The pies at The Old House, in Devonshire Street, passed the first test. Which is to say, they are indeed pies.
This is important.
Not all pies are actually pies, see. Some pies are pretend-pies. They are imposters which come swaggering out of their kitchen – in a dish. They are bluffers because their fillings are covered by the pastry but – crucially – not encased by it. They are half-pies. Part pies. Pie minus the pie-ness.
They are not pies.
You can ask Guinness World Records about this. They have rules. If you’re going to call something a pie it has to adhere to strict regulations. It has to have a filling which is SURROUNDED. I know. I come from a village where they used to make the biggest pie in the world. THESE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT.
In any case, the pies at The Old House – a lively little bar and eatery owned by city entrepreneur Kane Yeardley who also has The York in Broomhill and The Broadfield in Abbeydale – are proper pies.
They are an entity in and of themselves. They do not come in a dish. They stand unsupported on a plate. The pastry encases the filling completely. It does not need tricks of pottery to do its job. These pies also pass the second test. They taste belting. Which is good because they are something of a house speciality.
Every Friday here in this cosy pub is Pie Friday where you can get this most delicious of dishes with peas and gravy for a fiver. Added chunky chips or mash costs an extra £1.60.
So, that’s what we did.
The Old House – so named because it was the 19th century home of the Duke of Devonshire – has a vibrant atmosphere and a cosy eating area where I chose the cock and bull, a chicken and beef pie, and she had the citrus chicken.
Both were delicious. The meat was tender, generous and proportioned perfectly alongside the melt-in-the-mouth pastry. The chunky chips were chunky and chippy. Minor quibble? There wasn’t enough gravy. Towards the end the pie became dry. But, then, there’s really not much worse than a good dinner being ruined by too much stock being thrown on top. We’ll forgive them that.
My star ratings out of 5
Where and when:
Address: The Old House, 113-117 Devonshire Street, Sheffield, S3 7SB
Phone: 0114 2766002
Website: The Old House, Sheffield