Thursday 1 April 2010

Yates with the mates

What do you do if you're feeling a bit peckish and you've got a few minutes to spare in Weston-Super-Mare? Head in to the local Yates' for a classic pie, that's what!

The pie we will be reviewing on this occasion is the British Steak & Ale Pie , listed on the menu as British steak, slow-cooked in ale and topped with mushrooms and onion, wrapped in shortcrust pastry. It's all sounding good so far - here at Pierate we do like to support good British farming. The shortcrust pastry is used throughout the entire pie, including the top, which provides a contrast to the puff pastry used so often in steak pies of this nature. This is a restaurant, so the cheapness is never going to be highly scoring but we felt that the price at £5.75 was right considering the pie also came with peas, gravy and either mashed potato or chips.

The condition the pie arrived in was to satisfaction, and the colour was the standard golden brown. This pie was large, and therefore held a good capacity and content. While I do like ale, I was still a little wary of the pie being "over-aley" (something that all too often blights pies of this nature), but I was pleasantly surprised by the delicate balance between the warmly uplifting notes of the steak and the deep base notes of the ale. One certain criticism was the chewiness of the steak in this pie, however. The consistency was not helped by what was, in our opinion, an overuse of the shortcrust pastry. In all three of our pies, none of us could quite finish all the pastry which in some parts was quite stodgy and perhaps undercooked. As you can see from the photograph, however, there was no shortage of gravy (it was provided in a little gravy pot for you to add according to personal preference).

Let's not joke around here, this pie was excellent and we were very pleased to see a pie on Yates' menu. A Chicken & Bacon Pie is also available, at the same price of £5.75.

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