Thursday 5 July 2012

Charlie Bigham's Steak & Ale Pies

You may remember last week I reviewed Charlie Bigham's Breton Chicken and declared it delicious. Well, last night, I dipped into the freezer again for inspiration and came up with these Charlie Bigham's Steak & Ale Pies. I thought the box seemed rather big and heavy for two pies but I soon understood why when I looked inside the pack - they come in chunky porcelain ramekins. Wow !

Each pie is covered in a protective sheet of plastic kept in place with an elastic band, just like a pot of homemade jam, and homemade is definitely the word that immediately springs to mind when you see what lies beneath. The thick, slightly uneven pastry rim around the bowl evokes smiling grannies with flour-covered hands rather than a mass production line. Fabulous ! Following the instructions, I brushed a little milk over the top of the pastry - while this isn't essential, it says that brushing milk or egg over the top will make it look even more appetising.

When it came out of the oven, I was even more impressed. The pastry is buttery and flaky, the gravy has a lovely rich flavour and the large chunks of meat are melt in the mouth tender. One word of warning - the ramekins keep it very hot so do as they suggest and take the pies out of the oven four minutes before you plan on eating them.

The only bad thing is the calories - one pie contains a rather horrendous 605 calories. It also contains 29.2g of protein, 49.9 of carbs (of which 7.9g sugars), 31.8g of fat (of which 3.8g saturates) and 1.6g of salt. I've just converted that into Weight Watchers and it comes to 16 ProPoints. My daily allowance is 26 so that's a huge amount !

They do mention this on the website in the FAQ. "The main things we’re aiming for are quality and taste. Because of this, many of our dishes, although wholesome, are also a little decadent.
If you’re cautious about your calorie intake, these dishes are the best ones to choose:
Catalan Chicken: 286 Calories and 12.4g of fat per half pack
Thai Red Chicken: 276kcal and 13.2g fat per half pack
Chicken Wrapped in Proscuitto: 263kcal and 6.9g fat per half pack
Chicken Kiev: 322kcal and 11.4g fat per half pack"

They also mention those fabulous ramekins in the FAQ too. I've already decided that I'll be reusing them to make my own pies but they have some other ideas. "Once you have polished off your pies there are lots of fantastic ways to reuse your ramekins. Here are some of our favourites:
Plant pots for herbs.
Dishes for pre-dinner nibbles and dips.
Individual Yorkshire pudding dishes.
A brilliant way to cook and serve individual shepherd’s pies, or apple crumbles.
Finger bowls (just add hot water and a slice of lemon).
Sous-chef dishes (add your chopped ingredients and get organised in the kitchen!)
If you have any other ideas, do let us know."

If you aren't watching your weight, they are the ultimate ready-meal, looking and tasting home-made. 

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £6.99 for 2 pies (600g)

Disclosure : I received a selection of Charlie Bigham's products in order to write honest reviews.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. this looks so yummy, im hungry now

  2. I had one last night and was distincly unimpressed.

    1. Then you're taste buds must be as dull as your comment

  3. These are incredible pies. If there is such a thing as a perfect steak & ale pie then these are them!

  4. Please never stop making thee pies they are mouth watering. I'll forever buy them if you (Charlie) keep making them. Best pies I've ever tasted in my entire life.


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