GREAT NORTH PIE COMPANY
Unit 18, The Bramhall Centre,
Tel. 07989 428 294 (Neil)
07536 096 667 (Sarah)
Facebook: The Great North Pie Company
I visited Bakewell Farmers Market on 30th March 2013. The Great North Pie Company visits Farmers markets at Wilmslow (3rd Sat. of month), Marple (last Sun. of month), Bakewell (last Sat. of month) and Treacle Market in Macclesfield (last Sun. of month), and others.
GREAT NORTH PIE COMPANY
'Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Let me taste your ware".'
In the days before fast food and convenience stores were invented food was sold from trays carried by Street sellers at Fairs and Markets dating back to Medieval England - a popular place to sell your 'ware'.
Carrying on this ancient tradition of artisan pie making is Neil Broomfield - a man once charged with the job of keeping the Manchester Met running on pies! No ordinary pieman, Neil's journey of looking and searching has taken him from Surveying, to Patrolling ( the streets of Manchester for the Greater Manchester Police) to searching for the perfect pie. Ever a man of high ambition and drive, Neil, who trained alongside top chefs like Paul Heathcote and Jeff Baker in Mitchelin starred kitchens, now just wants to be 'one of the best pie makers in the country'.
For a man who says he has 'no plans for world domination...' but focuses purely on the quality, Neil is surely raking in the awards for his amazing artisan pies - Great Taste Awards, British Pie Awards, Fine Food Awards - I could go on -and I will - but later...
The day I visited Bakewell Farmers Market it was Neil's partner Sarah's Mum and Dad who were running the show. Dressed as quintessential piemen in flat caps and aprons with 'Great North Pie Co' embroidered on them, Sarah's Mum and Dad really looked the part. Standing behind trays of 'Short rib of beef, potato and white onion cream' and 'classic Lancashire cheese and onion' they were doing a brisk trade. Framed by tables and Industrial metal poles in the Agricultural Business Centre - home of one of UK's top five livestock markets - it is a one-stop shop from field to plate. No fake hay stacks and two-pronged pitch forks hanging for display, this is earthy farming - unromantic, honest and as traditional as one of Neil's 'chicken and red willow beer pies.'
The pies are hand-crafted using all-butter pastry, and the menu changes with the seasons. On sale that day was the Spring 2013 menu:
SHORT RIB OF BEEF, POTATO AND WHITE ONION CREAM
R & J's Yorkshire beef, slow braised short ribs with corned beef spices, baked potato, caramelised white onion cream, homemade pickle with caper and raisin, poppy seeds and sesame.
CHICKEN AND RED WILLOW BEER
Corn-fed Goosnargh Chicken, "Headless" light ale, button mushrooms, carrot and apricot chutney from Galore! Stuffing breadcrumbs, lemon, caraway and ajowan seeds.
CLASSIC LANCASHIRE CHEESE AND ONION
Dewlay's Tasty Lancashire cheese, caramelised white onion, white pepper, nutmeg and Japanese panko breadcrumbs.
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK WITH COCONUT AND MUSTARD
Kenyon Hall farm Desiree potatoes, spring cabbages and vegetables, coconut milk and virgin coconut oil, grain mustard, black onion and mustard seeds.
...and now to all those awards, and the reason so many come flocking to this little pie stall...
Great Taste Gold 2*, for Cheshire Blue, Leek, Apple, Spiced Walnut Breadcrumb (2012)
Great Taste Gold* for Steak and Oxtail, Smoked Mushroom, Bacon and Bramble Jelly (2012)
North West Fine Food Producer of the Year 2011
Best Vegetarian Pie in Britain - The British Pie Awards 2011
Best Fish Pie in Britain - The British Pie Awards 2011
As TV Chef Simon Rimmer said: 'Just unbelievable, I was blown away by the quality of the pies'...what more can I say?