Cheap Meat Pies – Woolworths and Coles, Perth Oz

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Junk had to go down south, way down south due to family obligations. Though the journey was long, it was well worth the close to 24 hours flight time. As usual, I never miss an opportunity to eat and wax lyrical about the junk food that’s available. Trust me, this one is really junk on an epic scale!

I know pie is nothing new to us Brits but meat pie is an institution to Oz. While we have burgers and chips at sporting events, the Aussie have meat pies. The family in Oz have their own favourite pies at a local independent bakery but I was against the AUS$3+ price tag for each. Inspiration hit me as I was chomping down on little party sized meat pies at the family reception, there must be some cheap and nasty frozen ones at the supermarkets?

So off I went on the hunt for cheap frozen pies! My only criteria were that they should be meat pies, should be singly packed and as cheap as possible. I also took the lazy, bachelor way out and microwaved all the pies as per instructions rather than oven them. What I managed to find:

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Mrs Mac’s Beef & Cheese Pie, AUS$2.00, 19% beef

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Snowy River Meat Pie, AUS$0.95, minimum 25% beef or mutton

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Coles Smart Buy Meat Pie, AUS$0.70, 25% beef or mutton

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Woolworths Homebrand Individual Meat Pie, AUS$0.70, 25% beef or mutton

The Boom thought it might be a good idea for me to have all 4 pies at one go to retain impartiality but I thought better. So I had the 4 pies for breakfast over 2 days after my daily swim.

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I decided to pit the named brand pies against each other so first up is Mrs Mac’s vs Snowy River. Mrs Mac’s is on the left while Snowy River is on the right.

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On face value, Mrs Mac’s definitely looked more appetizing with cheese oozing out of the pie while the Snowy River pie was filled with standard looking minced meat pie filling. Don’t be fooled by looks though! I actually much preferred the Snowy River one as the pastry was thin and crispy though it was cooked in a microwave and the filling richer in taste. The pastry of Mrs Mac’s pie was much thicker and the inner portion was uncooked though the bag has those fancy shiny coating which is supposed to aid cooking? The cheese sauce did not taste cheesy at all and the meat filling was not as rich as Snowy River’s version. At AUS$0.95, I thought the Snowy River pie was a much better value taste and quality wise.

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On to the supermarket homebrand pies. Coles Smart Buy on the left and Woolworths Homebrand on the right.

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Compared to the named brand, you can see that the amount of filling was less generous. Definitely lack the ooze factor despite me squeezing them with my fork to make them more photogenic. This time round, you get what you see! The Woolworths pie crust looked anemic compared to its rival and it had a chewy texture. Filling wise, the mince was too fine and tasted bland. The Coles pie was the better of the 2 with a thinner crust (not crispy though) and tasty filling with bigger cuts of meat but the Snowy River pie filling was better.

So in summary, I personally think the Snowy River pie was the best of the lot. It did not cost much more than the supermarket homebrand with adequate crispy crust and tasty filling. I was glad I split the pies across 2 days. 2 pies was enough to fill me up till dinner time both days, power!

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Deer Santa Pie and Minted Mushy Peas – Pieminister, Boxpark

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Some takeaway food have a tendency to be visually unappealing. I think the options that are smothered in gravy fair the worse. Today’s lunch is case in point. Have been wanting to give Pieminister at the Boxpark a try for sometime now. Never got around to it as the weather was not conducive for rich stodgy food till recently. I think this is the final food stall at the Boxpark I have yet to review.

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As usual, Pieminister like the rest of the other shops in Boxpark is in a shipping container. Booth seats are available inside the shop as well as some outside seating. There are many pie options all at £4.20 each. Do ask what is available from the range as though they are not made in stall, they are baked on location. I like that the names of the pies are a word play on the pie’s ingredients. Kate and Sidney = Steak and Kidney, Chicken of Arragon = Chicken and Tarragon. I got one of the festive specials, the Deer Santa. Guess what is the protein in the pie?

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Yeap! Deer Santa has venison in it. Deer = Dear you see? Funny eh….heheheh… ok, I’m easily tickled. Was toying between mushy peas or mash with my pie and since I brought some leftover cauliflower cheese I made last night, went with the pea option. Total bill came up to £6 with the pie at £4.20, mushy pea at £1.50 and gravy at 30p.

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Now you understand why I say this is not exactly pretty. The gravy obscured everything and made everything brown. Even the bright green of the minted mushy pea got drowned out. Regretted having the gravy really, it did not mix very well with the nutty and tang of the mush peas which is a tad too minty for my taste. It also very nearly masked over the rich ale sauce of the pie. The venison chunks taste pretty good though, rich and beefy. If I didn’t know it was venison, I would have thought it’s a beef pie!

Highlight of lunch today was my leftover cauliflower cheese! Not going to blow my own horn too much but halving the cheddar and substituting it with cottage cheese actually worked pretty good.

Pieminister
Unit 60
Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6DY
0207 613 1792

Pie, Battered Sausage and Chips – Poppies, Spitalfields

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Was going to Momo’wich to get their version of laksa so I can have a laksa off with the offering from Keke yesterday. But alas, the skies opened up while I walk out for lunch. Being a girl who hate to get her hair wet, took the cowardly way out and punt for the local fish and chip shop instead.

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Fish Hips!

