The Stable Birmingham opened its doors in 2015, serving delicious pizza and cider in the heart of the city.
What started out as a small scale pizza outfit in converted West Country stable, now boasts 17 restaurants in the Midlands and South of England – all unique and all very much with a family run feel.
After dining several times with The Stable, I jumped at the chance to attend a pizza making class Monday 10th June.
There were a small gathering of bloggers and myself, seated with a bottomless tray of cider taster pots. The Stable offer a bewildering array of cider to thirsty Brummies, second only to the pizza production line.
To begin we were talked through the production of the tomato base sauce which is made from scratch for the restaurant. This consisted of Area Chef Becky, softening onions into a very hot pan, with crushed garlic and then huge tins of tomatoes which were slowly poured in.
Exec chef Patrick is extremely knowledgeable and has been with the company from the very beginning, his passion shines through when explaining the pizza process. It is fascinating how detailed the preparation of the base is. The timing of when to add the ingredients and seasoning, to the way only one tin is added to begin with, so as to not cool the sauce down too much during cooking. We were offered a small taster bowl and it was so tasty, and tangy, you could use it as a soup and i ended up dipping bread into it.
We were then treated to a taste of the good quality fresh yeast, which has been cultivated continuously since the Stable began in the West Country all those years ago. To our amusement the yeast has a name – Jerry! Jerry is put to sleep in the fridge each night and brought out again ready for each day’s dough creation.
From here the dough was prepared, mixing the yeast and sourdough with with the right amount of water. The consistency needs to be pliable, without sticking to the bowl.
While the dough was mixing, and the base cooking, cider expert Amy provided a taster session with some really special bottled ciders. One which stood out as very moreish, was the rhubarb cider, the flavour came through immediately and unlike flavoured ales you can tell immediately which ingredients are used.
Now for the exciting part, adding the tomato base and toppings to the flattened sourdough. We each took turns to smother the dough with rich tomato base, then add our toppings. I opted for blue cheese, stilton, olives, chillis, onion, bacon, pulled pork and mushrooms – i was the last to finish and it was piled high but in for a penny in for a pound.
Patrick walked us to the ovens where our creations were shoveled in, and baked to perfection. I boxed mine up and ate it cold at home, which I must admit, tasted sublime.. all credit to our tutors though, who laid on a brilliantly entertaining pizza making session in the city’s most central and cool pizza restaurant, and a nice little touch was the goodie bag with Stable cider glass and bottle of Cornish Orchards cider.
With new competition coming into the city from Francos and Rudys, The Stable need not worry, they are just as inventive, passionate, professional as day one – and the pizzas are gorgeous.
Review by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.