Walker’s Steak and Ale Pie crisps

By |2021-11-10T10:34:31+00:00November 10th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Good Pie Guide|Tags: , , , , |

Walkers Steak & Ale Pie-nalty flavour crisps

I bought these a while ago and was that underwhelmed that I never bothered to pass on this information. My guess is I bought them in June to coincide with the Champions League final, given the branding

I like crisps almost as much as I like pies, beer and hot curries, so I felt duty bound to give them a whirl.

To be fair, it says on the packet, that it contains flavouring only, not any actual pies. It would be quite the trick to manage that in the first place. However, seeing as the content is in a fully encased package, then it is perhaps more of a pie than some of the barely pastry-clad sights that come across my timeline on a daily basis. DON’T GET ME STARTED AGAIN!!

Upon opening the bag, I get a faint whiff of what Walkers used to call Steak (Beef?) and Onion, with not quite the kick of a chargrilled steak Max product. The crisps are golden coloured but lacking in any visual signs of seasoning.

The crisps are of standard Walkers size (I find them a bit flimsy these days compared to some of the posh, gourmet crisp makers out there but they are still the market leader, so why change a traditional brand?)

I suppose at this point, there are only three tests:

Does it taste of:
a) Steak
b) Ale; and
c) Pie
To which the answer would be yes to a) (sort of) but no to b) and c)

1 out of 3 is 3.33 out of 10. Maybe you should of stuck to making pies, Walkers? You didn’t know they made pies?

That’s a story for another day, or one to read about it in Life of Pies

Having said all that, I’m a sucker for trying a new crisp flavour, so I don’t want to be too harsh. In fact, I’ve just seen they are doing a beef madras flavour. I’ll be having some of that. Only problem is that, if they aren’t very good like this flavour, I’ll get bollocked for sticking the other bags in the kids’ lunchboxes….

Oh and PS, I don’t normally pour a bag of crisps on to a plate before eating them, what on earth of a monster do you think I am??

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
Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/
You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P https://www.lifeofpies.co.uk/buy/

Cheers!

Turners Steak and Ale Pie (142)

By |2020-12-20T13:39:11+00:00December 20th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Life of Pies, Pies, Uncategorised|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Time for another pie from the archives and today, I am going to move out of the North West all the way down to sunny Sussex. I don’t know how I first came across Turners’ Pies, but I am very glad I did. And they have been very hard to avoid since, given their meteoric rise up the pie charts.

They are a multiple British Pie Award supreme pie winner (the biggest accolade any pie maker can get!) So it is only fair that I accelerate and acknowledge their presence in the Good Pie Guide.

Turners Steak and Ale Pie

Bognor Regis, a place so sleepy it’s twinned with the Land of Nod. It does possess Turners however, a specialist family run pie shop with a very smart exterior, if a little bit marooney in colour.

As soon as I get out of the car, that unmistakeable waft of pastry comes heading my way, I’m like a geriatric Bisto-kid. The lad serving is a chirpy Cockney geezer, with a mop of hair and therefore bearing more than a passing resemblance to Charlatans front man Tim Burgess. All about the pies in here, chicken and steak of various dimensions, served on their own or you can chuck in peas, mash and gravy for a couple of extra quid.

142.

Purveyor: Turners
Premises: Bognor Regis
Purchase: Steak and ale pie £2.30

Place: 8 The hot pies and mash are pulled down from a serving hatch which is a nice touch
Pastry: 8 A highly decorative crust, crisp in the mouth but uneven and artisan in its form, suggesting it has been crimped by hand. Highly portable as well, not that I’ve seen many Sussex folk walking around eating pies with their hands like they do where I’m from
Presentation: 9 Amazing aroma and piping hot
Package: 9 A dangerously overcrowded population of prime steak lies within
Palate: 8 Mighty and meaty
Price: 7 Over £2 takeaway but this is no average pie
Portion: 8 Deep and oblong shaped

OVERALL: 57/70 A splendidly well filled pie from a passionate vendor dedicated to fine food

The finer details:

The original review took place on Tuesday 16th October 2012. Obviously with Turners being a good 250 miles from my house, I am yet to pay a repeat visit, or indeed, try their Pies by Post service. Though I should add that I have no doubt unknowing eaten their pies in my role of judge at the British Pie Awards. Given their 2020 success with it, I reason that the next pie of theirs to review for the Good Pie Guide will be the Steak and Stilton pie, the 2020 BPA Supreme Champion. Can’t wait!

Current pricing (December 2020)
A steak and ale pie is currently retailing at £3.80 via Turner’s click and collect service. Or you can of course buy in bulk using their Pies by Post service.

Website: https://www.turnerspies.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurnersPies
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TurnersPies/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/turnerspies/
Click here to add a pie review of your own: https://goodpieguide.co.uk/add-pie/
You can buy a copy of Life of Pies here for just £4.99 plus P&P

 

 

 

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