Monday 23 December 2013

Straight up steak and ale pie from Holmesbake

Holmesbake Straight Steak and Ale Pie Review

Today's review comes from London's City Pantry street food market (Whitecross Street EC1Y 8NR). Holmesbake have their stall set up here, proudly offering "quality pie and mash"! Ace!

Two of the pies on offer

As it's nearly Christmas they have a Christmas pie on offer (turkey stuffing, ham, leek and cranberry sauce), but I want to try something which is more likely to be on offer all year round (and therefore perhaps a bit more useful to you guys). So I opt for the Straight Steak and Ale, veg and mash. I go for a large portion, which means for your £5.80 (£5 for small) you get all of this:

The pies come served in a box

Compared to some of the other prices I've seen in this market, that actually seems quite reasonable for a large, heavy portion of food. It's by no means a bargain, but it could have been more expensive I think. Here's what the pie looks like on a plate:

Yes, as you've probably already spotted, this is a top-crust pie. Not just that, though, it's also a portion of a top crust pie, not even the whole thing. As some of my work colleagues remarked, it's "just a casserole with pastry on top". The way the pie is served - from a large tray - is slightly reminiscent of school lunches, and the presentation in a plastic box isn't the most attractive. However, I do love the criss-cross patterning of the crust, with its glossy golden brown colour. While this colour is lost by the time the pie makes it to the plate, as it is rather drowned in gravy, the pie does look attractive in the tray. The condition the pie arrives in is quite messy, and its only a top crust and therefore isn't able to hold itself together. This is one of the reasons why you need a crust all the way round, guys! The pastry hasn't maintained its crispness in the gravy, and has gone a bit soggy and chewy.

However, the content is fabulous. The steak is sublime: not at all chewy, and tastes delicious with a nice hint of ale. This is definitely a large portion; I am getting rather full! I think if this pie had been served totally and wholly encased in pastry, it would have got a pretty decent score.

Here's my Seven Cs:
Colour: 6
Condition: 3
Content: 6
Capacity: 3
Chewiness: 6
Consistency: 6
Cheapness: 4.5

Holmesbake Straight Steak and Ale
Overall: 4.93/7

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

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