Lidl Sol Y Mar Chicken with Pastry filling

By |2022-07-15T12:40:22+01:00July 15th, 2022|Categories: Blog, Chicken pie|Tags: , , , , |

Now then, these aren’t described as a pie as such but then again, they sure look more like a pie than a lot of not-fully encased products that pass through my kitchen, so in they go.

There is a Spanish flavour to these, and I am delighted to see that the ingredients include white wine, chorizo, piri piri and lemon in here. Should be quite the taste sensation.

They come in a pack of four, and only weighing in at 80 grammes each, so best to have at least two I reckon. I pop them in the oven, and wait. Fifteen minutes in, the pastry is colouring nicely, and there’s a bit of paprika dusted boil out emerging, nothing too enticing on the smell front, but the ornately crimped top crust is holding it’s shape nicely

The pastry needs watching though here. After 25 mins in the oven, the top is starting to turn brown but when I pop it out the tray, the underneath isn’t very well cooked (and the recommended cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes) It feels like the heat isn’t going to penetrate the foil tray without burning the roof, so I feel like now is the time to dive in.

I serve these up with chips and veg, what with them only being mince pie sized, and the look, feel and even taste of the pastry is lovely and buttery on top, with a beautiful hand folded crimp. Sadly, it all goes downhill the further we go, with at least 50% of the pastry, the bottom half basically, being raw.

I could take the blame for this, or blame my oven but cooking instructions were followed and even extended and to prolong the cooking any more would have only resulted in a burnt top crust. Anyway, let us have a look inside.

Filling wise, I am impressed to see some sizable chunks of chicken breast in there and there’s a few little flecks of red and orange chorizo and carrot (?) to compliment it. It is otherwise a touch on the dry side, in spite of it’s soggy bottom.

I purchased them as part of Lidl’s Spanish week, I thought that they looked like intriguing little things and indeed they were. But in short, I would not recommend, unless you can torch the pastry through the foil tray, without causing internal dryness to the filling. You really shouldn’t have to though.

I suppose if you do find yourself in Lidl and needing a pie, I can instead heartily recommend their veggie range, Mrs T really likes them. By contrast, she left half of this one, thus resulting it in a firm and decisive “nil points” from our household.

THE FINER DETAILS

Price: £1.99 for a pack of four from Lidl

Oh you know where to find Lidl, I don’t need to give you any more details

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Dickinson & Morris Fruit topped Pork Pie

By |2022-07-01T14:27:44+01:00July 1st, 2022|Categories: Good Pie Guide, Life of Pies, Midlands, Pork Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

When you visit Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Melton Mowbray, they always have the stella triumvirate of geographically protected classic pork pies (D&M, Mrs King’s and Walkers) on display. However, they also have a range of other speciality pies.

I once picked up a creamy chicken and white pie for just a quid which was fantastic, and of course, they also have all kinds of pork plus something else pies.

Today’s therefore is a pork and pickle (?) pie. What type of pickle? I have no idea. Let’s call it Branston. I don’t know if this is accurate, even upon tasting it, as this particular type of pickly accompaniment isn’t really one of my go to preservatives. Nevertheless, let’s see what this portable Ploughman’s Lunch (dinner!) brings to the table.

I take the pie out of the fridge and let it settle before homing in on it. It’s not Branston pickle at all, it is more of a fruit based topping. The sweet, chutney style topping is tangy, with apples, berries and possibly a few sultanas and a bit of spicy kick on the follow through. The absence of a pastry top crust, however, presumably renders it ineligible from its own Melton Mowbray based pie award.

Inside, there is the familiar, coarse, greyish pink sausage meat, encased in a thin layer of jelly and an even sided hot water crust. The combination in the mouth of mildly peppered pork and fruit layered topping is a winner for me. And whether this type of pie is your go to flavour and style or not, you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship.

