in my house.

Would you buy it for a friend?

I think it would make a superb present for a man. Pies are seen as a macho thing, and having been written by men the book has a very masculine look and feel. A lot of the photos are of men making and eating pies.

Rating out of 10

I’d give it a 7. It’s a great looking book with a lot of fantastic recipes – but like a lot of men I know, it just needs to be a bit better organised 😉

Published in hardback by Bantam Press on 1st September 2011, priced £14.99



I have one copy of Pieminister to giveaway to a lucky reader….

1. For your main chance to win please comment on this post telling me about your favourite kind of pie.

2. For a bonus second chance to win please tweet this post Win Pieminister recipe book @cookingkt  and comment HERE telling me you have done so along with your twitter username

3. For a third chance to win please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter and comment HERE to tell me you have done so.

4. For a fourth chance to win please go and ‘like’ Feeding Boys on Facebook, and come back to this page to comment you have done so.

This giveaway is open to all readers with a UK mailing address. The winner will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post.

I am running this competition on behalf of Bantam Press who will be responsible for sending the prize to the winner. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries. You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry otherwise they will not be counted.

Closing date: 10pm Sunday, 30th October 2011


Thanks to Bantam Press for my review copy of Pieminister


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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144 Responses to Book review and chance to win: Pieminister by Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon

  1. Maggie says:

    Chicken pie is definitely my favourite. I would never consider eating a bunny rabbit though!!

  2. Maggie says:

    I have just liked your page on Facebook.

  3. Maggie says:

    @MaggieFoodie I have just followed you on Twitter

  4. Jan Bailey says:

    Our family favourite pie is a chicken,bacon and mushroom pie which is good served hot or cold. I make it in a loose bottomed tin and ease it out very carefully when cool so it has the look of a raised pie – delish!

  5. lesley stevens says:

    my favourite kind of pie – homemade steak and kidney pie made by my mother – with lots of rich thick gravy – such a warming dish on a cold bleak afternoon.

  6. lesley stevens says:

    I have tweeted – twitter username Lesleyvilla.

  7. lesley stevens says:

    I’m following you on twitter – my username Lesleyvilla

  8. lesley stevens says:

    I have liked your facebook page.

  9. Kirsty Fox says:

    Chicken and mushroom is my favourite pie, yum!


  10. Kirsty Fox says:

    I have tweeted – @bloomingfox

  11. Kirsty Fox says:

    I follow you on twitter – @bloomingfox

  12. Kirsty Fox says:

    I like your FB page – Kirsty Fox

  13. Liked your FB page – Boo Roo and Tigger Too


  14. Christine Ball says:

    My favourite kind of pie is Steak and Kidney as it is wholesome, nutritious and tastes quite delicious

  15. Rhonda says:

    Chicken pie is by far my favourite.

  16. Rhonda says:

    I’ve tweeted your tweet @snowted

  17. Rhonda says:

    I’m following you on Twitter @snowted

  18. My favourite pie is chicken, mushroom and red pepper! My mum showed me how to make it – simply fill it with condensed cream of mushroom soup with roast chicken pieced and sliced red pepper!

  19. Rhonda says:

    I’ve liked you on Facebook, Tink Lee Mse

  20. Tweeted @tracyknixon

  21. I am already a follower on Twitter @tracyknixon

  22. I am already a fan on Facebook and have shared! Tracy K Nixon

    Thank you for the lovely review and giveaway! Very much appreciated x

  23. Miss Natalie Wallace says:

    Have liked your facebook page. My favourite pie would have to be corned beef and potato.

  24. Teresa Allen says:

    Love a meat pie made with beef skirt!

  25. Georg Ball says:

    I like any kind of pie really, I just love pie! Gotta be steak and kidney though!

  26. Georg Ball says:

    Like on FB

  27. Georg Ball says:

    Follow on twitter – GeorgeBee69

  28. Georg Ball says:

    Tweeted – GeorgeBee69

  29. Sarah Hodge says:

    Chicken, Ham & Leek pie made with puff pastry…..yummmmmmmm!!!!

  30. jennie jackson says:

    my mums homemade sausage meat pie

  31. Sarah Hodge says:

    Following, tweeted (silverkaylah) and liked!!!

  32. Rebecca says:

    Must be steak in red wine pie with a puff pastry lid! Yummy!

