Tuesday 15 April 2014

I Made a Mistake, I Ate the Great Ultimate Steak Pie

As part of my challenge to eat Pie for every meal for the whole of British Pie Week I decided to treat myself to a pie which I suspected should be pretty good, an ASDA Bistro Ultimate Steak Pie. What made me think this pie would be good? Partly because it is a premium pie, costing £2.88 for the one 250g pie. But the main reason is that this pie was reviewed previously by my fellow Pierateer TJP in March 2011. He scored this pie 6.49 in his review 'Make no Mistake, I Ate the Great Ultimate Steak Pie'. He noted the 'quality chunks of steak' and the 'great steak:gravy ratio' and it has held the title of our top supermarket pie for quite some time.

However when I tried this pie for dinner on Day Two of the challenge I found it to be disappointing in nearly every department. There were only a few small chunks of steak in the pie, the filling was mostly gravy. To make matters worse the meat that was in there wasn't even good, there were some quite fatty bits to it. The pastry seemed too hard, if you look at the video, it was difficult to break into the pie. This meant the pastry was a little dry. There was far too much pastry to filling, I felt like I was just eating pastry. The overall taste to the gravy was nice enough but it wasn't enough to moisten the pastry. The pie had a good capacity, with it being quite tall, just like last time. This was cruel in a way because it made the disappointment of the pie being empty even greater! For a premium pie I felt like I was being really ripped off having paid so much for an empty pie.

So where do we stand having tried two such different versions of the same pie? This did seem like it was the same product, with the same shape although slightly different box. But this was three years ago so there could have been changes in the manufacturing process, slight changes of ingredients. But, with any product there is going to be variation. With a mass produced pie, it seems that unfortunately this can mean on occasion that the machines hardly fills some pies while others are well filled. Normally on the Pierate ship we don't tend to adjust a score if there is a small variation between two versions of the same product, but in this case we feel we must, the new score and the old score will be averaged. However, it may be that this is not just a natural variation and the standard of this product has fallen. If we get any feedback that this is the case we will void the original score.

The main thing is that despite a decent average score be warned that you may get this terrible version! We have been particularly disappointed with a lot of ASDA pies recently, the Steak & Ale, also from the Bistro range, was equally full of empty promises. In fact empty pies seems to be an ASDA speciality with their Steak & Stilton also severely lacking and their Blackcurrant pie coming with a huge airgap. If you then mention the deceptively large crust on the Rhubarb pie you might question if ASDA pies are best avoided!

Ultimate Steak (ASDA Bistro)




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