Saturday 19 April 2014

Quickety Quick Micro Pie

Hollands Frozen Potato & Meat Pie Review

Anyone remember that McCain Micro Chips advert from the 90s? It was trying to sell substandard chips but it was okay because they were 'Quickety Quick', they only took three minutes to cook in the microwave. I loved watching this again, when did the 90s start looking so retro? The expression on the kid's face when he looks at the crinkle cut chip is classic...

Hmm... why was I talking about microwave chips...? Oh yes, we love food that can be microwaved, even if it doesn't taste quite as good as the normal version. Convenience is king nowadays in our busy lives, even sometimes when it comes to pies! There are many pies which can be heated up in the microwave, but very few specifically for the microwave market. Pukka pies do a microwave 3 1/2 minute chicken pie which we were quite impressed with back in 2011.

Now it seems that Holland's pies are getting in on the act, with ultra-convenient packs of small frozen pies which can cook in the microwave in just 4 minutes. Yes, it is 30 seconds longer than the Pukka option, I will leave it up to you whether this would affect your choice to buy these pies. I have a moderate amount of patience and I found that I didn't mind waiting for 4 minutes.

If you are a follower of Pierate you might have heard that I ate pie for every meal during British Pie Week (a total of 21 pies). Watch the video of a Hollands Potato & Meat pie being eaten for dinner on Day Six of the challenge to see what I thought. I got this four pack of pies and they were very convenient to have in the freezer, as a quick meal or even better as a snack. I would get them again as an emergency pie. They are only 177g so they are quite small but at £3 for the pack of 4 this was good value compared to other pies. They are certainly not gourmet, the pastry does taste different to 'normal' pastry, it seems these have been specifically produced to be frozen and microwaved. The pastry was quite pale, similar in some ways to the Pukka effort. The fact that there was only 9% meat didn't seem to matter, the potato was soaked in meaty gravy which gave it a classic Meat & Potato taste. I would note that one of the pies I had was a little chewy, despite there being little meat. The pie also wasn't filled very well despite being a small pie. These things stop it getting a great score but it didn't taste bad and they could be worth buying for the convenience.

Holland's seem to be good at tapping into the microwave pie market. Their non-frozen pies which we have reviewed before can also be microwaved. In our previous test, we did find however than the non-microwave option was best. The frozen version, although not quite as good, compares favourably to the non-frozen variety. Traditionally a Northern brand, Holland's pies can now be found in the South as well. I got this pack in a Bristol supermarket. We were also very impressed with the Holland's Big Steak pie which is now on sale at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Potato & Meat (Hollands)


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