Deer Santa Pie and Minted Mushy Peas – Pieminister, Boxpark

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Some takeaway food have a tendency to be visually unappealing. I think the options that are smothered in gravy fair the worse. Today’s lunch is case in point. Have been wanting to give Pieminister at the Boxpark a try for sometime now. Never got around to it as the weather was not conducive for rich stodgy food till recently. I think this is the final food stall at the Boxpark I have yet to review.

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As usual, Pieminister like the rest of the other shops in Boxpark is in a shipping container. Booth seats are available inside the shop as well as some outside seating. There are many pie options all at £4.20 each. Do ask what is available from the range as though they are not made in stall, they are baked on location. I like that the names of the pies are a word play on the pie’s ingredients. Kate and Sidney = Steak and Kidney, Chicken of Arragon = Chicken and Tarragon. I got one of the festive specials, the Deer Santa. Guess what is the protein in the pie?

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Yeap! Deer Santa has venison in it. Deer = Dear you see? Funny eh….heheheh… ok, I’m easily tickled. Was toying between mushy peas or mash with my pie and since I brought some leftover cauliflower cheese I made last night, went with the pea option. Total bill came up to £6 with the pie at £4.20, mushy pea at £1.50 and gravy at 30p.

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Now you understand why I say this is not exactly pretty. The gravy obscured everything and made everything brown. Even the bright green of the minted mushy pea got drowned out. Regretted having the gravy really, it did not mix very well with the nutty and tang of the mush peas which is a tad too minty for my taste. It also very nearly masked over the rich ale sauce of the pie. The venison chunks taste pretty good though, rich and beefy. If I didn’t know it was venison, I would have thought it’s a beef pie!

Highlight of lunch today was my leftover cauliflower cheese! Not going to blow my own horn too much but halving the cheddar and substituting it with cottage cheese actually worked pretty good.

Pieminister
Unit 60
Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6DY
0207 613 1792

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Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree Salad and Homemade Cauliflower Cheese Soup – Chop’d, Old Spitalfields Market/Junk’s Manor

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Poor Junk, victim of rubbish meeting scheduling again today. Back to back all day with only  1200 – 1400 free. To best make use of my time today, decided to pickup lunch on the way to the office. I know that Chop’d at Old Spitalfields Market prep their pre made salad in the morning so got one on the way. What? Only salad for lunch? Is Junk ill? No, I also have some leftover Cauliflower Cheese Soup I’ve made over the weekend so it will still be a 2 course lunch today.

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Won’t talk too much about the Cauliflower Cheese Soup just that I got the inspiration while glancing at the recipe section of a freebie newspaper. It’s basically onions, garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, bay leaf, nutmeg, cream and lots of cheddar and Gruyere cheese. Gruyere cheese is crucial, it gives the soup a slight, sharp tang. How is it cooked?

  1. Saute the onion and garlic till soft
  2. Add in veg and water, boil till veg softens
  3. Save a few pieces of cauliflower for later and remove bay leaf. Give it a good whirl with a hand blender
  4. Add cream, nutmeg and grated cheese
  5. Season to taste

When I served it at home, I topped the soup with more grated Gruyere and gave it a few minutes under the grill. Makes it resemble it’s moniker. Give it a try, it’s not a bad recipe.

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Of all the pre made salads available at Chop’d, I settled on the Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree Salad as it has brown rice and I’m a rice bucket. I think the salad is an attempt to deconstruct kedgeree, a dish rich in colonial history so it contains most of the typical ingredients of the dish with the addition of salad leaves. Because I selected a pre made salad, it is not dressed and I was left to decide what dressing I would like. I settled on the green pesto dressing which I regret on hindsight, a creamy dressing would have worked better. But overall, a pretty satisfying salad. Pieces of smoked mackerel combined well with the boiled egg and hints of tarragon. The occasional morsel of raisins brings a slight sweetness. At £4.75, not a bad deal.

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Chop’d
2 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
London E1 6EW
0207 247 8757