“ Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Pie „
I got one of these for lunch today. They seem to have changed the recipe somewhat - which Tesco frequently seem to do - since the previous dooyoo review of this product was written, as what I had had significantly more calories (over 500) in it, but unfortunately it seems that the resultant pie seems pretty much the same - ie. not much cop.
What you get for your £1.55 is 235g of a two-inch deep, puff pastry pie contained in a silver foil pie dish inside an outer cardboard box. It's quite a large pie but not nearly enough for two people - so I suppose the suggested serving portion is one per box. It takes a recommended 20 to 25 minutes at 190-odd degrees in the oven to heat up; but in the fan oven, mine was going over-brown on the top well after about half this time had passed. (Alternatively you can microwave this product in 2 minutes, but then all you get microwaved pastry - and that's never turned out any good to anyone).
The puff pastry topping was the best thing about this pie as it was pastry flavoured, and all right. The 'innards' had an incongruously fishy odour - I hesitate to call it an 'aroma' as that implies something nice to eat - when I first cut mine open (but then I got the pie off of the reduced price shelf at Tesco, so can't really complain about that). The pie filling was nothing like the illustration on the box, which shows large, appetising lumps of chicken, accompanied by nicely-cooked juicy brown mushrooms, all positively spilling out of a newly-opened pie case. The direct implication is that your pie will be filled with abundant chunks of chicken and mushroom pieces, but if you buy one of these things, you'll immediately see that this is far from being the case.
More than anything else, the insides of the pie consist of nothing more than loads of thick, pale grey 'filler' (I hesitate to call this material 'white sauce' for the same reason calling the smell of it a 'mouth-watering aroma' would be inappropriate) and here and there within this, were miniscule fragments of mushroom (recognisable as being mushroom only because 'chicken and mushroom pie' was written all over the box the product came in) and also the odd chunk of chicken. This (presumably) meat-based material had a weird, savoury and yet indescribable taste. While the chicken had the texture of chicken it tasted really strange - like something else entirely, but I'm at a loss to exactly say what.
Any shortcomings of the pie filling in terms of taste and texture pale into utter insignificance, however, compared with the thick, uncooked stodge-layer of soggy grey puff pastry that covered the sides and bottom of the foil dish. This was really horrendous and I didn't attempt to eat more than a small fragment of it - just so I could say I'd done it.
This pie was vile. The only saving grace of this product has nothing to do with its eating qualities: in a text box on the bottom of the outer packet, chicken welfare was addressed in that it said something along the lines that Tesco had a commitment to improving animal welfare which it showed by...something something...only using British farm produce, and by monitoring standards at the farms its chickens for chicken pie are raised at.
This kind of voluntary monitoring counts for, frankly, diddly-squat in terms of actual animal welfare, but I suppose it counts as a step in the right direction.
You can buy two of these pies for £3 on ongoing special offer if you want to. Personally I wouldn't recommend that though.
I love pastry and it's a real downfall of mine and so when I saw 2 individual pies for a £1.00 (there were a few choices to choose from in flavours) on offer (usual price 69p each) I picked up a chicken and mushroom one as it's my favourite flavour...usually!
The pie itself comes in a silver tray which is covered by a see-through and light brown plastic packet. On the front of that in black and white writing I'm told it is Tesco Puff Pastry Chicken & Mushroom Pie and that it has no artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or hydrogenated fat. There is then an at a glance nutritional chart, I'm told to keep it refrigerated and the display/use by dates are displayed and there is a bar-code on there. On the back of the packet I'm given cooking instructions (3 1/2 - 4 minutes in the microwave or 20-22 minutes in the oven from chilled or 50-55 minutes from frozen), ingredients and allergy advice is listed, I'm given storage instructions (these are freezable by the way), nutritional information is there too and finally contact details for Tesco are given. It's cheap looking, flimsy packaging but it's informative enough to be fair to it.
The Pie Itself:
Well I banged mine in the microwave and it cooked through in the time stated. The pie itself is of course a pastry case which is a beige colour and the top of it is smooth. However once cooked the base goes really soggy and squidgy and the whole thing gives off little smell but it don't look great.
Taste wise it's ok. It isn't anything special. I found the pastry to be not so buttery as I'd like it to be for puff pastry and a bit stodgy rather than flaking and the filling was a bit on the low side and what that was, was a mainly white sauce that was rather bland with little pieces of anemic chicken in it with a few well cooked pieces of mushroom but it was just all a bit soggy, and bland and I felt it lacked alot in seasoning and the individual flavours never came through at all. Rubbery chicken, soggy mushrooms and a gloopy sauce. Not keen, but it's not awful and filling...this is.
Contains milk, wheat, gluten.
Recipe: No nuts.
Ingredients: Cannot guarantee nut free.
Factory: No nuts.
Only available in Tesco.