Tuesday 8 May 2012

Sparks Fly with Marks and Sparks pie

Getting people to read your blog posts is all about getting a good title. I think this one is pretty good, I actually came up with it before eating the pie. I then refused to change it despite the fact that the pie didn't really get close to the 'sparks flying' level of a great pie. So I am sorry, I have misled you. Don't get me wrong, this was a good pie, it was clearly premium quality, but if I were to give it a fantastic score I would be forgetting one of the most important 'Cs' that we use to rate our pies here at pierate; cheapness. At pierate we want to let you know about pies that you would want to buy, not just which pies taste better than others. If a pie is expensive it needs to do something a bit special to make me buy it again and sadly this didn't.

Now, I am slightly doing this review backwards, I should tell you what the pie was! A gastropub branded West Country Steak and Cornish IPA Ale from Marks and Spencer. This was an individual pie which cost me £3.15, fairly pricey for a small pie from a supermarket.

The pastry was fantastic, it used the classic, puff pastry lid and short crust sides combo. Despite being oven cooked it was nice and gooey. There was loads of gravy which was certainly above average. However, the steak let it down for me, I didn't feel it was premium standard. It was chewy in places when I was expecting melt in the mouth.


So the pie did score highly in a number of areas but some faults stop it from gaining top Marks.

West Country Steak and Cornish IPA Ale (Marks and Spencer)

P.S. I have just noticed the name of the pie on the box says 'IPA Ale'. As IPA stands for Indian Pale Ale, they have said Indian Pale Ale Ale on the packet. Surely that isn't right???


  1. Do you award extra marks for using British Beef?

  2. If the flavour is improved by the use of good quality, local beef then this will impact on the score. However, can I refer you to the 7 C's that we use to score our pies, there is no explicit mark for country of origin of the meat. However I appreciate that country of origin does begin with 'C' so it is possible to get confused. Thank you for the question.

  3. i bought the 2 servings version of this pie, it was simply horrible, i can best describe it as a gravy pie with lumps in, NOT what i expected, DONT be fooled into thinking M&S products are all guaranteed superb, they are not, this ones box is going back to the shop, for a full refund, only the decent crust could be eaten, for the rest, a spoon was needed,
    never again


Thanks for getting in touch with the Pierateers!