Saturday 16 November 2013

Have Marks and Spencer got the Pie Factor?! Take Two

Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie Review

The Pierateers arrrrgh always searching from the crow’s nest for a pie bargain to be had, so when I was informed of a 3 for 2 pie offer in Marks and Spencer the Pierate Ship plotted a course down to our local store. While the 3 for 2 offer extended further than just pies, we have our eyes firmly on the pies at Pierate HQ!

Of course you will all recall that the first of these pies formed the first ever episode of ‘Pie Factor’ a few weeks ago. Through to the next round with a very reasonable 5.4/7 was the Gastro Pub Beef And Ale Pie. However the Gastro Pub Aberdeen Angus Steak Yorkshire Pudding Pie sadly was not actually a pie – and was rather embarrassingly escorted from the studio by security.

Well the steaks have been raised for episode two – quite literally. But don’t worry – the only thing peculier about this pie is its content. For this pie contains Old Peculier Ale as its compliment for the pieces of steak in nice, rich ale gravy. Or at least that’s what you’d think from the box...

Let's welcome down Pie Factor contestant number 3...

What's your name and where are you from?
I'm the Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie from Marks and Spencer.


Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie
Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie

And what do you do?
I’m one of the 3 for 2 individual sized Yorkshire Pies that you can buy, handcrafted in Yorkshire and ready for you to enjoy for your tea.

You mean dinner?
No, definitely for your tea. I’m from Yorkshire, you see. So we call tea... well... tea.

But what if you want a cup of tea? Do you not get confused?
You mean a cup of cha?

No, I don’t want you to cha cha cha! This isn’t Strictly you know! It’s the Pie Factor. Right, anyway, what will you be filling your performance with tonight?
Well the steaks are high this week, or perhaps I should say big. Big, meaty pies of steak to be precise. However before you can get to these big steaky chunks you’ve got to get through the onion layer.

Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie
Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie - You can only really see onion

The onion layer? Oh...
That's right... we’ve packed quite a lot into this little fully encased in pastry pie – including plenty of onion!

Right... okay. Well I’m glad to hear you’re fully encased in pastry, but...well... I have to say I’m a bit disappointed by the onion layer. I mean, as soon as I started to dissect your performance it was just oozing with onion. Had to wait to get to the steak. If you’re going to give me lots of onion, I want it in moderation. Steak first, onion if necessary.
Point taken. There was rather a lot of onion to be fair. Not sure why.

It was a shame really. I’d expect it from one of the – how do I put this – less affluent contenders. But Marks and Spencer... you don’t normally associate them with “padding out the pies”!
I know, I know. But the steak – that was good right? And the pastry?

The steak was very good and tender – I can’t deny that! And the Old Peculier Ale can’t be ignored. It certainly tasted different to other steak and ale pies I’ve had before, which was nice to see. I’d say the flavour of the gravy was good, though a little too peppery in flavour for my taste buds. The pastry though was very nice – particularly the pastry lid. Not too thick and held together well.
It’s fortunate we fully encased the performance in pastry then this time!

It sure is! While the excess onion was a downer and the pie was a little small for an individual dinner (or tea) portion, I would say it was the best Marks and Spencer’s Pie of the ‘Pie Factor’ so well done!

In summary then, three of the contestants have performed and we have two more to come before we can crown our Marks and Spencer ‘Pie Factor’ winner! Tune in next time for our final instalment of the “Pie Factor!”

Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie
Score: 5.5/7
[Colour 6/7; Consistency 5.5/7; Cheapness 4/7; Chewiness 6/7; Condition 6/7; Content 5/7; Capacity 6/7; Total: 5.5/7]

See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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