 

 

 

THE FINER DETAILS
Review date: 1st July 2022
Price: Ah, I kept the receipt, in the vain and misguided belief that I do this as a business (or side hustle as the kids call it) Well, if your business is writing about pies, then surely buying and eating pies is a tax deductible expense? Sorry, the price! It was £4.50 for a topped pork pie.
Address: 10 Nottingham St, Melton Mowbray LE13 1NW
Website: https://www.porkpie.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dickinsonandmorris
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dickinson_morris/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dickinsonmorris
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Nice Pie Steak Pie

By |2022-05-11T11:50:25+01:00May 11th, 2022|Categories: Midlands, Steak Pie|Tags: , , , , |

Yes you read that correctly, it’s a Nice Pie Steak Pie. But was it a nice steak pie? Let’s find out! Nice Pie are the baker, they make pies, and they are they are very good at it. We paid them a visit after the Pie awards to pick up supplies, I got a steak, a steak and stilton and a large pork pie.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great pies but I was a little bit disheartened upon hearing that they had none of their “specialist” products in stock on the day.

I mean I suspect that, with the state of the world at the moment, getting hold of exotic meat is getting a touch more tricky, but whereas I would be perfectly happy scoffing on a steak pie, I always feel it is my duty to search out the new and obscure in the interests of research.
You see, on previous trips to Melton, I have brought back their squirrel pie and their zebra pie, not because I particularly fancy them but because THEY ARE THERE!!

They have also been known to produce a crocodile pie, a kangaroo pie and the non descriptive but still highly intriguing Ring of fire pie. Then there is the roadkill pie……

It might be a headline grabber but there is a nice bit of info on the website which explains: “The meat obtained from rabbits, woodpigeons and squirrels is free-range, hormone and cholesterol free, tasty, and easy to cook. So why not put them in pies?”

Also, it is worth mentioning that by eating these type of animals, you are also consuming potential garden pests. Anyway, I want one, for research purposes. So keep me posted, Nice Pie PLEASEEEE!!!!

If you do chance upon the ingredients, you will see that it is no different to the game pie I had last week (and a lot cheaper) save for the addition of a bit of wood pigeon.

But for now, I will have to suffice with their classic steak pie, so what to make of it?

The pie is average sized and circular, with a golden coloured, semi flaky lid and solid base. I’ve got to say, when I up-end it, the base is cooked to perfection..

The crust is firm and crunchy, but not too dry and as I cut it open, the quantity of steak meat in there is astonishing. It is packed to the rafters with very, very, large chunks of prime beef. This is music to my ears, and whereas there can sometimes be a concern that big pieces equal less moisture, well, the meat is still soft enough to be juicy.

In truth, gravy, mash and peas on the side might enhance it and make for a great meal but I’m all about the pie, as regular readers will know and there is a rich, satisfying taste with every mouthful. It is meat, meat and more meat and of exceptionally high quality.

So in the meantime, I will keep checking their website, for something more obscure to feature. I know, for example, they entered their kangaroo and tackleberry pie in the most recent pie awards but I didn’t manage to personally sample or judge it on this occasion.

The finer details
Date: 9th May 2022
Price: I think they were around £3, purchased to take away from their shop /café, a little bit more if you buy online
Address: Six Hills Ln, Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray LE14 3NB
Website: https://www.nice-pie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicePieUK
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nice_pie1
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The Packhorse at Longstone Gamekeeper’s Pie

By |2022-04-10T11:17:10+01:00April 10th, 2022|Categories: Blog, Game Pie|Tags: , , , , |

This pie isn’t available all the time but it is still worth a mention and worth a try if you can get hold of it. This pub modestly claims to be one of the best in the Peak District, but from what I’ve seen, it’s not far off the truth. I’m quite happy to research this further, mind you.

Anyway, if the pies don’t grab you, the ales certainly will as this place is basically a Thornbridge tap, situated as it is, just down the road from the famous Bakewell brewery, so perhaps this is more of a good beer review than a good pie review.

