Product Type: Fray Bentos Food
Newest Review: ... Bentos pies, I think the meat quantity is rather generous for the price as usually pies can be very expensive with very little filling. I d... more
Fray Bentos or Fray Bend Us? Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney pie.
Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pie
Member Name: GillMN
Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pie
Date: 15/04/10, updated on 19/04/10 (217 review reads)
Advantages: Taste good, handy to have in, inexpensive when on offer.
Disadvantages: Uruguay must have a grudge against us they are so hard to open.
There is something appealing about these Fray Bentos Pies. The height of my Nana's culinary expertise was to serve us one of these. It's real comfort food.
But.....If Argentina's navy had been built from the stuff the pie cans are made from, Mrs Thatcher would have been singing a very different song from the one she sang over the Faulklands! They would have been unsinkable.
It is very nearly impossible to get the cans open without maiming yourself or distributing grease and gravy on the floor walls and ceiling of your kitchen. The angle of the lid and the thickness of the metal means that you need a James Bond type laser gun to get anywhere. Then, when you finally succeed in getting the blooming lid off, you realise that you have forgotten to read the instructions for cooking which are cunningly concealed on the base of the tin. This means that you have to lift it above your head carefully (so you don't get what's left off the pie dripping down your face), and peer up to read what temperature the oven should be on and for how many minutes. (It is 230o for 25 minutes if you are still interested!)
Once you have got the pie in the oven on a baking tray, you can relax for a while and either look for the box of sticking plasters or ring your chiropractor.
After 25 minutes or so you will be greeted by a scrumptious looking, golden puff pastry pie top and the lovely smell of steak and kidney in oxo gravy.
Sounds good doesn't it? Only now, you have the problem of getting it onto the plates without spilling it and/or burning yourself. Usually by this stage the gravy is bubbling up and soaking your Ikea oven gloves! The logical thing to do would be to get a knife and loosen the pie crust away from the tin. That's a great idea if you have asbestos hands and a silicone face guard. Otherwise you have had it! It's impossible to get the tin to stay still whilst you cut around the edges and the slopey shape of the tin means that there is nothing to get hold of. (I suppose you could use a pair of pliers but there is never a pair handy in my kitchen.)
The crust is lovely on the top and a sort of gooey white paste underneath. It never, ever, cooks all the way through! The gooey bit tastes okay but it's not as nice as the top. It is useful to have a dog positioned underneath the work surface to lick up all the bits of flaky pastry that ping off as you are trying to cut the crust in half. The dog also comes in useful later to clean the tin out before you recycle it. I have had hours of innocent entertainment listening to the dog clanking the tin around the kitchen floor as it tries to remove every last bit of burnt on pie.
So you get the crust cut in half and look at what is left in the tin. Not a lot really! Certainly not enough for two servings. Perhaps enough for two not very hungry people who are thinking of giving up meat. What you do get is very tasty, the meat is tender with no worrying grey bits of gristle and such like and the gravy is very flavoursome.
The fact is, they must taste nice because nobody in their right mind would go through that can opening performance if it wasn't worth it in the end! These pies, like second marriages, are a triumph of hope over experience! One day I am going to try cooking the pie crust on a seperate tray to see if I can get it all to cook properly. (I keep saying this to myself and the trauma of getting the lid off makes me forget!)
Anyway, the pie tastes good.
There is not enough for two servings unless one of you is a vegetarian.
They cost about £1.00 each at the moment. (BOGOF from Tesco and Morrisons)
Each pie contains 750 calories so it's not a meal for dieters really. Come to think of it, you probably burn half of that off whilst you wrestle with the tin!
I enjoy them once they are served but they 'can' be a lot of hassle. (pun intended!)
There are several different flavours of Fray Bentos pies but this one tastes the best to me. I tried the Beef and Ale one but it was very bland. The chicken ones tend to have more meat in them, probably because chicken is cheaper than beef.
If Fray Bentos redesigned the tin and put more filling in these would be perfect pies, as it is they are just okay and I don't really know why I keep buying them. I suppose they are just handy to have in the store cupboard.
Summary: Okay once in a while.
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