* Prices may differ from that shown
When I was a kid we always as a family went on caravan holidays. We went all over the UK and we had what I now think of as caravan foods, things we never really ate at home that Mum always filled the caravan cupboards with when we went away.
Fray Bentos pies made a regular appearance on holiday along with tinned potatoes and baked beans. As a kid I hated this particular meal. For years as an adolescent and adult I refused to eat them, I didn't care the flavour...I shuddered inside at the thought of them!
However a couple of years back my mate had no money and I was helping her clear her house out as she was moving. She offered to make us a bit of dinner as we were so busy and I thought ok then nice one. When I saw the Fray Bentos pie being popped in the oven I really wanted to shout no but really she had nothing else on offer so I shut up and put up and it was served with chips. I was shocked.....I loved it and since then my love affair with Fray Bentos started and I buy them regularly and have tried all the flavours with the only one I don't like being steak and kidney as I am not a fan of kidney!
This pie I really do enjoy as I am a fan of chicken anyway and think that chicken and mushroom is a really good combination in a pie!
The pie comes in a blue round and reasonably thick tin and on the top of it there is a photograph of the pie on there and we are told that it is Fray Bentos 'Smooth' Chicken & Mushroom 'The 'smooth' pie. 'Tender pieces of chicken and sliced mushrooms covered in a creamy sauce, topped by our signature puff pastry'. On the bottom of the can other information listed includes being told how to cook it, the ingredients used are listed as is allergy advice given, the weight is also stated (which is 475g in this case), there is a full nutritional chart given and contact details for the manufacturer are given. You have to use a tin opener to get the lid off this. The can looks nice enough though and it is informative enough.
Open it up and you get a soggy looking pale pastry to look at and then you simply have to pop it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes and in that time the pastry lid (crust) goes a really light golden flaky looking colour and rises rather alot which is why you have to remove the lid during cooking, after all it is puff pastry. Inside you get this pie packed with a white, creamy sauce, small lumps of chicken (22% and it isn't listed as breast of chicken) and 3.5% sliced mushrooms. The pastry tastes nice enough and is flaky and a wee bit buttery in flavour but not one bit greasy. The white sauce is well seasoned and thick and not watery or lumpy. The chicken is well cooked, moist and tender and although small chunked there is plenty of it flavouring the otherwise plain white sauce. The mushroom are juicy and tasty and there is a small hint of garlic within this dish which enhances the flavour not overwhelms the pie.
This gives two generous servings though when you cut it, it does start to lose its risen appearance and the lid (pastry) does get caught on the can so it looks a bit messy when served but flavourwise I think this is a great pie! Serve it with whatever you like I like it with roast potatoes and chicken gravy personally.
Nutritional Information Per 1/2 Pie:
Energy: 401 Kcal
of which sugars: 1.7g
of which saturates: 8.8g
Salt equivalent 1.90g
Available in all good supermarkets etc priced at about £1.85 a pie though these are often on sale in Asda at a pound a pie and in Poundland.
I am so suprised how disappointing this chicken and mushroom fray bentos pie is. Considering the deliciously tasty steak and kidney variety of this brand. I always have a fray bentos pie in my cuboard, I find they are a really useful store cuboard backup, for quick and easy tea time meals. As a family we love the steak and kidney pie, so I decided to have a try of the chicken and mushroom variety.
The pie comes packaged in a tin, this tin must have the lid removed before you place the pie in the oven. I love the smell when this pie is cooking. It fills the kitchen with a beautiful aroma whilst the pastry is rising. Although these Fray Bentos pies are quick and convenient, I always feel they offer good quality wholesome food that can be made in to a tasty dinner when accompanied with vegetables and a nice crispy jacket potato.
However when I cut into this pie, I was very disappointed. The chicken looked processed and unappealing. The mushrooms which took me an age to find, were really awful and looked slimy. The dark colour of the mushrooms made me feel quite queasy. They certainly did not appear to be of a high quality. They looked like slugs!!!
The creamy sauce was not very flavoursome. I found the thick texture of the sauce quite cloying. I didn't really think that the sauce was particularly 'creamy' as stated on the tin. To me the sauce could have been better seasoned. It was fair to say it was quite bland. There was a lot more sauce in this pie than chicken or mushroom. I added a tin of chicken in a white wine sauce to this meal as there was not enough pie or filling to serve a family of four.
The pastry was the saviour of this pie. The crisp puff pastry is simply stunning. It has such a rich flavour which tastes very similar to home made pastry. Again though, there is not enough pastry to be shared between our family of four. Believe it or not this always causes friction between the children. Eyeing up each others plates to see who has the most.