I worked my way down the pumps from the Helles style lager, Lukas; the Brother Rabbit pale ale and of course a pint or two of Jaipur, their 5.9% cask IPA.

But the pies, the sweet, sweet pies. They had both a gamekeeper’s pie (£15) and a Homity pie (£14) on when I visited. I plumped for the former, while my good lady had the latter.

Not got great photos of either, it kind of explains why I try and avoid having mash and gravy with my pies. 1. It doesn’t make for a clear view or the pie and 2. It can obfuscate the flavour within the pie.

Yes, I did use the word “obfuscate” in a pie review and yes, you’re right, that DOES appear to be a mash, rather than crust topping. Nevertheless, the pie was splendid and the chips and pickled cabbage weren’t bad either.

The Gamekeeper’s pie contained rabbit, venison and pheasant, along with sweet potato, carrot and onion inside and the Homity pie (which the missus’ loved) was mainly sweet potato, carrot, cheese and other veg, served with a radish salad.

Sadly, no inclusion in the GPG though as the menu is on rotation and pies aren’t always on it ☹

Nevertheless, a fully loaded, log fire with my in-laws giant dog, Wilf, snuggled up to it, really helpful and friendly staff and loads of real ales after a day of walking the Monsal Trail all made for a lovely day and I can recommend this place highly if you’re in the area.

The finer details
Date: 29th December 2021
Price: The price was £15 for the Gamekeeper’s Pie
Address: Main St, Little Longstone, Bakewell DE45 1NN
Website: https://www.packhorselongstone.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/packhorselongstone/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/packhorselongstone/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/packlongstone/
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Taylor’s Farm Shop Peppered Steak Pie

By |2022-03-28T09:39:43+01:00March 28th, 2022|Categories: Steak Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

Upon returning from the Pie Awards with 14 pies, many of which would need freezing, I quickly realised that I already had at least 14 pies in my freezer when I opened it. So I have SWORN not to buy any more pies until I have cleared the backlog (purely to make way for more pies, obviously)

So here is today’s contribution to my freezer clearance challenge. Taylor’s is a fantastic farm shop in Lathom, near Ormskirk in Lancs, and as you can see, it has been in the freezer for a while, judging by the best before date.

If I recall, as well as getting whatever I needed for the BBQ I was doing (as it was August), I picked up a butter pie and a peppered steak pie (£1.95). Here is that peppered steak pie, and it is an intriguing shape certainly.

It has a very flaky top crust, which is loosely attached to the crimped shell of the pie and is a familiar, tapered, oblong shape, usually associated with the classic steak and kidney.

Anyway, the combination of meat and pastry gives off an impressive aroma as it cooks, and it comes out slightly darker but still intact. I often find these pies a little hard to manoeuvre, when they are so top heavy on crust, and they can collapse if the filling isn’t too generous. There’s none of that here, however, as there is a deep layer of tender, light steak underneath the flaky levels of crispy pastry.

It isn’t too saucy or moist, and the pepper is clearly marinated within the meat. There is a bit of sauce, where the black pepper is present but the meat is juicy and moist as well. The pepper is consistently warm, rather than napalm intensity and I manage to polish off the pie completely with my hands.

Although evidently, my main issue with puff pastry rears it’s ugly head again, namely that there’s always going to be plenty of it left on the plate compared to a shortcrust or hot water variety. Such a waste! Conversely, the thick crust does makes the pie easier to handle, even if you get crumbs on your shirt.

Ultimately, the meat is the star of the show, as tender and appetising as you’d expect from a butcher / farm shop.

Review date: 27th March 2022

Price: £1.95

Address: Hall Ln, Ormskirk L40 5UW

Website: https://taylorsfarmshop.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Taylors-Farm-Shop-382800491782496/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylorsfarmlath

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Project Pies Pork Pie

By |2022-03-16T17:32:09+00:00March 16th, 2022|Categories: Midlands, Pork Pie|Tags: , , , |

Allow me to introduce you to Project Pies Nottingham. They are, as the name implies, only available in the Nottingham area currently but they surely have a bigger future if there is any justice in the world.

