The Rheged Centre is a shopping complex just off junction 40 of the M6 by Penrith, and has a great little deli counter which is actually in the petrol station. As you’d expect, it also serves a fine range of craft ales, gins and jams and sauces, so I am more than in my element.

There are hot options available, but the cold pork pies are what I have been craving, after a failed trip to Pooley Bridge (I’ll be back!!) So I opt for the Gloucester Old Spot pork pie and the pork and black pudding pie, both selling at £2.30 each.

They are average sized for a single pork pie, and definitely hand made, given the uneven shape, delivering an intriguing looking crust.

The crust feels a little tough so upon arriving home, I pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, before letting it cool back down to something like room temperature.

It enables the aroma of the light brown hot water crust to breathe. It softens it up for the chomp and it smells excellent, almost fruity. Upon cutting in half, the black pudding is equally as prominent as the pork meat

The pork is moderately seasoned and the black pudding is both sweet and fruity, and both fillings consist of a gentle texture. There is no blood aftertaste with the pudding, just a herby, moist flavour. Though if I have a small criticism, it is the absence of jelly which will always add a bit of moisture to any pork pie, if we discount the adding of additional condiments, such as brown sauce or mustard.

The Rheged Centre filling station also has a range of hot pies, I noticed minced beef and onion and meat and potato pies. Plus it also sells those ridiculously fat sausage rolls which have a good inch and a half of meaty goodness in the middle.

Of course, the Rheged Centre is just a few miles up the road from Tebay, and the Gloucester old spot pork pie, definitely leads me to believe they are part of the same chain, but fortunately I bought one of those as well…

The old spot is a rare, geographically protected type of pig, which predictably is white with dark spots. The pork meat is traditionally fattier and sweeter, due to the tradition of pigs munching on apples falling from the orchards where they graze.

Again, I warm it up gently to soften the pie and the soft crust glistens gently as I bite into it. The pinkish grey sausage meat is exceptionally tender. It’s soft, sweet and tangy, only broken up with the occasional peppery after kick. There is a thin layer of jelly sprinkled around the edges, which moistens the crust interior. For a dinky pie, it certainly is a rich and filling experience.

The finer details

Date: 30th August 2021

Price: The price was £2.30 for an individual sized pork pie, cooling on the deli counter

Address: Redhills, Penrith CA11 0DQ



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