Poppies is a Fish and Chip diner located on Hanbury Street. It’s popular with the folks around the area and located beside a pub helps! The eat-in area is always jam packed especially on Fridays. I guess that goes with the Christian tradition of not having meat on Fridays. The restaurant is decorated like a 60s diner with booth seating, checkered table cloth etc. There is a takeaway counter where you can place your order from a cut down menu.

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I decided to break the norm and went for a Pie and chips instead. Added a battered sausage and some mushy peas to my order. All in came up to £8.20. A meal at a fish and chip joint is not that cheap if you like to add on to your order like me! Then again, a small portion of Cod and chips is £8.50, I think I got away with more variety.

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I was expecting a normal store bought Steak Pie, the filling was not outstanding but the puff pastry was excellent! Light, fluffy and crunchy went perfectly with the adequately season steak filling. The battered sausage was not too oily but could have done with a more flavorsome banger. The mushy peas was nutty and creamy and was the perfect dip for the fantastic chips. I only got salt for the chips and I find vinegar tend to make them soggy.

In all, I would have preferred a laksa but was happy nonetheless.

Poppies
6-8 Hanbury Street
London E1 6QR
0207 247 0892

PS: Apparently fish and chips is healthy!
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Scrumpy Pork Roast Roll – Turner & Roast, Ely’s Yard

 

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Usually I don’t really crave for bready stuff for lunch. Ok, I might sometimes yearn for a baguette due to the crunchy crust but not normally a sandwich. I guess sandwiches got lucky yesterday! Next to The Orange Buffalo truck in Ely’s Yard at the Truman Breweries compound off Brick Lane, there is another truck that sells hot filled rolls. So I thought I give it a try.

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Looking at the truck, you can’t really tell what it’s called. After some research on the interweb, found out that it’s called Turner & Roast. There were some pics online where the trucks name was shown at the bottom where the horizontal blackboard is. Not the best for marketing, hiding your name like this! Tsk tsk…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it would seem they offer both pies and filled rolls. I think the pies are on consignment seeing its Tom’s Pie from Devon. The stall is simply kitted out. A few steam trays holding shredded roast meats, a basket with white or brown rolls, some condiments, another basket with a bags of crisps and a selection of condiments. That’s it! I went with the Scrumpy Pork Roast roll on brown bread. At £4.50, not that cheap really.

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Being the typical me, I won’t let myself get away with a one course lunch! So I topped up the sandwich with a pick and choose salad from the office’s cafe. Since the office cafe is not accessible to the public, it’s not fair to say too much. Don’t want you folks wanting but not getting you see. Back to the filled roll. I got the chap who made my roll to suggest what condiments I should have? He said for the pork, I should have done apple sauce, mustard and sliced pickled onion. I went with the expert opinion.

The shredded pork roast filling was juicy and the texture reminds me of pulled pork. The combination of mustard, apple sauce and sliced pickled onion was great! Slightly but mustard with sweet apple and tartness of the pickled onion was the perfect match for the pork. The brown bread was ok. Could do with a crunchy crust.

In all, it was an ok lunch taste wise and with the office salad, I could not move after. Trust me!

Turner & Roast
Ely’s Yard
Old Truman Brewery
91 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL
07946 657056

 

Cabbage and Cheese Pie – Chez Boom Takeaway

Cabbage PieI don’t think it is illegal to write about my lunch today last night, as long as I stick to what I eat. Perhaps more to get it out of the way. Once its written, I’m committed and I’ll have to eat it!

So the Boom decided to replicate his Mom’s cabbage and cheese pie this weekend and I ended up with a couple of slices. Ok, I instigated it, I did like Em’s pie quite a lot.

I do understand Mr CSS’s
sentiment that spending close to, or more than £7 per lunch is not sustainable in the long run. Not that we can’t afford it, but it just lunch! I did use to bring in leftovers etc before but somehow, lost the urge to cook on weekdays. Most nights I end up with snacks for dinner.

Cabbage Pie Plated

Clockwise from top left. Bisto reconstituted, Rainbow Salad, Calamari, Cabbage Pie with gravy

Wanted to have an austerity lunch but I lost my resolve. Managed to get a couple of supplements from M&S. So on offer is: 2 slices of cabbage pie from Chez Boom, Bisto with bits (dried chili flakes and Knorr chicken powder) wrapped in cling film which will be reconstituted into a gravy, Rainbow Vegetable Salad with Honey and Lime Dressing and Chargrilled Calamari with a Red Pepper & Cracked Black Pepper Seasoning from M&S. Phew! That’s a mouthful!

The pie turned out pretty good I have to say (I did helped), but quite different from Em’s. I think the addition of Polish smoked bacon bits and hardboiled egg halves makes it a bit more luxurious. The Boom was worried that it would not be cheesy enough. I thought it’s fine the way it is. Perhaps for next time, pack the cabbage tighter when filling the pie. Also, I think breadcrumb topping is a waste of time. It has totally lost it’s crunchiness.

I enjoyed the Rainbow Vegetable Salad a lot. The dressing is light and tangy and brings freshness when combined with the pie. The calamari is not so good today. It usually has a more smokey taste. Well, have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch today. Thanks Boom!

p/s: Sorry, no address. I’m sure Boom don’t want to be mugged again!