As it happens, I was sort of passing there on the way back from the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray. I had been following their pie creations and stunning photos on Instagram for a while now, and it was a pleasure to meet Dan, the man behind the pies, at his home in the Colwick area of Nottingham last week. He kindly gave me a bag of pies, in exchange for a slightly tatty copy of my book. I know who got the better deal!

I have always banged the drum for traditional bakers, such as Greens of Barrow, or Muffin Man and Galloways in Wigan, as they remind me of the pie shops that I used to see (and smell) on every street corner as I was a young boy in Wigan.

Nevertheless, the world moves on and I have to say, following Baldy’s Pies and Willy’s Pies (yet to try them!) the new and emerging “lockdown baker” genre is increasingly smashing it out of the park and Project Pies are no exception.

Dan currently works full time in hospitality and makes and sells pies at evenings and weekends, delivering to homes locally and hosting pie nights in pubs, and what can I say but, based on the evidence I have before me, he is bloody good at it!

I got two bagfuls of pies, one headed straight to the freezer for later features and a second bag containing a large pork pie and three sausage rolls I put in my fridge.

Now, in my head, as I collected them, I thought “I’ll have that pork pie at lunch tomorrow” and the kids can have the sausage rolls for their dinner on Saturday. I do unfortunately (and erroneously) associate sausage rolls with being kid’s food, or an item on a buffet plate. I was wrong on both counts.

The sausage rolls are HUGE and I, let alone my kids, would struggle to eat a full one and upon inspecting the pork pie, it is also very heavy and of a family, sharing size. There will be none of that here of course, I will eat it all myself. It might just have to be half at a time.

So to the pork pie and the crust is a wonderful russet brown colour. The shape of the pie is incredibly sturdy and well crafted and easily on a par with many professionally produced efforts. It reminds me of the pork pie I got from Walter Smith’s in Birmingham a few years’ back, and upon checking my photos, it even looks like it.

By the way, that is the Walter Smith, who has only been making pork pies since 1885 and is one of the leading food and meat purveyors in the West Midlands, versus Dan, who makes them in his converted garage as a side venture.

I doubt Walter even still makes them himself unless he’s 136 years old! I guess what I am saying is this is a truly professional pork pie, made by someone, who by his own admission is something of a novice based on his journey so far.

Anyway, back to the pie. The crust is crunchy and tasty with a solid, consistent base. Inside, well firstly, there is an all important layer of salty, silvery-gold jelly encasing a thick, modular filling of coarse pork meat standing close to two inches tall. I’d expect nothing less when I’m still only 20 miles from Melton Mowbray than the slightly tougher, greyish-pink meat filling but it is soft enough in the mouth and just the right quantity of pepper to give it a bit of oomph.

The main problem I have now is that I have chomped my way through half of it and I want more. That little voice inside my head pops up “you’ll not want your tea” but quite frankly, I don’t care. This is a sensational pork pie, and should have been on that table in Melton Mowbray last week getting very highly commended.

 

 

 

 

 

I had a chat with Dan about where he plans to go with Project Pies and it is not fair for me to say any more than that. I’ve still got a lot of his produce to get through in the coming weeks, but if the starter is anything to go by, then these pies need to be tried by a MUCH wider audience as they are exceptional.

NOTE: I have been overwhelmingly positive in my reviews recently, and you may be starting to wonder whether I’m being paid off. However, when I went to Google to look for Dan’s social details, there’s a load of reviews on YouTube, like this one whereby he used the words INSANELY GOOD. But they are!! Oh and unlike this guy, I didn’t give my wife any of mine!

Local Nottingham Man Makes INSANE Pork Pies From His Kitchen! | Project Pies Nottingham – YouTube

Oh and the clue is in the title, I only seek out GOOD PIES!!