  33. Rebecca says:

    Just retweeted – my username is bec54c

  34. Rebecca says:

    Now following you on twitter – username is bec54c

  35. Rebecca says:

    I’ve just liked you on facebook as well

  36. Rachel Williams says:

    My favourite kind of pie is my Nan’s homemade apple pie, served with cream and a nice cup of tea.

  37. I just love home made pies

  38. Gemma Harrison says:

    My mums meat and potato is the best x

  39. My favourite pie is cheese and onion – especially when it isn’t bulked out with potato

  40. and I’m following you on Twitter @janesgrapevine

  41. Kiara White says:

    My favorite would have to be chicken pie. Must admit though I myself have never made a meat pie, maybe this book would inspire me. So far I have always stuck to sweet pies, my favorite from them being bilberry pie made from bilberries picked on Ilkley Moor, served with double cream.

  42. Richard Sutherland says:

    Has to be steak pie

  43. Chicken and bacon pie….hmmmmm…now I’ve gone and made myself hungry

  44. donna turner says:

    It has to be chicken pie with lashings of gravy ummmmmmmm!!!

  45. Diane says:

    I love chicken pie the best. Proper pieces of bite size chicken and a lovely gravy. Mmmm

  46. Lucy says:

    Anything with puff pastry, although huge fan of chicken and gravy pie with mash in the winter 🙂 Would love to branch out and be a bit more creative but I’m at a loss for where to start! Think you’ve just pointed me in the right direction though 🙂

  47. Lucy says:

    Have tweeted @AetharaGirl

  48. Lucy says:

    And am following you on twitter @AetharaGirl

  49. marcus says:

    chicken and mushroom pie

  50. Judy Wright says:

    Chicken and mushroom is my fave 🙂

  51. Ileana Fernandes says:

    My fave pie of all time is a cheese, broccoli and caluiflower pie!! Sounds strange but is really delish!

  52. ellen says:

    spring veg pie

  53. kaz says:

    my mum’s leftover christmas turkey and ham pie 😀

  54. kaz says:

    liked your facebook page karen scammell

  55. Amber says:

    My favourite pie is steak and ale, but I also love a chicken gravy pie!

  56. Paul Wilson says:

    My mum’s Chicken & Leek pie.

  57. Mine’s got to be the Minty Lamb pie. The combination of tender british lamb and redcurrant sauce with those sweetly roasted root vegetables induce fond memories of English countryside and cold autumn days at outdoor festivals. Best served with a red wine gravy and perfectly mashed potatoes – nothing else compares to the first wooden fork through the shortcrust top!

  58. Cheryl Bridges says:

    Great review! And my favourite pie is the classic moo pie-but I havn’t tried them all so I need this book! 🙂

  59. Cheryl Bridges says:

    I have tweeted you! Username @cherylplatform4

  60. Cheryl Bridges says:

    And now following @cookingkt ! Which actually looks rather awesome!

  61. Solange says:

    I love mushroom pie

  62. Gemma Szwed says:

    My favourite pie is Chicken mushroom and leek pie, oh yes, it’s delicious!

  63. Gemma Szwed says:

    I have tweeted my twitter name is MonkyArtyPrints and here is my tweet!/MonkyArtyPrints/status/123802603279757313

  64. Gemma Szwed says:

    I am following you on twitter @MonkyArtyPrints

  65. Gemma Szwed says:

    Liking you on facebook Gemma Monkyartyprints Szwed

  66. Lu says:

    I used to live in New Zealand and I still have dreams about steak and cheese pies ( yum! )

  67. River White says:

    Banoffee Pie! Nomnomnomnom… Bleh to savoury! Mere appetisers to the King Banoffee beast!

  68. River White says:

    Liked on Facebook. Those cakes look lush.

  69. nikki says:

    not exactly a pie, but my ultimate favourite is homemade SHEPERDS PIE. If we are going for a proper pie, it would have to be what my nan named the SUNDAY ROAST PIE, with meat and veg left from the sunday roast. I still make it now. xx

  70. Mushroom pie! Thanks for the giveaway


  71. I have also tweeted the giveaway

  72. I follow you @cookingkt on Twitter

  73. Paul Thomas says:

    My favourite pie is Steak & Ale. Although pretty much any pie without chesse in it is great to me.

