Uralla’s newest craft pie shop is making waves throughout the New England. FOCUS visited Phillip Tutt at the Pie Mechanic, to eat some GREAT food and drink good coffee, tasting the local produce.
How did The Pie Mechanic start?
Several years ago, I started making pies for family and friends. I had always loved preparing and eating slow-cooked braises, comfort food basically, and a pie is the perfect medium for this type of cooking. Thanks to Ben at the New England Brewing Company, I was able to rent his kitchen space and start selling pies at the Armidale and Walcha Farmers’ Markets and through DJ’s Foodie Bliss deli in Armidale. To take the business to the next level, I needed a shop front and kitchen under the one roof and with help from some great friends, our little shop on the highway in Uralla became a reality.
How long have you been in the industry?
I started working in cafés in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney 25 years ago and have experienced most facets of the industry, from casual cafés to bistros and fine dining restaurants.
After 10 years in the Blue Mountains, our family relocated to Armidale; some locals may remember my café, Bottega, in Moore Street, which my wife, Donella, and I opened and operated for several years. And now it is great to be part of the vibrant food and business community in Uralla, which is also home.
What sets your pies apart from the rest?
The fillings. Our pies are created from classic recipes, and we build flavour through the use of quality cuts of meat, free-range chicken, fresh vegetables, herbs and spices.
Our beef shin pies are flavoured with beer (stock) from our local New England Brewing Company. We also specialise in game meat pies, including venison, wild boar and goat. We love creating great vegetable based recipes and our “veg” pies and sausage rolls are loved by vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
What else is on the menu?
We have a great range of sausage rolls, including pork and fennel; beef, bean and chilli; and roast carrot, chickpea and feta. To complement our pies and sausage rolls, we make in house pie chutney and tomato sauce, both available in take home jars.
We also have a great range of toasties made on authentic sourdough breads and utilising locally smoked meats. Our range includes the classic Rueben and Croque Monsieur and our Smokehouse with beef brisket.
But it’s not all about savoury food, is it?
No, we have an evolving range of small pastries, cakes and biscuits, which are perfect for a small treat or to enjoy with a coffee. There are several gluten free options available. Our rhubarb and custard tarts have quite a following!
Your shop has quite a history with food …
Our little shop is part of the 80 year-old Wallace House and has provided food and refreshment to the people of Uralla and travellers in various forms, over the majority of its life. Our counter display is also a reclaimed piece of Uralla history, being the original milk bar cabinet from “Essies” store on the highway.
What other services do you supply?
If coffee is your beverage of choice, our house blend from Sydney roaster The Little Marionette won’t disappoint. For those avoiding caffeine, a hot chocolate, chai or turmeric latte is a great option. We also have a great range of milkshakes and make our own syrups in-house; salted caramel and dutch chocolate and honey are firm favourites.
Our front fridge is stocked with take-home packs of pies and sausage rolls, which are perfect for an easy lunch or dinner. We generally have a range of packs, some mixed, some the same, but we are happy to take orders to avoid any disappointment. You can also grab a jar of our “No 66” Pie Chutney or Little Red Tomato Sauce.
Local ingredients; tell us about some of the local produce you use?
Our local butcher, Dales Downtown Meats, provides us with great meat. Lamb is from local Uralla producer Rosehill Pastoral Company, and pork from Horton Valley Premium Pork. We are very excited to be sourcing goat meat from Mole End Boer Goats in the near future. Greg from Jackson’s Meat in Armidale supplies our game meats. Our beef pies wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of great ales and lager from The New England Brewing Company.
What are some plans for the future?
We will continue to introduce new recipes and flavours to The Pie Mechanic’s menu. It’s only early days, but we hope we can continue to contribute to the vibrant retail mix of Uralla.
Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 4pm. Saturday 8am to 3pm. Closed Sunday / Monday.
Facebook and Instagram – The Pie Mechanic.
Mob 0448 517 267.