Thursday 23 July 2015

Are these Dees Pies Dee-licious?!

Dee's Pies Reviews - Chicken, Peppered Steak, English Breakfast and Mushroom and Asparagus Pies

It was the second week of the Wimbledon tennis championships and while it’s still early in the morning, you can sense the hustle and bustle as fans of one of the most iconic sporting events in the world start to gather for a (potentially rain interrupted) day of quality tennis.

I, however, am just in Wimbledon to talk pie. Yep – no strawberries and cream for me! I’m meeting with the owner of Dee's pies to hear how the pie world is treating them and – very importantly – get my hands on some of these apparently “Dee-licious” pies (see what they’ve done there?!)

Dee's Pies Champagne Chicken Pie Review
Dee's Pies Champagne Chicken Pie Review
With a background as a chef, company owner Dee has been running the pie business as a full on business for the last 18 months or so. With the demand growing and growing (his pies have recently been in the newspapers for being well received by none-other than self-confessed pie fan and Top Gear presenter Chris Evans!), Dee finds himself in the kitchen nearly every day, with deliveries around London every few days. It was therefore great to get a good half hour chat in with the man himself! And a real pleasure it was to, talking pie and… well, more pie! This will form the basis of a future article, but for now, let’s get on with some pie rating!

See below which pies are!
To start off with, these pies have some of the nicest pastry around! It was great shortcrust pastry! A really good sign of a quality pie is that you can even enjoy the pastry on its own – and you definitely could with these Dee’s pies! The pie-fectionist in me would say the pastry did crumble slightly too easily in parts (especially the one we rated from frozen – but that was to be expected) but all in all it was delicious pastry and complimented the fillings well. You’ll also be pleased to know the pies all passed the “hand-held” test, impressive with the amount of filling packed inside! The only other thing to briefly mention about the pastry was that the colour – while far from being pale and anaemic like some pies I’ve rated – isn’t quite as golden coloured as I would demand for the perfect pie. Still, colour doesn’t affect the taste, so it certainly shouldn’t put you off purchasing!

Dees Pies have gone for the one-price-fits-all policy of £3.50 per meat pie (with vegetarian pies all being just £3). It certainly makes it easier at the market stall, though I imagine it would leave some customers thinking they are getting a better deal if they go for a lamb pie over a chicken pie, for example. All the meat pies I had were definitely packed with a lot of meat and there was pretty much no air gaps to be seen, which is great. I’d say they are a tad small compared to what I would prefer – so while one was filling I would (in part because they are so tasty!) normally prefer one and a half to two pies. This does slightly impinge on their “cheapness” score but I would still definitely buy more! They certainly are very good pies and they have a great range of pies too, so with these being the general thoughts, let’s get some individual detail!

Champagne chicken – This was a very nice chicken pie, filled to near capacity with lovely tender pieces of chicken (see photo above). While the sauce did add something to the chicken, I have preferred some other white sauces more. But the fact it is champagne will add sparkle to your dinner table and conversations if you serve it at a dinner party! A little something to compliment the chicken pieces would probably add to this pie, perhaps a little bit of carrot or similar, even though I would recommend focusing on the chicken element. A little small for £3.50 but generally very good and would eat again.

Score: 6.04/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 6.75, Consistency 6.25, Condition 6, Chewiness 6.5, Cheapness 5.5, Content 5.75, Total: 6.04/7]

Dee's Pies English Breakfast Pie Review
Dee's Pies English Breakfast Pie Review
English Breakfast – The breakfast pie contained a great range of ingredients, including quite a bit of meat and egg, though the pie did taste a bit sweet – I presume as a result of the inclusion of baked beans, which are known to contain sugar. Personally I’m not a fan of baked beans anyway, but the sweetness of them had infiltrated the whole of the pie, so pie fans should be aware of this ingredient before purchasing. However capacity was very strong and it is a great idea to put a full English breakfast into pastry as a breakfast option!

Score: 5.79/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 6.25, Consistency 5.75, Condition 6, Chewiness 6, Cheapness 5.5, Content 5.5, Total: 5.79/7]

Dee's Pies Peppered Steak Pie Review
Dee's Pies Peppered Steak Pie Review
Peppered Steak – Very nice pie, packed with meat. A little more gravy would be ideal but meat was moist and tender. Held together quite well, though a little flaky. Few bits of fat on the meat in the pie, which was a little disappointing and stopped the pie scoring quite as highly as its’ pie-tential, but in general very good. Significant pepper, but in general one I would eat again (even if I would prefer a steak and ale!)

Score: 6.15/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 6.75, Consistency 6.25, Condition 6.2, Chewiness 6.5, Cheapness 5.6, Content 6.25, Total: 6.15/7]

Dee's Pies Mushroom and Asparagus Pie Review
Dee's Pies Mushroom and Asparagus Pie Review
Mushroom and Asparagus (v) – While the pastry was good as in all the pies and the capacity was strong, this combo didn’t really excite me. I am by admission a meat lover but the combo of quite chewy mushroom and crisp asparagus – while pleasant – did not really wow me. Certainly not a bad pie but I wouldn’t personally want to pay £3 for that veggie combo again. However I realise vegetarians may love this unique combo, which I don’t think I have ever heard of before!

Score: 4.86/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 5.5, Consistency 5, Condition 6, Chewiness 4, Cheapness 4, Content 4, Total: 4.86/7]

Overall, these really are quality pies from Dee’s Pies, made from great quality, fresh ingredients and I can certainly see why they have celebrity appeal! Two Pierate Highly Recommended offerings without even a steak and ale pie in sight! We’ll be rating two more Dee’s Pies soon, including my favourite one of the lot!


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