“ Manufacturer: Feasters / Type: Pies „
PRICE: £1.69 for a 233g serves one sized pie at my local Sainsburys. Currently, there is a "buy 2 for £2.00" offer in progress.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 200g):
(of which sugars): 3.4g
(of which saturates): 10.4g
Salt equivalent: 1.2g
Beef (51%), water, onion (10%), wheat flour, modified maize starch, salt, monosodium glutamate, malt extract (from barley), beef gelatine, black pepper, margarine, mono- & diglycerides of fatty acids, curcumin, annatto, natural identical flavouring, egg glaze
No hydrogenated fat
Contains barley, gluten, wheat, eggs
May contain milk, mustard, nuts, soya/soy beans
Free from GM ingredients
Always on the hunt for different brands of pies in my quest to find the perfect one that comes closest to home-made, I spotted Feasters All Steak Pie in my local Sainsburys, where they are currently on a 2 for £2 offer. Being somebody who loathes fat and gristle on or in any kind of meat/meat product/recipe, I am very fussy when it comes to eating ready-made foods of this nature, as I usually find that, despite any claims which may be made by the manufacturer to the contrary, there is usually at least one piece of fat and/or gristle present.
Feasters All Steak Pies are made by the Eatwell food producing company, and come in a quite attractive box which is largely brown, red and white, bearing an image of a cut open pie on four of its sides (in case that doesn't appear to make sense, it is a deep, six-sided box), and a small clear plastic square so that part of the pie surface is visible. The rear of the box shows nutritional information, ingredients list, dietary/allergy information, heating & storage instructions, advice that the product is not suitable for home freezing, and Eatwell's quality claim together with their contact details and a money back guarantee, should anybody be dissatisfied with the product. It is also stated that none of the ingredients used are genetically modified.
It is claimed on the box that it is possible to microwave these pies, though they can also be heated in a conventional oven.
Inside the box, the ready-cooked pie rests in a thick card container, which is non-metallic obviously for the purposes of microwaving. The top is an undecorated, medium-baked pale-ish brown colour, and the pastry is shortcrust. There is a little seepage of cooked gravy from the lid, which gives the appearance of a home-made pie.
I bought two pies on the buy 2 for £2 offer, and chose to heat the first of those in my conventional oven. My accompaniment was a selection of green vegetables. During the heating process, I could smell nothing whatsoever emanating from the oven, and when I removed the pie, the top had further browned, but only slightly. The whole effect was very rustic-looking, with a decidedly home-made appearance. The pie slid very easily out of its card container, and looked very appetising on my plate next to the vegetables.
I cut into the pie, and noticed that the filling was very generous - bite-sized pieces of beef, in a fairly thick, dark gravy, and a nice, rich and meaty aroma rose up. On closer inspection, I noted that there didn't, as the manufacturer claims, appear to be any pieces of fat or gristle whatsoever. I speared some of the pastry from the pie lid and some of the meat onto my fork, and dived into the taste test.
As my teeth sunk into the pastry, I found the texture a little harder than I'd expected, yet as I chewed, there definitely was a home-made sensation. The pastry on both the top and bottom of the pie wasn't too thick, which is how I like it. The meat and gravy blended very well with the pastry - having a rather peppery flavour, yet meaty and rich. As I continued to eat, I found I was enjoying this pie more and more, there being only a hair's breadth difference from home-made.
A couple of days later (bearing in mind I was still well within the use-by date), I heated up the second pie in the microwave, to see if there was any difference from heating in a conventional oven.
I can honestly say that, unlike with other brands of pastry products, microwave heating made no difference at all to the texture and taste of the pie; this second one was exactly as the first, and there was still no presence of anything remotely resembling fat or gristle. I thoroughly enjoyed both pies, heated via both methods.
If I were given the opportunity to change anything at all about Feasters All Steak Pie, I'd probably make the gravy slightly less peppery, but aside from that tiny diversion, I can honestly say that I felt I was eating a high quality home-cooked meat pie. There is no kidney in these pies.....they are marketed as steak pies, and no mention of kidney is made anywhere - that's good for me as I really don't like offal at all.
There is a down side though. These pies are colossally high in fat and calories, plus they are a bit on the pricey side - but I don't mind paying more for something of excellent quality, and it's my view that we shouldn't expect a product of this nature to be healthy as regards fat and calorie content.
If you want to try Feasters All Steak pies, I'd recommend getting to Sainsburys quickly, to take advantage of the buy 2 for £2 offer......I'm sorry I don't know when the offer ends, and have been unable to find any relevant information on Sainsburys' website.
All in all, I give these pies a definite thumbs-up, and I certainly shall be buying them again. The best part about them for me, was the complete absence of any fat and gristle, and I like manufacturers who tell the truth about their products.
Thanks for reading!