We need to talk about Kevin. No, not from the film. Kev, you know, from down the pub. Well, sometimes down the pub, depending what pub you're in. But we digress. We need to tell you all about Kevin.
Who or what is Kevin you may ask? Kevin is the brainchild of Pieminister, pie connoisseurs who wanted to create a hearty vegan pie that even the most Cockney East End pie lovers would enjoy. Wondering why on earth somebody would name food after a human? You're probably not alone in thinking that, but stick with us. Kevin's unique, and we're going to tell you all why.
After great demand and repeated requests, the nice people at Pieminister spent time developing the most delicious, rich and flaky pastry that didn't require butter. Further encouraged by the rising popularity of those eschewing meat, these pie experts knew it was about time to put the pastry to the test and introduce a plant-based pie to their offering. Enter Kevin, a full-bodied vegan pie, stuffed to the brim with tender vegetables and quinoa in a red wine sauce. Kevin is the sort of modern-yet-classic pie that anyone (regardless of dietary preferences) can enjoy.
Accepting an invitation for a face-to-pastry meeting with Kevin, we decided to dine in at our local Pieminister restaurant and see what the fuss was about. With the main attraction already decided for us, ordering our food was simple: we each chose one of the four sides that can be paired with Kevin for a vegan meal (rosemary salt fries, BBQ beans, minty mushy peas and house slaw).
The sides were all deceptively large portions, and could easily suit a variety of different tastes. The house slaw took up half a large plate, featuring fresh and tangy vegetables with a sprinkling of seeds on top. The mushy pea dish was pleasantly minty, and capable of satisfying any old-school pie traditionalist with its classic and comforting charm. The BBQ beans side featured a mixture of beans, expertly seasoned with a subtle smoky flavour, great paired with the rosemary salt fries. Speaking of, the crispy skin on fries packed a perfect crunch, scattered generously with rosemary salt, with a portion big enough for two.
But enough about the sides, I'm sure you want to hear about the main event, the meeting with Kevin. All we can say is that the time Pieminister put into creating the perfect vegan pastry was well spent. The pastry held its own against the sauce-rich filling, maintaining the integrity of the pie even once cut. Upon slicing, Kevin revealed a variety of complex and well-paired flavours and textures with such depth that each bite of filling offered something new and intriguing. Composed of chestnut mushrooms, onions and quinoa with a red-wine sauce, we were suitably impressed by Kevin and the team behind his creation. So enjoyable even that we almost forgot about the vegan gravy that comes with Kevin, featuring a rich, fruity flavour that is so far removed from the vegetable broth that many restaurants consider ‘vegan gravy’.
So on reflection of our time at Pieminister, what did we think? Kevin is an excellent first vegan dish for this chain restaurant. There was a notable absence of any vegan-friendly mash potatoes, but we’ve been assured that this is being worked on, and if achieved, it will undoubtedly be an attraction for many more pie fans. The Kevin pie and a side will set you back £7.50 in the Pieminister restaurants, which, considering the portion sizes, is great value for money. Another great thing is you don't have to find a Pieminister restaurant to try Kevin, because selected pubs are now stocking Pieminister pies alongside their menus. Check the Pieminister website for more info and to find your local. If you don't fancy travelling to a restaurant or pub or eating out, you will also be able to buy Kevin from Ocado shortly. That's correct, Kevin, delivered directly to your door.
We're hoping that Pieminister continues to experiment and expand its vegan offerings, because despite leaving their restaurant full to the brim, we vegans love a pudding option. We were promised a real working-class pie, traditional, flavourful, rich and lovable by everyone regardless of their eating preferences. What we received was a working-class pie, with a whole lot of class, delivering on all of the above and more. We can't wait to see what Pieminister serves up next!
By Abigail Stevens,
Trademark Relations Officer
The Kevin Pie is registered with the Vegan Trademark. Find the Kevin Pie at Ocado.com or at your local establishment serving Pieminister pies.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.