You know how you can’t get a decent burger in Amsterdam to save your life?
Well, as it turns out, you can get a meat pie so perfect that Katie M herself might mistake it for one of her country’s own.
Indeed, Pieminister is a UK based company, but its outlet in Amsterdam exactly follows the model that you might see in merry olde England. Choose your pie filling, choose your toppings, and choose your side (if any).
Then, sit at one of the modern tables and wait for your food to be delivered. As you can see from the decor, it’s a modern, hip place that has taken the British classic and updated it with local, seasonal ingredients that come almost entirely from Great Britain.
I especially appreciate the rather English accompaniments of nasal-searing Coleman’s mustard and pungent Worcestershire sauce. And, of course, the not-so-English inclusion of Tabasco.
The Motherlode Chicken of Aragon pie with tarragon, smoked bacon, and free range British chicken
So good that it made me sit up and remember tarragon. Why don’t I use it more often? Its faint, sweet, licorice-y taste goes so well with tender chicken. Especially in this rich sauce, loaded with crispy smoky bacon, creamy potatoes, and fork tender chicken. If you get it Motherlode style, it comes topped with mashed potatoes, gravy, cheese, minted mushy peas, and fried shallots.
And if you don’t get it Motherlode style, you must be certifiably insane.
She isn’t the prettiest girl in town, but wow is this dish tasty! Salty gravy, tangy cheese, crispy shallots, and lightly minted peas (no mouthwash overload here) add brightness and texture to an otherwise rather heavy, creamy pie. I also recommend adding a shot of Tabasco to uplift the flavor profile.
Oh, and there were just-like-mom’s mashed potatoes, too. Because one can never have to many potatoes.
Dare I say that I enjoyed this pie even more? It is a totally out-of-left-field flavor combination. Goat cheese and sweet potatoes? Wouldn’t’ that be too heavy or sweet?
No, it’s pretty much perfect. It’s creamy and earthy, with a hearty minerality from the spinach and the sweet tang of red onion. The caramelized onion highlights the more savory taste of the sweet potato and the warming the goat cheese mellows it from grassy to buttery. This I got plain, though I would get it with gravy next time.
Simply a zesty, vaguely spicy sausage that is so soft it almost melts in your mouth. Oh, and it’s wrapped in an impossibly flaky dough that is so light that it has no calories.
That’s what I told myself.
Pieminister may not be the most Dutch establishment, but it’s one of the tastiest. The price is fair, the service is helpful but not overbearing, and the food is so delicious that it is worth losing an hour in the afternoon when you sink into a food coma.
Just remember…it’s Motherlode all the way or I will have to pretend that I don’t know you.