“ Brand: Charlie Bigham's / Type: Pies „
Last weekend was our 18th wedding anniversary, so for Saturday night dinner I suggested going to our local farm and getting some steak, they do lovely packs of really tasty sirloin steak for a tenner, which easily feeds the 4 of us and I could probably stretch it further if necessary. Hubby however did that turning his nose up thing and then tried to back track, so a minor grumpy spat followed between us which ended with me giving him the housekeeping money to go to the supermarket to get the shop for the weekend as I was working. My parting words were 'don't go getting supermarket steak it's overpriced and never tastes as good.' He came back with Bighams steak and mushroom pie, from Waitrose, we never usually shop at Waitrose.
What's in the box?
The box is very heavy as it contains 2 pies each served in an individual china bowl, the oven to tableware kind of thing.
As with any kind of ready meal all of the instructions are on the box, but essentially
Oven on at 200 degrees - plonk pies in oven for 35 minutes - leave to stand for a bit - eat!
Calories - Lots!
The pies are steak and mushrooms, braised in a red wine with beef stock and some tomato puree. The lid is a puff pastry.
The important bits
Taking the pies out of the oven they looked truly amazing, the puff pastry had done what it was supposed to do and really puffed up well so it did look very spectacular on the plate.
The top of the pastry was my first bite and it tasted lovely, light and crisp just as you would expect. I decided for the second bite to go for some of the filling as well, so I shoved my fork into the pie and it bounced back at me, I glanced across at hubby and he was doing the same, it was like a piece of cling film had been put across the top of the ramekin bowl. So We both then started giggling and stabbing the thing to death, which eventually did the trick and we got to the gravy mixture underneath. You could then see the pastry properly, and it wasn't beautifully puffy and crisp all the way through, at all, it was the pastry that we had bounced off.
So I fish around in the gravy to get a piece of steak, nope nothing, so I fish again and come out with a mushroom; that tasted nice - quite like a mushroom in fact. The sauce was nice, but I would have preferred a more beefy taste to it, whereas there was an odd sort of taste that I think may have been the tomato puree. I fished again, determined with a new vigour to find a piece of meat, and hey presto I find one. Its ok, it tastes like a piece of steak, but not melting in your mouth and moist steak like I prefer, a little tough to be honest.
In the filling itself I had 3 lumps of steak, and a few mushrooms, I do feel that for Waitrose, and for the price we paid £6.99, we deserved a little more than that.
So in conclusion
These pies tasted nice enough, the pastry didn't really cook properly and I would have liked a lot more filling. Would I buy them again? No.
So when compared to the steak that I would have bought, these pies just didn't taste as good. Not great value for money, but the bowls are nice.
We did however have a wonderful anniversary and the rest of the day passed with Champagne and no more grumpy spats.
Thank you for reading
Digbycat aka MaryanneH