Tuesday 27 October 2015

TV's Radford Family expand pie business

Radford’s Pie Company Steak, Chicken and Meat and Potato Pie Reviews

It’s always great to be approached by pie producers asking us to rate their pies – but rarely do we get approached by anyone with as much TV exposure as the Radford family. For those who don’t know, the Radford’s featured on Channel 4’s 15, 16, 17 and now “18 kids and counting” and are – as you might guess – one of the largest families in the UK! With so many mouths to feed, you can imagine the pie consumption must be pretty high in their house up in Lancashire, but it helps that the family run bakery – which supports the continually growing family - sells, amongst other things, pies!

Radford's Pie Company Review
Radford's Pie Company Review

However while they’ve been selling pies in their shop in Heysham for around 15 years now and dad Noel has worked in bakeries for much longer, their latest exciting venture is offering home delivery of those pies, so that more people across the land can tuck into their exciting bakes! It’s great to see a family run business doing well and expanding their delivery options and we wish them continued success in this!

So having been sent some pies, how do the pies rate? Made with shortcrust pastry, one of the more obvious things you notice about them is they are packed near to capacity when you cut through them. They all travelled well, important for a home delivery pie, holding their shape well when cooked and removed from the foil. One interesting thing to note was that while the instructions recommended cooking them in the foil, I tried one of the steak pies cooked out of the foil and it really helped firm up the base of the pie, making it crisper and firmer than the steak pie I’d cooked in foil. However whether cooked in foil or not they all held together pretty well for a shortcrust pastry pie, some of which can crumble quite heavily upon biting into. The crimped edge added a slightly firmer crunch and the pies were all golden colour.

At £2.95 these are a pretty decent sized pie for that price considering the home delivery and that they are packed with meat. The local ingredients, from butchers and vegetable sellers near to the bakery, also adds to the appeal of these pies. No worries about air miles here! Here’s the breakdown of the four flavours we tried:

Radford's Pie Company Steak Pie Review
Radford's Pie Company Chunky Steak Review
Chunky Steak Pie
Large chunky pieces of steak, just as the label promised! The meat was quite nice and tender, though a few pieces could have been a little leaner. However it was very meaty, with 45% beef steak. The gravy was quite a nice thickness, making it quite moist to contrast with the quite crisp outer pastry, which being shortcrust was a little dry in places. The thick chunks of meat and moisture of the gravy did seem to mean in places the base of the pie didn’t crisp up quite as well as the rest of the pie.

Score: 5.5/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 5.25, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5.75, Content 5.75]

Radford's Pie Company Steak and Mushroom Pie Review
Steak and Mushroom Pie
At 40% beef steak, this pie is firmly focused on the meat, which is my kind of steak and mushroom filling! The mushroom was nice and spread throughout the pie, though not a lot in there. The gravy was quite rich and meaty, not overly runny and the meat in quite large chunks. A nice, if quite subtle, change on the Chunky Steak pie.

Score: 5.5/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6, Consistency 5, Condition 5.25, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 5.75, Content 5.75]

Radford's Pie Company Meat and Potato Pie Review
Radford's Pie Company Meat and Potato Pie Review
Meat and Potato Pie
The meat and potato pie was very potato focused, with a nice texture to the potato in decent chunks, however the mince beef was quite lacking at just 11%. It meant the gravy wasn’t that rich in flavour and there was less fluid gravy in the pie, possibly due to absorption into the potato. The pastry was crisp and held together better in this pie, with a firmer and crisper base. For those who like a heavier potato content to their meat and potato pie this would be just up your street, but for me there wasn’t quite the right balance to really get my teeth into any of the meat.

Score: 4.71/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 5, Consistency 4, Condition 5.25, Chewiness 4.5, Cheapness 4, Content 4.5]

Radford's Pie Company Chicken Pie Review
Radford's Pie Company Chicken Pie Review

Chicken Pie
With this pie consisting of 41% chicken breast, the pie certainly wasn’t lacking in meat either and top of the range meat at that. It was a very enjoyable pie, with my only suggestion that the pieces of chicken were quite chunky and thus not quite as succulent as it could have been if perhaps in slightly more small pieces. However the cream sauce was good, adding a nice blend to the flavour, so I think would have blended perfectly with the chicken if it had been mixed in with smaller pieces of meat. Excellent capacity and good content means this one just pips the rest.

Score: 5.68/7
[Colour 5.75, Capacity 6, Consistency 5.25, Condition 5.75, Chewiness 5.25, Cheapness 5.75, Content 6]

All in all, some very good pies from Radford’s and it’s a luxury to find a fully family run business like this that uses ingredients from local producers in the area. Worth getting online and ordering a batch for sure, as they are Pierate Recommended!


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1 comment:

  1. Born and brought up in Morecambe but followed the sun to Hampshire. My daughter sent me a Radford's Pie Company selection for Father's Day. Incredible. I may move back.
    John Y


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