Meat Pie Quality Decline and ingredient substitution - EG TVP

I am a meat pie freak.
Nothing, in my book, is as satisfying as a good pie.
It doesn’t have to be big, in fact hand size is best. Eaten to enjoy within five minutes, it is surely the nicest tradition we Aussies cherish.
Now an Aussie icon seems on the brink of collapse, and I am angry.

I find Four&Twenty pies pretty nice.
True, you can pay more for Herbert Adams, but for a decent all-round snack, Four&Twenty hit the button. So I recently upgraded to their higher-end quality - and was shocked/alarmed to discover absolute crap.

Coles at Lane Cove had four-packs marked down from ten dollars to six, so I went for it. YECCCH !!!
The quality was so poor - gristle and gravy - that I am wondering whether the price cut was to get them out fast rather than reward smart meat pie buyers. Honestly, after years ( I am now 85) of enjoying good pies, this experience was like discovering Santa was a fake.

The batch number is 24 03 PBF12 15:19, expiring 23/sep/22. BEWARE !!!


I’m not a meat pie afficionado but I have found the pies to be of questionable quality of late, too. Even Herbert Adams pies are just as crap. Even 6 months ago they were worth the premium. Now, they are not. Gravy, gristle and if you aare lucky a couple of chunks of meat, otherwise its vaguely mincey. UGH.


As you shop at Coles, look for Garlo’s pies in the refrigerated aisles, usually in the same aisle as the butter and margarine.

They are great and their sausage rolls are even better.

They are the only ones we buy now.



@PeteFin Definitely agree! Garlo’s Pies, although slightly more expensive that their manufactured counterparts, are of much higher quality and actually have some real meat (instead of just “gristle and gravy”…)


Pete Fin again.

Thanks a million for the repeated advice to try Garlo’s pies. They sound just what I’d love.
The trouble is that in the whole of Chatswood, I can’t find them anywhere.
They are supposed to be in Coles and Woollies, but Coles only have the revolting 4&20 and Herbert Adams. No thanks. Just before Lockdown I was stocking up in Lane Cove - asked for Garlo’s in the huge new Coles - but the staff just shrugged.
Neither Chatswood nor Lane Cove seem to have an IGA - also alleged to stock Garlo’s pies - so where are they?
Woollies in Chatswood sell Ivan’s pies on the hot snack counter, which are not bad, but Garlo’s seem to be about as available as rocking horse poop.


Our Coles stocks Garlos in its own cold section away from the other pie type stuff, at the end of the bread aisle. Go figure. There is no logic in how things get stored, IMO.


On an original recommendation from @Fred123 and seconded by some others I tried National Pies (Tasmanian), available at Woolies. They are kept in a cooler on the deli side at my local, on the far side from the frozen section.

Filling is much better than the frozen products. Mr preference is to heat them longer to crisp them a bit vs the directions on pack that warm them but they are still slightly doughy. They are as close to old school bakery pies as I have had - noting Garlos are not yet available everywhere.

My only issue with National is the packaging is not recyclable and their response was positive yet lame; ‘they prioritise product quality in packaging selection’ but were working on it. New packaging will probably arrive before Godot, but maybe not by much.


Woolies don’t stock Garlo’s.

Coles keep them in the same refrigerated aysle as the butter, margarine and fresh pasta.

Our local Coles ofteh also have frozen stock out the back.

If you liked them, then wait till you try Garlo’s.

Oh! Woe is me! I looked up Choice to see if they had a review of pies, alas nothing, then headed out on our fortnightly shop. A month ago I bought, on a whim, Mrs Mac’s pies (4 x frozen plain) and while Mr Z deemed them OK, he really wanted a good pie.

Yesterday I bought Four’n Twenty Classic Meat Pies frozen 700g on special $5.87. There are several competitions on the label, footballs, tickets, which I am quite used to seeing in rural areas being sold after the closing date, but these are current. Maybe they are losing customers? Will be a while before we try them.

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Not that much different in cost to a single freshly reheated from frozen bakery pie. It’s easy to see why the Supermarket alternative is so popular, if one can find a good one. Value and convenience.

Yes, there are also bakeries that do baked today freshly assembled, not frozen, every morning. Once a month outing, or take-a-way during lockdown. Assuming less than 5km and essential! :wink:

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We could buy from the bakery, and that would be my preference for a One Off. Mr Z has been trying to lose weight and improve his health, so where he used to tuck into 4 greasy pies, we now have them as an occasional treat.

He was watching The Cook and The Chef and wanted one of those gourmet concoctions until I explained what the 4 different types of meat were (he only has beef). So he wants something that comes out of the packet or hot box that clearly states Plain (beef). I wanted to get something that was good quality and tasty for our once in 6 months Pie for Tea treat. We don’t have Coles, Aldi & Woollies so I’ll have to shop around for the recommended ones. How about a Choice Pie Review?


Lentil, chicken, fish, curry, or a Ned Kelly?
Pie dish or pastry base?
Plenty of scope - the best value or the best tasting supermarket pie. Frozen or fresh baked?
Kilojoules per dollar or health stars?

I think we may need to ask more directly? :wink:

It’s lunch time, might just pop out and …. Buy a longer belt. :rofl:


Apparently not all Coles. Our keeps them in a fridge at the other end of the store.


See how special they are :smiley:

They really are very nice (minced beef only has been self tested), not the best pie I have ever had but for store bought they are very good. I can recommend their family minced beef one.

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Yeah maybe… I tried one based on recommendations from here but I confess to being unimpressed.


I haven’t tried all their variety, I am a minced beef pie person with added mushy peas so the curry the chicken, the beef and mushroom etc have not yet passed my lips so when reading my recommendation by anyone it is solely in regards to minced beef.


Likewise, though cheese and bacon from the local is good.

There was a pie shop in Innisfail for decades named Sam’s Pies.

Back in the 1960’s when we travelled to Innisfail one day every week, we would go there and buy pies for lunch.

The pies were quite tasty but left an unbelievably greasy taste in the mouth which felt like detergent was almost needed to remove it.

Mr Z has fond youthful memories of the local pie shop which would have won the Greasy Spoon Award. Their shop was in a residential area, down a small lane, with wood fired ovens. He got all the pies he could eat if he chopped wood for them. They are still around, owned by the 3rd & 4th generation, but now in the town area with electricity.

Mr Z moans that they are not as wholesomely greasy as they used to be. For him a proper pie has to turn the paper bag clear with the fat oozing out of the pastry. There was a family fight over the recipe (not letting the next generation use it) and I suspect the pastry was made with suet or lard.


I grabbed some Garlo’s Limited Edition Lamb & Rosemary Pies marked down from $4.50 to $1.80 some weeks ago and popped them in the freezer

I just ate one for lunch and it was one of the nicest pies I have ever eaten.

I contemplated putting mint sauce on it, but after I tasted it, it certainly did not need anything added.

It had carrot, peas and corn in it. My idea of a vegetable pie.

Hopefully, Garlo’s will make this one permanent as it beats their other pies hands down.