Tuesday 30 March 2010

It's high time for pie time

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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Below is one of our first ever posts on Pierate, from a period where we were just cutting our teeth in the pie reviewing sector. As such you may notice we didn't actually record the place this pie was bought or give it a score (oops!) but don't worry - you can find plenty of full pie reviews on www.pierate.co.uk!

Today's pie review is of an unbranded steak and mushroom pie purchased from a local butchers shop. It's always good to support local small shops, enabling them to continue trading against the backdrop of enormous supermarkets - so I buy two. Unfortunately I cannot make an exact comment on their cheapness as I also bought some other items and didn't get a receipt, but you can't put a price on supporting your local community. I make the assumption that this pie is "handmade", and I also make the assumption about an appropriate cooking time (since there is no packaging to indicate cooking time). Selecting the cooking method of "fan oven", and the cooking time of "until they look about done", I insert the pies into the oven and wait.

These look about done! They are already scoring highly on colour with their beautiful, traditional, golden brown pastry topping that flakes off as you touch it. This reminds me of the magical 8th C - crispiness - the pie is certainly a point scorer in this category. I cut through to check that it is piping hot throughout - it is. This also provides me with an ideal opportunity to make some preliminary assessments of the capacity, content and condition.

This pie certainly looks meatylicious. The balance between pastry and steak looks quite ideal, with a 1:1 ratio. To those who think that this pie looks a bit to heavy on the pastry, do remember that due to the puffed nature of the pastry, the pastry zone is mostly air and is easily counterbalanced by the density of the steak. The pie is not large, but the steak is packed in well - scoring points for capacity. Although I don't actually like mushroom, I am aware that other people do. While there were elegant notes of fungus within the gravy of this pie, I found only one small tidbit that could be identified as mushroom. Had I been a fan of mushrooms, I would have been disappointed by the lack of mushroomy content. The condition in which this pie was purchased was exemplary, and the pie contained much of its supreme form throughout the cooking process.

The consistency of the pie was delectable, and the gravy was of a premium thickness. However, I felt slightly deprived of sufficient gravy, which added a small element of chewiness to the steak. All in all, for steak pieces in a pie, they were certainly of high quality and not nearly as bad as some other chewy-steak offenders.

I very much enjoyed eating this pie, and would recommend trying out an unbranded pie from your local butcher in the near future.

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