Tuesday 9 June 2015

Can you find a bargain chicken pie in Sainsbury’s?

Sainsbury’s Chicken and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie Review

You may recall a recent Pierate article which questioned whether you could find a decent meat pie for under £1, following a conversation we had had on twitter. We had struggled to recall a decent meat pie for that low price other than a few Scotch pies we had bought on visits to Scotland, and the Aldi pie we had in British Pie Week certainly hadn’t met our expectations for an affordable steak pie, pie rating at just 2.21/7.

Sainsburys Chicken Pie Review
Sainsbury’s Chicken and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie Review
But with a price reduction on the Sainsbury’s Chicken and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie, down from 70p to just 19p, I simply could not resist the chance to give them a pie rating. Of course while I had the benefit of paying just 19 English pence, as the regular price of this pie is 70p I am judging the pie on that recommended retail price. Still, at significantly less than a pound, could I have found a real bargain or would I be regretting 38p badly spent?

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Firstly, it’s worth noting I just said I spent 38p. These pies certainly weren’t big enough to cope with a man’s hunger on their own. I purchased two of these pies, though in terms of the filling quantity I would probably suggest some people would require three of these pies to fill the hole. It should be noted that with such a large pastry overhang and a shallow pie filling, at least half of the 150g weight of the pie was pastry and therefore to get a decent amount of filling inside you a second or third pie is required (even if you then didn’t eat all the accompanying pastry). This immediately means that, from a very reasonable sounding 70p per pie (for a 150g pie) it really equates to £1.40 or £2.10 to provide you with enough pie to satisfy your hunger cravings.

Sainsburys Chicken Pie Review
Sainsbury's Chicken Pie Review
The filling itself was similar in consistency to chicken and mushroom soup. In effect it was chicken and mushroom soup in pastry. A reasonably crisp and decently holding pastry, but chicken soup in pastry none-the-less. That said, there was more chicken in it that a typical can of soup, with 18% British chicken according to the packaging and some reasonable chunks mixed in with the mushroom and liquid sauce. You could taste the chicken in the bites of pie that contained chicken, but it certainly was a bit hit and miss, and the runny consistency wasn’t ideal. The creamy sauce was pleasant but nothing to write home about. Bear in mind I’ve had plenty of pies recently with a 70% meat content, so 18% really left me lacking in the content department.

The pastry was quite crisp and held together reasonably well considering it was quite a small pie with a puff pastry lid. The sides were however a bit anaemic and slightly soggy on the base. Paul Hollywood would not be pleased! I was also surprised to see this pie called a “puff pastry pie” when actually the sides and base were shortcrust pastry and only the lid was puff pastry, but maybe I’m just being a piefectionist.

All in all this pie really didn’t blow me away, with far too much pastry (known in the trade as a poor pastry:filling ratio) and a very soup like consistency. The meat inside was not chewy and the sauce wasn’t bad, but would I pay 70p for this small, 150g pie again? Probably not. For 19p? Well then you might just persuade me to buy a few again…

Sainsbury’s Chicken and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie
Score: 3.04/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 3.25, Consistency 2, Condition 3, Chewiness 3.5, Cheapness 3.5, Content 3, Total: 3.04/7]

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