Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Ark pies went in two by two, hurrah, hurrah!

The Ark Steak and Black Cat Ale and Meat and Potato Pie Reviews


Having already rated a pie from “The Ark” catering company in Burnley during British Pie Week, owner Jonny sent a couple more pies for us to rate recently. Having already reviewed the Steak and Ale pie (using Guinness) sent over previously, they had now started producing a steak and ale pie in conjunction with the local Moorhouse’s brewery, using their Black Cat Ale.

The Ark Steak and Meat and Potato Pie Review
The Ark Steak and Ale (left) and Meat and Potato (right) Pies

It was great to see that, despite still being relatively new to pie catering, Jonny had been seeking ways to improve his Steak and Ale pie recipe with this alteration and the latest pie was delicious. The pie was made with baked Suet pastry, which was a lovely golden colour and crisp to eat, while the steak is locally reared from a farm butcher and was lovely and tender.


The Ark Steak and Ale Pie Review
The Ark Steak and Ale Pie Review
With this Steak and Ale pie being sold on the market at £2.30 this is a good value pie for a quite filling, strong capacity pie. The flavours were very good and I certainly enjoyed this pie and the pastry very much.

Once again, the pastry held together well (you could pick up this pie and eat in your fingers) and the meat was very good. I would have liked a bit more gravy, as while the content was not dry it did lack a little in level and consistency of gravy, but in general this was an improvement on the previous Steak and Ale pie but also cheaper!

The Ark Steak and Black Cat Ale Pie
Score: 5.96/7

[Colour 5.5, Capacity 6, Consistency 6, Condition 6, Chewiness 5.75, Cheapness 6, Content 6.5, Total: 5.96/7]


The Ark Meat and Potato Pie Review
The Ark Meat and Potato Pie Review
Being sold at just £2.00, the Meat & Potato pie is even cheaper to buy and consists of mincemeat, sourced from the same butcher, and potato in a short crust pastry. It is mixed with a homemade gravy which has a little bit of English Mustard in it. Simple, but effective!

It is hard for a mincemeat pie to compete with a steak pie, just because the chunky pieces of steak will generally always be more appealing, but this pie does still hold its own. Again the pie did lack a bit on the gravy front, which did limit the flavour rather too much, though the filling was quite moist. The short crust pastry used did seem to suffer as well, being rather too dry and therefore quite crumbly. This is evidenced in the photo of the two pies side by side after cooking.

The combination of dry, crumbly pastry and a lack of gravy meant this pie did not appeal to me as strongly, which made me wonder whether this pie would be better suited to also being served in the same suet pastry as the Steak and Ale pie. However the capacity was still good and once the pastry is worked on a bit more, I would certainly eat this pie again.

The Ark Meat and Potato Pie
Score: 4.5/7
[Colour 4, Capacity 4.5, Consistency 5.5, Condition 3.5, Chewiness 5.5, Cheapness 4.5, Content 4, Total: 4.5/7]



It is encouraging to see that Jonny at The Ark Caterers has taken feedback from us and others on his pies and is now producing an even better Steak and Ale pie, which pushes him ever closer to Pierate Recommended status! He can be assured that he is safely sailing the Seven Cs of pie rating with a top quality pie and with a bit more work I am sure his short crust pastry will match it!

RAS

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