Sunday 5 July 2015

Scotch Greggs

Greggs  - Scotch Pie Review

Given the recent campaign to save the macaroni pie from being dropped from the Greggs line up I thought it was about time for a Greggs pie review. As Pierateer RAS has suggested, is it even worth saving their pies when they are not know for being the best quality?

For the biggest bakery chain in the country Greggs have a pretty poor line up. In many stores you won't find any pies, just pasties and slices. In Northern England there are meat and potato pies available and in Scotland you can find Scotch Pies. I am not sure if it is just me but I have often found a lack of Scotch Pies in Greggs Scottish stores. Perhaps they just sell out before I get there. When I have seen them I have avoided them because to be honest I expected them to be pretty ropey. They look quite dried out and my previous experience with Greggs frozen pies put me right off. But on a recent sunny afternoon in Glasgow the time seemed right to grab a Greggs to review after finding a few left over after lunch time in the Trongate store. How will they compare against the other Scotch pies we have rated?

Condition - 2.50 out of 7 - I thought this pie looked pretty terrible, the rim and pastry sides looked dried out. It had a wonky appearance as if it had been made by a child.
Colour - 3.00 out of 7 - This pie had browned up too much in places but in others it was pale and pasty looking.
Cheapness - 5.00 out of 7 - At just £1 this is cheap compared to most hot pies however Scotch Pies are normally cheap. Their small size and fatty meat makes them cheaper to make than other pies.
Capacity - 4.25 out of 7 - Whilst the capacity was limited by the small size of the pie I could not deny it was almost completely filled.
Chewiness - 3.25 out of 7 - The burnt pastry sides and rim were every bit as bad as they looked. They were so dry it was almost impossible to actually take a bite. It was like this pie didn't want to be eaten. Somehow the rest of the pie was really soggy. The filling wasn't at all chewy as it was ground up so fine.
Content - 4.25 out of 7 - I wanted to hate this pie as I sometime perceive Gregg's as driving out smaller bakeries and robbing us of choice (and pies). However, there wasn't too much to criticise in the taste of this pie. It was perhaps too generic and a little salty but it was a typical beef Scotch pie flavour which I enjoy. It was clearly low quality meat as can be seen in the close up pictures, some of it looks pretty disgusting and you wonder what it is actually made of.
Consistency - 3.50 out of 7 - The trouble with many Gregg's products is that they aren't consistent. If you get one which has been sitting in the hot counter for a while it can be dried to a crisp. On this occasion the texture really let this pie down and whilst it wasn't bad I don't feel it is one I could recommend.

It is interesting that Time Out Edinburgh recently ranked all Greggs baked products and the Scotch pie was recently ranked second from bottom. This is perhaps not surprising when Gregg's seem to inexplicably neglect our favourite pastry product. Pie fans be rest assured, we will continue to give Greggs abuse about this as much as we can.

Beef Scotch Pie (Greggs) 


Update: I contacted Greggs to double check the pie was beef but apparently it is 17% beef and 2% mutton as well as containing Pork lard! The list of spices included is quite impressive, see the ingredients list below. Thank you to Greggs for supplying this information.

Water, Fortified Wheat Flour (Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Beef(17%), Seasoning (Rusk (Wheat), Fortified Wheat Flour (Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Salt, Lactose (Milk), Isolated Soya Protein, Starch, Potato Fibre, Malt Extract (Barley), Spices (Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Coriander, Ginger, White Pepper, Pimento), Pepper Extract), Rapeseed Oil, Palm Oil, Beef Fat, Minced Mutton(2%), Pork Lard (Antioxidant (Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract)), Salt, Wheat Flour, Full Fat Soya Flour, Ground Rice, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Proprionate), Starch, Flour Treatment Agent (L-Cysteine)

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