Very disappointed. Steak was tough as old leather and quite gristley. Pastry and gravy was the only good part.
Bells is part of the Bells Food Group. Presently, they are the UKs No1 Pastry brand offering a range including cakes and pies amongst other products. Founded in 1931 by Donald Bell, the company has progressed and has grown from a family firm to one employing 200 staff at the current Dykehead factory.
Bells Top Crust Steak Pie is the most popular of the Bells products.
It is described as being "tender pieces of steak in a delicious gravy topped with our famous puff pastry". Bells have recently gave their steak pies a makeover and they now contain 25% less fat and salt.
The Steak Pie itself comes in a silver, foil tray which can be put directly into the oven. The tray comes in a cardboard box which has a gold and dark red colour theme.
The front of the box shows a delightful and scrummy image of the finished steak pie on a plate surround by evil peas and potatoes. The familiar Bells logo can be seen with the product information and the portion size logo in the corner.
The back of the box has the ingredients, nutrition, cooking instructions, storage and details of the company alongside another tempting steak pie image.
This steak pie should be cooked in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark4. All the outer packaging should be removed with the pie staying put on the tray and then onto a baking tray. It is recommended that you cook it for 20-25mins or until piping hot and this should not be reheated.
Dish up and serve with your sides.
Beef (40%),Wheat Flour ,Water ,Margarine (Vegetable Oil; Water; Salt; Emulsifier: Mono and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids) ,Modified Maize Starch ,Maize Starch ,Salt ,Rusk ,Dextrose ,Colour: Ammonia Caramel ,Flavourings ,Pepper ,Glaze (Vegetable Oil; Milk Proteins; Emulsifiers: Soya Lecithin, Polysorbate 60, Mono and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Glucose ,Acidity Regulator: Sodium Citrate; Colour: Carotenes) ,Preservative: Ascorbic Acid ,Malt Extract ,Cinnamon ,Coriander ,Nutmeg ,Ginger ,Pimento
100g of steak pie contains :
This can be frozen and should be defrosted before cooking. Otherwise refrigerate and use by the sell by date.
**Availability and Price**
Bells offer this in different sizes. It can be found in the fresh meals section in supermarkets.
Tescos current prices are as follows :
Individual 170g @ £1.53
2 serving @ £3.11
4 serving @ £4.87
During the festive season, larger 8 and 12piece sizes can be purchased.
I may not be the best cook in the world but I like my Sunday dinner type meals and regularly russle up a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings. I also like a steak pie and since leaving my parents home 5yrs ago, I have sorely missed homemade steak pie. I sometimes buy one from the butchers but despite being filling, they charge around the £5.00 mark which is simply above my budget at the moment!
Whilst shopping in Asda last week, I spotted this 2portion size Bells Steak Pie at only £2.00 on offer! It looked like a bargain and I popped it into my trolley. I had been swithering between roast beef or steak pie for dinner and the tempting image on the Bells box swayed me! I have only ever had a boxed steak pie at my Mother in Laws and enjoyed it so this was sure to be a hit.
Today, I cooked this steak pie. Sliding it out the box, it looks quite small. The foil tray holds all the steak and gravy and there is a decent enough layer of light golden puff pastry on top. Into my oven for around 20mins and it was ready. Taking it out of the oven, there was a distinct buttery aroma and the pastry had become golden..for once not black from me burning it!
The pastry was reasonably thick but didn't appear to have risen quite as much as homemade puff would. It had a flaky but not messy top and was soft and light underneath which I like..quite doughy but cooked to perfection. I transferred the puff pastry onto two plates and had a good look at the steak below.
There was a generous serving of steak chunks and the medium consistency gravy gave them a good coating. The gravy itself was a medium brown shade and didn't look overly rich or too thick for consumption. The smell was quite tempting and there was a beefy aroma.
I served this up with a generous portion of Aunt Bessies Mash and Aunt Bessies Carrot and Swede Mix.
I like to get a bit of everything on my fork but also try everything individually. The puff pastry was light and didn't go overly soggy with the gravy. It had a pleasant, buttery taste and although a tad flaky, I didn't need a bib! The slighly crisp topping complimented the doughy underside perfectly. The meat was tender and in mouthsize chunks. It was cooked perfectly and you could tell it was made of high quality produce. There wasn't a bit of fat in sight and the meat went down lovely. The gravy was smooth and offered a slightly peppery taste which I found quite unexpected. The gravy didn't taste salty which is something I find with the butchers steak pies.
I was overall impressed with the taste and it could certainly rival a homemade steak pie. The one thing I wasn't too happy about was the portion sizes. Now this states that it serves 2. Well I do have to be fair in saying both myself and my partner have big appetites! I normally go for steak pies which contain added sausages but of course this doesn't have this addition. I found splitting this in 2 didn't seem like much on my plate. I am glad I added extra potatoes etc as the serving was rather small. I did however feel rather full when I had finished and left dessert to much later this evening.
Another bonus for us was the gravy in the respect that I didn't feel the need to mix up any Bisto. The amount of gravy in the pie was substantial to cover a good portion of my potatoes and carrot mix so this saved time and effort. I was able to cook the potatoes and carrots during the final cooking minutes of the steak pie and everything was able to be served piping hot.
As I paid £2.00..this is a bargain and just over £3.00 normally isn't too bad and is certainly a few pounds cheaper than the butchers but if it was slightly larger, I may buy it regularly. Otherwise I may just add the extra sides and appreciate the smaller portion! I would like to get one of the bigger steak pies nearer Christmas and have people round for dinner..I think I could pass it off as my own work hehe :)
Steak pie is the dish traditionally eaten on New Years day in Scotland. I can make the steak in gravy perfectly but seem to never be able to get the pastry right.
Shop bought steak pies are generally not great so if I buy one it tends to be from the butchers only. My local butcher is a really expensive award winning butcher charging around £7 for a pie to feed four so we tend not to buy them very often.
I decided to try the Bells pie because it is on special offer right now, I've seen it in both the Co-Op and Somerfield half price at around £2 instead of £4 for a pie serving 2-3.
We had it for dinner last night and it was just as good as the ones from the butchers! The steak was lovely with small melt in the mouth chunks and the pastry was perfect, soft and chewy underneath and flaky and crumbly on the top.
My only problem with this pie was that it didn't have enough gravy for my liking. Most shop bought steak pies are like this but my sister taught me to make up a cup of instant gravy and add it to the filling before cooking and I will remember this next time.
Although it serves 2-3 you could easily stretch it out to feed a family of four by serving smaller portions and serving it with extra potatoes and veg.