I Went On A Pilgrimage To Try Killing Joke's Pie

Killing Joke have released their own pie, but is it any good? K!'s own pastry enthusiast Nick Ruskell went to find out...

I Went On A Pilgrimage To Try Killing Joke's Pie
Words And Photos:
Nick Ruskell

A few weeks ago, we received an unexpected announcement. “A musician is launching their own…” – right, please not another facemask – “…Pie.” Oh, okay. Sorry, who’s launching a pie? “Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke.” Weirdly, everything suddenly fell into a vague impersonation of sense.

In case you need help following this plot, though: Jaz Coleman – that’s Killing Joke singer, classical composer and occasional magician Jaz Coleman – is now in the pie game. Because what else are you going to do in a pandemic? Having already made his bid to add ‘Baked confection magnate’ to an already eyebrow-raising CV when he did his own line of pasties in New Zealand (where he currently lives), he got in touch with Brit pie peddlers and Kerrang!-esque exclamation-mark enthusiasts Piecaramba! about doing the goods in their restaurants over here. A much more delicious reaction to hard times than when he high-tailed it to Iceland fearing imminent nuclear war.

With the spirit of the late AA Gill rising in us (although Gill probably would have had more luck coming up with Killing Joke/pie gags, and would certainly not have accepted something as weak as ‘A Love Like Blood Pudding’ as his best effort) we donned our restaurant critic hat and headed to Southampton for lunch, joined by our version of Gill’s wife and dining partner ‘The Blonde’, Emily Witch of Hampshire doomsters Witchsorrow.

Things to do in Piecaramba!: play SNES games at your table, dry your hands with a Darth Vader hand dryer, eat pie. There’s two Jaz pies available: The Joker (jerk chicken) and The Harlequin (jerk veg), plus your choice of mash (mustard is awesome) and beans or mushy peas. If you’re feeling particularly up for it and reckless, you can also go for the Pie & Mighty! option, with a topping of cheese and crispy shallots on top. Emily goes for The Joker with Pie & Mighty! embellishment, we plump for The Harlequin.

Emily: “The Joker pie is generously filled with chunky pieces of chicken breast – slow cooked until meltingly soft, complemented by sweet red peppers in a deliciously spiced jerk sauce with a kick of chilli, all in their awesome, buttery pastry. The Pie & Mighty! topping worked really well, adding crunch and an extra savoury flavour to the pie and the rich, creamy cheesy mash on the side.

“Piecaramba!’s mushy peas are probably the best I’ve ever had – a great, just-mashed texture and a minty freshness to cut through the richness of the pie and mash. All topped off with lashings of gravy to bring everything together!”

The veggie Harlequin is similarly awesome. The roast veg filling is a winter warmer with a bit of chilli kick at the end, while its pastry coffin is deliciously thick and crispy. Unless you drown it in gravy, in which case it’s deliciously thick and soaked in brown goodness. Mustard mash - ten-on-ten. Minty mushy peas - snap. A splendid and tremendous meal all round.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jaz Coleman joint if all this didn’t have an apocalyptic edge. To wit: these awesome pies are hitting Piecaramba!’s restaurants in Southampton, Winchester and at The Fiddler’s Elbow pub in Brighton just in time for a month-long lockdown. But all is not lost: you can still get them on Deliveroo, and there’s plans to do frozen six-packs to heat up at home which can be ordered nationwide.

An unexpected delight from an unpredictable man. And it’s a miles better lockdown band x product collab than another bloody facemask.

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