Pies Supplied by: Rural Pie Co.
It’s not often that someone sends us pies to review, it does happen occasionally, but not often. So it was very pleasing to be contacted by the Rural Pie Co. from Woodley in Berkshire asking if we would give them an honest review of a selection of their pies. We received four pies, Minced Beef and Red Onion; Steak and Kidney; Chicken, Leek and Ham; Rabbit.
The company use locally sourced ingredients and offer a good selection of pies, both hot and cold, savoury and sweet (more info can be found on their website). They also do a range of Gluten Free pastries and pies and I suspect if you asked, would happily rustle up a Vegan option or two.
We received the pies via a postage/courier delivery service which the Rural Pie Co. is currently trialing and hope to offer as a service to all customers soon. Currently they offer a free of charge delivery service within a six mile radius of the RG5 postcode area. Our pies arrived packed in individual boxes as you can see from the photos and the four boxes themselves were well packed inside a thermal sleeve with ice packs and an outer box for extra protection to ensure the pies were kept cold during transportation, the pies were in tip top condition, ready for reheating and eating. Reheating instructions were included on the bottom of each box which we followed to ensure the pies were piping hot when eaten. As you can see from the photos the pies looked really appealing and plated up with some chips and mushy peas went down a storm with our tasters.
The pastry for each of the pies was a good consistency, not to crumbly and not too hard, but nice and thin so there was more filling than pie pastry in each of the varieties received. The colour was good, a golden sunshine appearance and when you cut into each pie the filling also looked very appetising .
So moving onto the pie fillings, first the Chicken, Leek and Ham.
When we cut into the pie it was clearly a well filled pie, no air gaps to be found here and the chicken was nice sized chunks which were succulent and tasty. The Ham in the pie was also quite chunky, a little smaller than the chicken, but none the less tasty and flavourful. The leek in the pie was cooked to a good consistency and sliced and diced to a satisfying size. The tase of the Leek did not, not overpower the subtlety of the ham or chicken and the sauce of the filling was seasoned perfectly to compliment the meats and leek. Yes this was a good pie and we would definitely eat again.
The Steak and Kidney pie again had plenty of filling, no air gaps. The gravy on the pie was rich and just the right consistency to ooze, but not pour out when we cut into the pie. There was plenty of steak which was cooked very well and fell apart in the mouth when eating, no gristle or fat was found at all. The kidney was cooked well too, and there was plenty of it which gave the pie a heady aroma, in fact it was pretty much a 50/50 pie in terms of steak and kidney, which for my tastes was a very welcome change. Too often there is far to little kidney in a pie of this variety. Yes, this pie was very good rich and flavourful, one of our favourites of the year.
It’s not often you see Rabbit Pie on the menu so we were very pleasantly surprised that this option was one of the four sent to us, The filling again was generous and the rabbit meat was chunky, no fat or gristle, just quality meat. The flavour as good too, not overly gamey that you can sometimes get with Rabbit our Hare, and the sliced mushrooms in the sauce were again just enough to give a flavour without overpowering the meat. The seasoning was at the right level, just the right amount of pepper and salt. The sauce in the pie was luscious and had a creamy texture which complimented the rabbit and mushroom. One of the best Rabbit dishes I’ve personally had and a pie that we would all happily eat again.
Finally the Mince and Red Onion Pie. This pie was truly packed with mince and onion and again the quality of the filling could be clearly seen when we cut into the pie. There was a rich gravy, which complimented the filling and ensured that the mouthwatering factor was kept high throughout the eating. This is not a pie that would have meat juices or gravy running down your chin, but it was not clog in the mouth at all and could easily have been eaten cold as well as hot. The pie was again seasoned very well and overall the pie was a hit with all of us.
Scoring the pies individually we came to the following decision:
We’ve always been clear that we give unbiased reviews and this is no exception. The fact that the pies were sent to us for review held no sway in the scoring or the words used in the review. We continue to be completely independent and give our personal views of the pies we eat. A great set of scores as I’m sure you would agree and we definitely would recommend you try a pie or too if you are having friends round, feeding the family or maybe going on a picnic.
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