Murray’s Butchers Steak Pie

By |2021-10-02T18:04:16+01:00October 2nd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Good Pie Guide, Steak Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

My mate, Paul aka Northern Casual found himself in Glasgow again recently. I received the following message:

“I’m going to a butchers/deli nearby, on their website it says they sell homemade steak pies so if they’ve got some in, do you want some to try?”

Is there ever likely to be a negative answer to this question from your correspondent here?

Murray’s Butchers and Deli is in central Glasgow, The Gorbals in fact and produce a range of pies and meats to suit all tastes and appetites.
Now, there’s lots of places out there that claim their produce to be home made. The pedant in me, could point out that even this was made in a SHOP.

However, what happens when a steak pie is ordered, is that they go out the back and MAKE IT!!

What I received back from Glasgow the next day was a slightly flattened oblong tray with a large over hanging short crust pastry. Oh, yes and it was completely uncooked.

What to do here? I decide to go with my time and tested “20 minutes at 180 degrees in the fan oven” with a view to extending it to 40 minutes if I don’t think it is ready.

Twenty minutes later and what I thought was shortcrust is actually puff pastry. It is golden coloured and rising nicely. The pastry is wafting through my kitchen and I decide on another ten minutes (as I can’t see the meat).

On the 30 minute mark, all seems good so I pull it out and start to examine. There is a foil tray underneath, and a sheet of tin foil, so what’s going on here then?

What is going on here is the oddest pie set up I have ever come across! It is essentially a “do it yourself” pie.

I carefully extract the pie from the foil tray and only the puff pastry crust drops out.
I then peel back the layer of tin foil and there lies a portion of prime steak and gravy.

And that is it! Put that one back together!

 

It feels like some kind of elaborate April Fool’s joke. For all the good it is, I may as well stick it on a barm Wigan-style!

I decide to put the crust on the plate face down with the meat on top so the pie is upside down and get a knife and fork. I struggle with the taste of metal on metal, you see, and can’t cope with a fork touching the foil tray.

Whereas there are only two pieces of meat, they are indeed prime cuts of steak. Soft and juicy and easily broken up into four of five chunks and surrounded with a few blobs of rich gravy.

Now, you know what is coming. The pie purists, of which I consider myself one, would not deem this to even be a pie, due to it’s lack of full encasement in pastry and there is no getting away from this.

I still find it quite a novel and enjoyable experience however. So, in the interests of balance, I reached out to my good chum, sweary stand up comedian and Glaswegian, Barca Jim, to ask if this is a common tradition….

He has previously told me that they do make pies in Glasgow where the steak and gravy are just loaded into a big foil tray and then pastry is crimped over the top, it is indeed a traditional steak pie, or as I would call it, a stew with a lid. He did at least give me the liberty of sending me a decent one.

By the way, here’s one Jim sent me earlier:

Now, THAT does look good, fully encased or not…..

The finer details

Date: 8th September 2021

Price: A small steak pie costs £1.95, they also do scotch pies, bridies (pasties) and larger pies but I cannot vouch for the structure of them.

Address: 181 Crown St, Glasgow G5 9XT
Website: https://www.murraysbutcher.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/murraysbutcherglasgow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/murraysbutcher/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/murrays_butcher/

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The Crofters Tavern Steak and Ale Pie

By |2021-09-01T15:25:28+01:00September 1st, 2021|Categories: Blog, Good Pie Guide, Steak Pie|Tags: , , , , , , |

We spend a lot of time up in the Lakes, and whereas, on a good day, it is only an hour or so up the M6, on a bank holiday weekend, it can take three hours of snarly traffic each way. Upon getting kicked out of our accommodation mid morning, we first stopped at the Rheged Centre for pork pies (more on those later!) and by the time, it hits early afternoon, we had barely got past Lancaster.

So, time to pull off the M6 onto the A6 to find a random place that feeds children. We stopped in Garstang on the way up and paid a trip to Booths, and the drag from Lancaster to Preston usually has a smattering of decent pubs on it’s course. With the time gone 2pm and the kids (and me) getting tetchy, we pulled over and called upon The Crofters Tavern, with a wide, open front and pleasant looking terrace outside.

It is part of a hotel complex but the interior has some low hanging wood beams and is highly decorative. I am impressed by the beer range, with Camden’s, Goose Island, Budvar and Lowenbrau on tap along with a range of hand pulls, including some from the local Bowland brewery. However, it is food we are here for, and a man with my reputation can’t be seen to go too long without a pie, so I am delighted to see “HAND CRAFTED TAVERN PIES” available in a highlighted box.

There is a choice of steak and ale or cheese and onion, so I plump for the former and a pint of Goose Island Midway pale ale to accompany it. Well, I am on my holidays!

The service is good and the food arrives in reasonable time, and it is visually appealing. It is, as advertised, hand crafted with a plait-style crust formed by hand.

The pie, or the Cumbrian Steak and JW Lees Ale Hand Crafted Tavern Pie to give it it’s full title, comes with some plump, golden chips, a mound of garden peas and a ramekin full of gravy.

Upon cutting it, I am hit with a sweet, hoppy smell as the braised steak is infused with dark ale. There are amply quantities of thick chunks of soft meat inside and you really can taste the ale marinated in the meat.

After a while, I pour over the gravy and there are plenty bits of meat and stock remnants in there, this has clearly not come from a tub of Bisto granules. It is definitely a “knife and fork” pie. Due to the curious shape of the crust, it breaks up into slithers, so that you can pair it up with a piece of meat and soak it up with the gravy.

In any case, I’m not brave enough to pick up a pie and eat it with my hands, whilst having a meal with my wife and children in a pub. I get enough stick when I pull my phone out to take a sneaky pic.

Overall, a very filling and satisfying meal. I still nicked a load of my daughters’ chips which they didn’t finish but that is not because I wasn’t full, it’s just WHAT I DO 😊


The finer details

Date: 30th August 2021

Price: The price was £11.95, which is about standard for a sit down pub meal of pie and chips

Address: Crofters Hotel, A6 Cabus, Garstang, Lancashire, PR3 1PH

Website: https://www.croftershotel.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/croftershotel/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetaverngarstang/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CroftersHotel
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Cheers!

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