Tuesday 18 March 2014

Will The Ark Steak Pie float my boat?

The Ark Steak and Ale Pie Review

As mentioned on Day Five of British Pie Week, the day started well with a pie package supplied by “The Ark” catering company in Burnley. The owner Jonny has taken over a sandwich shop and is looking to diversiPIE… well, who wouldn’t want to add pie to the menu?! Selling at markets and doing outside catering events, the pies are a new venture but would they sink or swim when rated on the Pierate Ship?

The Ark Steak and Ale Pie Review
The Ark Steak and Ale Pie

Well the Steak and Ale was – you’ll be pleased to know – fully encased in pastry. The pastry held together well (you could pick up this pie and eat in your fingers) and the meat was very good. It was a very good effort for someone relatively new to pie catering! He’s certainly pushed the boat out… or should I say ark?!... and it’s paying dividends!

The meat was lovely and tender. The pie had reasonably strong capacity and you could tell the meat is sourced from a local butcher and cooked well to be so nice and tender. The meat combines well with the ale gravy which was very tasty. To reach pie-fection I would have preferred a slightly bigger pie, as I feel it was a little shallow and could have been packed out with a bit more meat. But I certainly wouldn’t be put off buying this pie as it is, as the content was very good and the pastry:filling ratio wasn’t far off being ideal.

The Ark Steak and Ale Pie Review
The Ark Steak and Ale Pie

The pastry itself was quite nice and crisp, holding together well and balancing the flavour well with the steak and ale. The top crust colour was a bit varied and tasted a little dry for me, in particular the edges of the pie lid, but overall the pastry was good and had a good bite to it. A slightly smoother, more buttery pastry lid would probably have improved it slightly and might have evened out the colour. But again, these are small changes needed to take this pie from Pierate Recommended to Pierate Highly Recommended status.

Being sold at £2.75 from local producers markets, these are quite reasonably priced pies. I would say I’ve eaten slightly bigger, more meat packed pies for the £3-4 mark, but this still a good meaty pie for that price so doesn’t score badly on cheapness.

I’m sure I could write a flood more pie puns but that might be too (by too) much at this point. Wood-n’t want you getting me to walk the plank for bad punnery! But to summarise, it’s not plain sailing on the pie making front, but Jonny at The Ark Caterers can safely sail the seven Cs of pie rating with a top quality pie which, with a few minor tweaks, could see him even beat his Pierate Recommended status!

The Ark Steak and Ale Pie
Score: 5.75/7
[Colour 5.5, Capacity 5.5, Consistency 6, Condition 6, Chewiness 5.75, Cheapness 5, Content 6.5, Total: 5.75/7]

See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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