 

 

 

 

Review date: 16th March 2022
Price: A small pork pie is £3 and a large one is £5.75. I think the one I had was a large, if not I NEED TO SEE HOW BIG THE LARGE ONE IS!!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanThePieMan/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/project_pies_nottingham/
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Bakewell Tart Shop Steak and Ale Pie

By |2022-02-23T12:48:04+00:00February 23rd, 2022|Categories: Steak and Ale|Tags: , , , , , |

We spent Christmas in Bakewell this year, away with family and my eldest daughter is obsessed with Bakewell tarts. I didn’t have the heart to tell her, that the locals would be less than impressed by her choosing a tart over a Bakewell pudding, but the little lady gets what the little lady wants.

Of course, it is pure coincidence that the Bakewell Tart Shop sells pies too. I really should have checked to see whether the Bakewell Pudding Shop sells pies as well but I was already getting “the glare” so I had to crack on and secure purchases.
One giant Bakewell Tart, a steak and ale pie and a lamb and leek pie.

I’ve had the Lamb and leek before, I think it featured in Life of Pies and it was quite impressive from memory. So this time I’m going to weigh in firstly with the Steak and Ale. I pop it out of the branded paper bag and into the oven for 20 or so minutes.
It is quite a deep and heavy pie, which is always a pleasing sight, marked with a triangle on top to denote the flavour. As it cooks in the oven, I can confirm a slight buttery waft is emanating from inside, particularly pleasurable in my case as I am still very slowly getting my smell back after the dreaded COVID.

The crust is very prominent, a lovely golden brown colour, slightly flaky but crisp to cut into. I get some scissors to cut out the foil tray, as it doesn’t seem to be dis-lodging but I manage to keep it intact and out on to the plate and it is well baked and perfectly formed.

I open her up and find a good inch and a bit of prime steak packed into there. Any worried about dryness quickly fade away, as there is a pleasant layer of gravy type jelly (or jelly type gravy) surrounding it’s interior. The cutlery is out on the plate but it isn’t required, as this pie holds together well and can be eaten by hand. The large chunks of steak are exceeding juicy and tender, and I find myself salivating with each bite.

There is a bit of airspace at the top but this isn’t at the expense of content, it merely gives the meat a bit of air to breathe. It doesn’t feel overwhelmingly boozy, so I’m not really picking out the ale, but the gravy is sweet and wraps around the earthy finish of the beef.
Overall, a very decent portion size, which would satisfy most appetites. Me, I still want more because it was so good. Then again, I can always have a slice of Bakewell Tart for afters instead.

Review date: 1st February 2022
Price: £2.75 for a Steak & Ale Pie (I think!)
Address: 18 Matlock St, Bakewell DE45 1EE
Website: https://www.bakewelltarts.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tartshop
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBakewellTartShopAndCoffeeHouse/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bakewelltartshop/
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Westwell’s Meat and Potato Pie (RIP)

By |2022-01-09T12:15:28+00:00January 9th, 2022|Categories: Good Pie Guide, Life of Pies, Meat and Potato Pie, North West|Tags: , , , |

The sad part about refreshing my database, as I continue to collate my new book, is finding out that so many fine, traditional bakers have fallen by the wayside. Sure, new entrants have come along. Lockdown, in particular, for all it’s drawbacks, has given lots of people the chance to seize an opportunity that they might never have taken, to don an apron and try their hand at a career change.

With me working from the beginning, I am finding that the landscape has changed considerably in ten years and East Manchester in particular has suffered from the closure of two giants of their time. We join this tale just after I had visited The Crusty Cob and was heading towards Westwell’s Bakery. One time supplier of tater hash to FC United when they were still at Gigg Lane:

Westwell’s Meat and Potato Pie

Wow! I’m beaming away like a small child in Openshaw Matalan car park, being observed closely by a fag toting security guard, who is probably wondering what the hell I’ve got to be so pleased about on a drab Saturday morning.

But there’s more! I make for the Openshaw/Droylsden border down a side street which is tail to bumper with erratically parked white vans, full of blokes stuffing their faces. Hello hello, what have we here?

