Friday, 13 March 2015

Pierateers reach all corners of the UK with Northern Ireland pie reviews

Tasty Pies Chicken Supreme and McColgan’s Chicken Breast and Ham pie reviews

Ballygally Castle with Tasty Pie
Ballygally Castle - with a Tasty Pie!
If there’s one thing that’s been missing from the almost 500 pies we’ve rated on Pierate, which has been bugging me for a while, it’s our lack of pies from Northern Ireland! Sure, we’ve had hundreds of pies from England and sampled a number of pies in Scotland and Wales too, but Northern Ireland has been missing from our UK pie-dentity parade for a while! So when Pierateer RAS got the oppietunity to head over to Northern Ireland for a wedding it seemed rude not to pick up a pie or two when going past a large supermarket chain.

Tasty and McColgan's Pie Review
Pies fit for a king?

The pies he got his hands on were the Tasty Pies “Big Filler Creamy Chicken Supreme” and the McColgan’s “Chef’s Special Chicken Breast and Ham Pie”. Both would turn out to be a credit to their nation, however upon further research it appears that, while the Tasty Pie I bought was made and sold in Northern Ireland, you are also able to obtain these in other parts of the British Isles. Bonus!

While the stunning Ballygally Castle from 1625 proved a great back drop for the wedding meal (and a few cheeky pie photos while I was there!) what you really want to know is how did the pies rate? Would they indeed be pies fit for a king?

Tasty and McColgan's Pie Review
Tasty (left) and McColgan's (right) Pie Review

Tasty Chicken Pie Review
Tasty Pies Chicken Pie Review
The Tasty Pie certainly lived up to its billing as a savoury pie with a filling of chicken in a creamy sauce, encased in puff pastry! At 800g this is definitely a family pie requiring sharing, unless you are a particularly hungry Pierateer, and was reasonably wide but shallow as a result. The pastry was lovely and golden, not too thick and certainly didn’t overpower the pie’s flavour. Despite being quite shallow the pie was still packed with chicken pieces. The sauce was well balanced with the meaty content, and while they could perhaps have been a little more imaginative with the flavouring, the pie was very tasty. I’d certainly happily eat another!

McColgan's Chicken Pie Review
McColgan's Chicken Pie Review
The McColgan’s “Chef’s Special Chicken Breast and Ham Pie”, in a rich creamy sauce and wrapped in golden flaky pastry was quite a different beast in comparison, but still very nice. At 230g this was a more typical individual pie, reasonably sized for an individual portion but could have been a bit bigger. It boasts of its 100% pure Irish chicken and the mix of ham is a classic addition to a chicken pie. The creamy sauce was very good, a little more seasoned and with a thicker pastry.

While you couldn’t deny there was a good level of meat in it, the pie did collapse a bit when cutting, as evidenced in the photo, which a pie full to capacity would not have the structural integrity to allow. As mentioned the pastry was also thicker and while still nice, it was not quite as enjoyable in comparison, with the pastry-to-filling ratio not quite as good as a result. Certainly another enjoyable pie, but when put head to head with the other Northern Irish pie it didn’t quite score as highly on the 7 Cs of pie rating.

Overall it was a successful foray into pie making in Northern Ireland with two Pierate Recommended pies and good to tick off another country in the process, but these were both shop bought pies and I’d love to visit again soon to try some home-baked pies from Northern Ireland too!

Tasty Pies Chicken Supreme Pie
Score: 5.82/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 6, Consistency 5.75, Condition 5.7, Chewiness 5.8, Cheapness 6, Content 6, Total: 5.82/7]

McColgan’s Chicken Breast and Ham Pie
Score: 5.51/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 5, Consistency 5.5, Condition 5, Chewiness 5.8, Cheapness 6, Content 5.75, Total: 5.51/7]


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