Although the chicken was quite processed the meat was very tender and melted in the mouth. I thought combined with the creamy sauce it was alright. Nothing special, but edible. I could not bring myself to eat the mushrooms as they are slimy little slithers of mushroom and did not appeal to me whatsoever.
I feel that Fray Bentos have really let the brand name down with this offering. I think that there is alot that could be done with this pie in order to make it more acceptable.The quality of ingredients is quite poor and not what I expect from this reputable brand. In reality,I was really disappointed and let down by the quality and taste concerning this pie.
I paid about £1.80 for this pie, which in all fairness is a very good price to pay for a tasty pie. I am more than pleased to pay this for the other fray bentos varieties. However I do not think this chicken and mushroom variety is worth this amount. I certainly wont be buying it again.
*I'm running out of ways to tell you that I'm tallulahbang and this is all my own work*
Believe it or not, I have only had one Fray Bentos pie in my life. That's unusual, given that my diet consists mainly of peanuts, toast and the occasional apple. You'd think Fray Bentos pies would have slotted quite nicely into that list of nutritionally deficient foods. It might be because I'm Irish. We are not quite as beloved of tinned pies as the English are. There are other contrasts between the English and the Irish, mind. We're more whimsical and charming and less obnoxious when in pubs abroad. We are more prone to gingerness, though, which levels the balance slightly.
When I do feel like having pie for tea, I generally head to my mum's house. However, at the moment she's on a mission to reduce the volume of food she has in her chest freezer. She's on a hiding to nothing. Dig deep enough in there and you'll find sides of beef and once, startlingly, a whole lamb. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that there's a few neighbourhood pets crammed in there. Anyway, rather than going for what some would perceive to be the sensible option of buying less stuff and eating the stuff that's already in there, she chose to remove all extraneous packaging from the food and then use the back of a shovel to pack it all in a bit more tightly. This resulted in misshapen and largely unidentifiable food. Thus, the last time I was there and she was cooking pie for dinner her response to my inquiry as to what was in the pie was, 'well, I think it's minced steak. But it could be pigeon. Or cherry. It'll be a surprise.' I opted out. On phoning her later I found out that it was actually rhubarb, which she served up with mashed potatoes, carrots and gravy. My stepfather, with infinite wisdom, ate it and said nothing.
I, however, was still without pie. So I went off to Tesco's and, on the recommendation of a friend from Yorkshire, bought a Fray Bentos pie. Yorkshire people all seem to be born with innate pie knowledge. It's probably to make up for the ridiculous accents. When you get to your local supermarket you'll find them (the pies, not Yorkshire people) with all the other tinned stuff. I don't normally supply this level of purchasing information because I can't be arsed but in this case it's necessary. Fray Bentos, you see, also make some of their pies in pudding format. I don't know what the hell's up with that. The aforementioned Yorkshire friend assures me that this is quite normal. However, puddings are sweet. Pies are mainly savoury. In an attempt to explain the whole conundrum to me he said that a steak and kidney pudding was just a deep filled pie. If I were you, I'd view the whole thing with suspicion and keep on walking to the proper pies.
When you get it home (I'm aware that I haven't detailed how much it cost, by the way. I forgot to write that down on the back of my hand. Still, it's only a pie. It'll be less than 3 quid. Probably) you take off the lid. With a tin opener. I'm only telling you that because it took me a wee while to figure it out and I was smacking it with a fork and other utensils for ages before I realised. If you leave the lid on you risk one hell of an explosion. I know this because my ginger friend Paula once thought the optimum way to cook a tin of sweetcorn was to bung it in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour. The ensuing chaos was entertaining but an oven's quite an expensive thing to replace. I warn you; once you do manage to wrestle the lid off the thing the contents will appear uninspiring at best. It just looks like a disc of wet lardy pastry. Anyway, stick it in the oven at 230 degrees (I think. Probably best to check the packaging on that score, though) and sit back and relax for half an hour. Or you could perhaps use the time wisely to prepare some carrots and asparagus as per the serving suggestion. Or, more realistically, you could shove a tray of oven chips in after the pie and go and have a cup of tea and read rubbish magazines (that's what I did).