Westwells, home of previously mentioned Tater Hash, is a corner plot and very rustic inside. Sandwiches, pies and two pans of peas and gravy and a fridge full of cans. No price list and when she orally presents the bill for my purchase, I am inclined to clean my ears out…

Purveyor: Westwells

Premises: Droylsden, Manchester

Purchase: A meat and potato pie for EIGHTY FIVE PENCE

Place: 8 I’m kept waiting a while as the hi viz gentleman in front orders his sides of peas and gravy but the old girl behind the counter quickly shouts her co-worker for assistance in a lovely Mancunian accent, so deep it makes Barry White sound distinctly soprano

Pastry: 8 A bit crumbly, but again distinctly home made, with a teasing little peephole in the middle

Presentation: 8 The foil tray is so furnace-like, it appears to be burning a hole in my hand, but the smell of gravy emanating from inside, means this pie is destined for a quick larruping

Package: 8 Intensely full inside, easy on the eye with potatoes that are so sodden with gravy, they’re dark brown in colour

Palate: 7 The spectre of the tater hash rears its ugly head again (on a previous trip to FC United world renowned food critic, Orrible Ives of the Norley Hall estate in Wigan, decreed the tater hash “dry and tasteless” – nor did he pay for it the ungrateful bounder!) It was a touch dry in parts, however the divine softness of the filling compensates for a slight lack of flavour

Price: 9. I repeat: EIGHTY FIVE NEW PENCE

Portion: 7.5 Slightly raised in the middle in order to accommodate more content

OVERALL: 55.5/70 A splendid price and a great looking pie but the (arguable) lack of seasoning only enforces the suggestion that you might want to team up this little cracker with some peas and gravy.

The finer details:

The original review took place on Saturday 28th January 2012. I have since discovered that, just like The Crusty Cob, Westwell’s has also pulled it’s last pie out of the oven a couple of years ago and the premises have now been converted to flats. Sad times but fond memories!

See previous review: The Crusty Cob Meat and Potato Pie (RIP) – The Good Pie Guide

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Ginger Butchers Traditional Pork Pie

By |2022-01-04T11:45:37+00:00January 4th, 2022|Categories: Good Pie Guide, Midlands, Pork Pie|Tags: , , , , , |

Happy New Year! I found myself in Bakewell with family over the festive season, of course the kids wanted to bring back some Bakewell Tarts. No, not Bakewell puddings and I know that is sacrilege in local circles.

I picked up a couple of pies, to be reviewed later but also on our mini tour de Bakewell (toy shop, sweet shop, full English at a café and the Tart shop) I also spotted Ginger Butchers, or more importantly, their strapline which read: “speciality pork pies sold here”.

I made my excuses and left the wife and children for a minute, only to find a queue of a dozen people inside. Foiled at first attempt but thankfully when I passed by again a few minutes later, the queue had subsided.

As you’d expect, it is a busy establishment with cooked meals and meat galore but it doesn’t take long for me to hone in on the pie selection. There are steak, meat and potato, chicken and mushroom and what appears to be stilton topped pork pies. I have decided I just want a pork pie and spot a picnic pie, individually sized and priced at £1.95.

However, after placing my order I spot the larger sharing pork pies for £3.95 and upgrade to one of those instead. It feels like a house brick in my hands, but hey it’s Christmas and you’ve got to have a big pork pie at Christmas, it is the law.

I take it home and choose to eat it from the fridge after letting it settle for twenty minutes or so, and it takes a big old knife to cut through it’s considerable depth. The crust is an even, golden colour with a solid, well cooked shape and base to it.

Inside there is a decent layer of succulent jelly inside the casing and the meat is chewy but still tender enough to melt in the mouth. The filling style feels a little bit hybrid, between the refined style preferred in the North of England but also a bit untextured and coarse as favoured in the Midlands, the Melton Mowbray style. I suppose that makes sense given the location of Derbyshire. There is moderate seasoning but the overwhelming flavour is that of savoury sausage meat, which goes down great with the crust and jelly.

