Wednesday 9 July 2014

These Pies Have Got It Paul

Paul's Pies - Steak & Kidney and Picnic Pie Reviews

You might have noticed we love Paul’s Pies. We have been banging on about them for some time now. See below our list of Pauls Pies reviewed so far, two of which are currently occupying spots in the top 3 of our pie rankings.

Pie FlavourScore
Steak & Guinness
Chicken & Mushroom
Wild Venison & Mushroom
Turkey (Christmas)
Steak & Kidney
Chicken & Pork (Picnic)

Wow, would you look at that? Six pies all achieving Pierate Highly Recommended (6 or above) or Pierate Recommended (5 or above). If you are very keen on our blog you might have noticed two pies in the list which haven’t yet been reviewed! How can that be? Well, I am about to review them both, right here, right now! I am feeling pretty privileged to get in there first with two of these beautifully boxed pies.

Picnic Pie

And now for something different from the other Paul's Pies I have tried before. This is a pie that is designed to be eaten cold, perhaps a bit like the Christmas offering, however, I was delighted that this one has a pastry lid. For some reason this pie came in a different box with no window. It also cost a whopping £4.75 for the 270g pie which meant it would have to do something a little special.

Paul's Picnic Pie

Paul's Picnic Pie cross section

Condition – 4.9 out of 7 – It had a similar shape to other Paul’s pies with lovely crimping at the edges. I did miss the pastry letter on the top and the colourful boxes that Paul’s pies normally have but these are only minor points. Generally top condition.

Colour – 4.5 out of 7 - The pastry looked nice, but could have been a bit more golden. The filling was very pretty, being layers of Pork and Chicken.

Capacity – 4.7 out of 7 – Tall and proud, exactly what we expect from Paul’s pies; there was a large capacity. This one was a bit let down by the surprising addition of an air gap at the top although not very large.

Cheapness – 3.5 out of 7 – I understand that this is top quality meat and this was full of meat but £4.75 just seemed like a lot for quite a pie which is the same size as the normal Paul’s pies.

Chewiness – 6.0 out of 7 – The meat in this pie was unlike any other I have had, it was so moist and light and flaky. Great care had been taken to avoid something as heavy and stodgy as you normally find with a pork pie. In fact, this is nothing like other cold meat pies. There were some small chewy pieces to the pork. The pastry was heavy on the fat content (in a good way) which made it also really soft to eat, despite being shortcrust.

Content – 6.0 out of 7 – I thought that this pie tasted great, it tasted a bit like a really awesome version of a sausage roll. There was plenty of seasoning with hints of flavours you might expected with roast dinner stuffing. The flavours were similar to Mr C’s chicken pie. There was a wonderful richness to the pastry. Having both Chicken and Pork kept the meat interesting. I would note that my Dad didn’t like it, he thought it was ‘too spicy’ but he is Mr Bland and Boring so I tend to discount his views.

Consistency – 5.5 out of 7 – A nice consistency and a tasty morsel which did something a bit different from the norm and pulled it off. Just wish it was a bit bigger because I don't think it would go very far sharing it at a picnic. You could buy more than one but that would leave the rest of the hamper a bit bare on most picnic budgets.

Chicken & Pork Picnic (Paul’s Pies) 

Steak & Kidney

To commemorate World War 1 and as a way to raise money for the British Legion, Paul has brought out a limited edition Steak & Kidney pie, similar in style to his other meat offerings like the Steak & Guinness.
Paul's Steak & Kidney

Paul's Steak & Kidney cross section

Condition – 6.0 out of 7 – We are back to the lovely coloured box and as usual the striking crimping. This one didn’t seem to have a ‘K’ made out of pastry, but a K marked on the pie, did it fall off? I missed the pastry letter! (But that is a minor point.)

Colour – 6.5 out of 7 – Wonderful hues of glossy brown as we have found from the best of Paul’s Pies.

Capacity – 4.1 out of 7 – Again, a tall pie so a good capacity. However, this was the first time I have found a significant air gap at the top of a Paul’s Pie. I think I was just a bit unlucky with this one as we haven't had this before.

Cheapness – 4.5 out of 7 – This pie was priced at the same level as most Paul’s Pies, at £3.50, which is pretty much the going rate for an individual gourmet pie.

Chewiness – 5.5 out of 7 – The meat was soft but slightly more chewy in places than other Paul’s pies I have had. This wasn’t necessarily a really bad thing, it gave me something to get my teeth into. The kidney was soft as would be expected. It was a pleasure to again have Paul’s lovely suet pastry with it’s crunchy outside and soft middle.

Content – 6.0 out of 7 – The flavour of this pie wasn’t adventurous but captured that classic, British, homemade Steak & Kidney flavour perfectly. Paul’s Pies have a wonderful knack of creating comforting and homely food. The kidney flavour wasn’t overpowering as it sometimes can be (we aren't huge fans of kidney on the Pierate Ship).

Consistency – 6.5 out of 7 – The lovely thick sauce gave this a great consistency. It worked very well as a pastry package.

Steak & Kidney (Paul’s Pies)

Overall two very good pies from Paul, fully deserving of ‘Pierate Recommended’ awards. The Steak & Kidney would probably have scored higher if it wasn’t for the airgap, not something we have ever seen before from Paul’s Pies. Unfortunately these things happen sometimes when making large numbers of pies, from manufacturers small and big. This will require further investigation, someone will have to eat more Paul's Pies. Naturally I volunteer myself, it's a tough job, but someone has to do it.


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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