  74. Paul Thomas says:

    I’ve also posted yoru tweet and my twittername is @unclepiehead

  75. Paul Thomas says:

    I’m also following you on Twitter, @unclepiehead

  76. Paul Thomas says:

    And I’ve liked your facebook page

  77. rosie says:

    chicken bacon and cider with creamy cheese sauce pie!

  78. rosie says:

    ive tweeted and followed! @kosiering

  79. Adam Frost says:

    Slow cooked rabbit with red wine is amazing!

  80. Victoria B says:

    I like a fruity pie. Apple or cherry or rhubarb.

  81. rebecca wargen says:

    Inspired by a place in Reading, Vicars Pie! Absolutely mouth-watering!

  82. Claire says:

    My favourite pie is apple…I have a sweet tooth!

  83. Claire says:

    I have tweeted the giveaway as @claire_trevor

  84. Claire says:

    I am following you on twitter as @claire_trevor

  85. Claire says:

    I have liked on facebook (Claire Trevor).

  86. Robyn Clarke says:

    Chicken mushroom, leek and bacon, work so well together. mmm

  87. Robyn Clarke says:

    Tweeted @robynlclarke

  88. Robyn Clarke says:

    Following on Twitter @robynlclarke

  89. Robyn Clarke says:

    Like on Facebook (Robyn Logan)

  90. lyn says:

    I have just liked your page on Facebook

  91. lyn says:

    I too love chicken pies, especially chicken, leek and white wine, with a proper shortcrust top and bottom, yummy! Guess this will be on the menu here very soon!

  92. pamela gossage says:

    My family just love pies

  93. chicken and mushroom or apple for sweet

  94. have tweeted the competition @angiesandhu

  95. already follow you on twitter @angiesandhu

  96. already like you on Facebook

  97. Sarah B says:

    Chicken, Tarragon and Mushroom is always a winner for me.

  98. Mark Palmer says:

    Home made chicken pie.

  99. Amanda says:

    My favourite type of pie would be a pork pie, yummy!

  100. Amy C says:

    Apple and Blackcurrant

  101. Esther says:

    Home made steak and kidney with suet pastry, onions and loads of thick gravy…mmm

  102. Esther says:

    following you on twitter @mithras0174

  103. Esther says:

    Have also tweeted @mithras0174 🙂

  104. ali991 says:

    Any homemade pie is nice, I love apple and blackberry for a sweet pie or a chicken and mushroom for a savoury one @ali991

  105. Hazel rush says:

    My favourite pie is chicken and leek!

  106. Christopher Bell says:

    Steak and mushroom is my fave type of pie!

  107. sophie kilby says:

    Our favourite pie is lamb and veg 🙂

  108. My favourite kind of pie is Cheese and Onion

  109. I have tweeted the message on Twitter – tweet me @aesop57

  110. Scott Caldon says:

    Steak and potato for me

  111. Scott Caldon says:

    Have liked on facebook

  112. maureen howard says:

    chicken and mushroom pie is my fav

  113. Dan says:

    Steak and Kidney pie = the best period.

  114. Laura says:

    I like any kind of creamy chickeny pie – with leek and bacon would probably be the best!

  115. Andrena Harrison says:

    I love chicken and mushroom pie!

  116. Andrena Harrison says:

    Following on Twitter

  117. Andrena Harrison says:

    Have tweeted

  118. Rebecca Denyer says:

    My favourite pies are chicken and bacon

  119. zjkellett says:

    My favourite pie has to be butter pie (AKA: Friday pie). Its a northern pie with potato, onion and butter, but I can’t find a good recipe anywhere.

  120. Rachel says:

    It;s got to be beef and ale.

  121. Rebecca Thomas says:

    Steak and ale pie!

  122. Rebecca Thomas says:

    Tweeted: @CatThomas_mse

  123. Cath says:

    Meat and potato is my favourite.
    I’ve liked you on Facebook too.

  124. Rebecca Thomas says:

    Following: @CatThomas_mse

  125. Deborah Bird says:

    Chicken and ham!

  126. Deborah Bird says:

    I have tweeted!

  127. Deborah Bird says:

    I am following cookingkt on twitter!

  128. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Chicken and mushroom pie

  129. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Have tweeted @Dwerrycat

  130. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Following @cookingkt on Twitter. @Dwerrycat

  131. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Like Feeding Boys on Facebook

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