In retrospect, I am a bit envious upon looking at their website that I didn’t pick up a Huntsman’s Pie instead but the traditional pork pie is still a lovely product and highly filling.

To this end, after polishing off half of it, I decide to eat the other half the following day but I decide to warm it up in the oven for ten minutes or so. I’ve been around this debate many times, the old hot versus cold pork pie and my conclusion is that ideally, the pie should be served whilst cooling from the oven and eaten promptly. Perhaps wait until you get out of the butchers first though.

This method has been used to score highly by many a butcher such as Burchall’s of St Helens, Stanforths of Skipton and Percy’s in Barnsley. I defy you to name any more pleasurable experience in life than the sensation of hot jelly dribbling down your chin.

The finer details
Review date: 2nd January 2022
Price: £3.95 for a large pork pie
Address: Granby Rd, Bakewell DE45 1ES
Website: https://gingerbutchers.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/newclosefarm/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gingerbutchers/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gingerbutchers/
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Asda Extra Special Steak and Ale Pie

By |2021-12-23T12:10:30+00:00December 23rd, 2021|Categories: Pies, Steak Pie|Tags: , , , , |

Or to give it it’s full title, the Asda Extra Special Aberdeen Angus Steak and Black Sheep Ale pie. We can only hope that the pie as much of a mouthful as it’s name.

Now, I had no real desire to pick up a pie from Asda as part of my official research but this looked highly visually appealing and ticked all the boxes, so why not?

There’s also a label stating that it is currently on sale at a trial price of two quid versus the future price of £2.30, so who am I not to snag a bargain and also become a road tester of this product, all in one go?

For a speculative purchase, things get off to a flyer. It has a golden colour to the top crust, which is dusted with peppercorns and the pie looks to be of considerable depth, whilst also raised in the middle.

It is 30 minutes on the oven on a low heat and, well it’s disclaimer time: I usually hang around to sample the aroma but since getting COVID a week or two ago, well, you can guess the rest. Thankfully, whereas my smell has gone I seemed to have retained most of my tastebuds.

This is going to be awkward if it doesn’t sort itself out soon. I’m currently spending my days sniffing Vicks, coffee, coconut oil, oranges and garlic in a bid to train back my senses ASAP. I like my grub (and fine ale and wines too) so this is hurting me bad.

The wife tells me she can smell that sweet, buttery pastry, but for me, it will have to wait. This is where my sub conscious tells me I will just buy another in a month or two’s time, in my never ending lust for pies. I always find a reason to want to go back.

I get a clean take out of the foil tray, pop it on a plate and carve it up. There is a bit of air space at the top but still a good inch or so of thick steak filling.

I pull out a chunk of steak with the fork and it is chewy but succulent in flavour. The crust is a delight, it is multi layered, crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside to soak up the ale infused gravy. Now on this, I can’t pinpoint with any certainty the Black Sheep ale but there’s a distinct juicy, fruity note to it.

All in all, I can’t be critical as I don’t know how much is down to my (hopefully) temporary sensory impairment but the content is good, form and appearance exceptional and it is a highly filling, visually appealing pie. As a bonus, I eat the second half wholly by hand with zero spillage.

In summary, I’d eat it again, and may well do in the New Year. Albeit I will have to pay an extra thirty pence for the privilege.

No need to provide any further links or details, it was bought from this little place called ASDA! I expect you’re already familiar with them.

Instead, here’s some links to our socials, if you fancy giving us a festive follow:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thelifeofpies?lang=en
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063766025105
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/goodpieguide
Instagram: https://instagram.com/goodpieguide
You can buy a copy of Life of Pies for just £4.99 + P&P here. Containing hundreds of reviews of some of the nation’s finest pastry products

Finally, I’d like to wish all pie lovers a very merry Xmas and Hap-pie New year to you and your families!

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