After the allotted time you will return to find that the pastry has risen really high and has also turned out to look quite tasty. It's like a kind of pie magic. Then you have to serve it. The one I got was for two people, but you'd need to do loads of vegetables/chips/bread (depending on how lazy you are) to make a proper meal out of it. Serving it is also a bit tricky. If you're seriously averse to washing up, or are a student, you could eat it out of the tin. If you like your meals on plates, you need to lever the pastry bit off and find a clean bit of kitchen counter to set it on (easier said than done in my house). Then you spoon out the contents and set the pastry on top, creating the illusion of homemade pie tastiness. This is where the wheels start to come off the wagon for Fray Bentos. The contents were at least 80% sauce/gravy. I counted just 8 bits of chicken and 2 mushrooms. I was as outraged as it's possible to be over a pie related incident. Also, the chicken was an odd colour. Usually, you expect chicken to be white or slightly yellowish if it's corn fed or organic (which, casting no slurs on the good people of Fray Bentos, I suspect their chicken is not). This chicken had more of a magenta hue. It couldn't have been raw, as it was in the oven for 30 minutes and was piping hot when I tested it. All that remains, logically, is that Fray Bentos have some kind of training camp for pink chickens. I don't even want to think about that.
Appearance aside, the pastry bit was lovely in a crumbly and fluffy way. The chicken was eccentrically coloured but tasted alright, the mushrooms took a bit of finding but seemed to be all that mushrooms can be, and the sauce had an unexpected and really quite strong metallic tang. Even putting an amount of salt on that will no doubt have notched my blood pressure up by a few points failed to take it away. In the end I gave up on it and just had the pastry. Now, I'm sure we all know that pastry and chips is a satisfying and delicious dinner but even so, I feel let down by Fray Bentos (and also by Yorkshire people but that's a different matter). Fray Bentos promised me a lovely pie with chicken and mushrooms. What they delivered was some spectacularly genetically engineered chicken chunks in tainted mushroom soup with a pastry lid.
The moral of the story is: don't trust Fray Bentos. They lie about their pies. Don't trust people from Yorkshire, either.
Fray Bentos Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Description: Meat - Ready Meals / Tender chicken pieces and mushroom slices in a creamy sauce topped with a puff pastry.
If you have never seen these before, then where have you been?! They are basically a pie in a tin which is great as they last for ages in the cupboard. You will find them in most supermarkets and they are 425g per pie. I paid £1 for mine on offer from my local shop, which appealed to me so much, I bought 3. Yes, I am a big fan of these pies!
Now Mrs Assasin is not a fan and will not eat them, which is great as I don't have to share! Basically, all I need to do is put the oven on, remove the lid with a tin opener and then bake for around 20 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden.
They have a puff pastry topping which manages to be crispy on top and has a wonderful soggy texture underneath (this is exactly what the Mrs doesn't like and I adore) and then chunks of chicken and mushroom in a creamy white sauce underneath.
Nutrition values are as follows;
Serving Size 1 Pie (425.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 684Calories from Fat 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38.2g59%
Total Carbohydrates 46.8g16%
Now don't get me wrong, this is never going to rival a home made pie, but it is an excellent stand by. For me, the taste is delicious, the sauce is creamy and the texture of the pastry is incredibly more-ish. I genuinely love these pies and will continue to eat them as often as I can get away with - serve up with a bit of mash and some vegetables and I am in pie heaven!
A definite recommend from me!
I don't know why Fray Bentos pies have been going for so long because they are absolutely rank and when my cousin asked me if I wanted something to eat my heart sank when I saw her take this Fray Bentos Chicken And Mushroom Pie out of the oven.
I always think it's like wartime food because it's a pie that comes in a tin, you take the top off and cook it still in the tin and you even have to serve it in the tin because the pie doesn't have a bottom or sides and it's the tin that makes it keep it's shape.
The pie doesn't look that bad when it comes out of the oven because the puff pastry has gone a lovely golden brown and looks very light. It's when you cut through the pastry that you'll realise how disgusting this pie is going to be. The chicken and mushroom filling is very pale and the sauce looks sticky and not as thick as most pies. The smell of herbs is also missing from the pie and that's a shame because most chicken and mushroom pies are well seasoned.
I knew I'd got to eat it being as it had been cooked for me but I didn't enjoy the pie. The chicken is quite tender but it's very bland and doesn't taste of chicken at all, but because this comes in a tin I didn't expect it to because god knows how many years it's been since this particular chicken was running around in a barn!
The mushrooms are too soft and don't taste of anything either, I can't say that the chicken and mushroom went well together because neither of them tasted of anything special!
The sauce isn't much better, it's quite creamy but has got a weird flavour that I can't think what it is but I reckon it might be the flavour of mushroom and far too few mixed herbs to make a difference to the over all flavour.
This is a horrible pie, as horrible as the rest of the Fray Bentos range. My cousin loved hers but she's one of them people who loves tinned food anyway but me I'd rather have a Pukka Pie or anything except a pie that comes in a tin. It's not 1940 you know!
Tender chicken pieces and mushroom slices in a creamy sauce topped with a puff pastry.