Mr Z’s taste test of Four’n Twenty Classic Meat Pies. I did one in the fan forced oven, another in the microwave, finished off in the oven. He removes the lid, eats it, and then eats the meat with a teaspoon, when nearly finished eats the pie pastry out of the hand. No sauce.
His verdict - the pie lids are OK, the filling So-so, the pie pastry So-so because the base was hard and thick but the walls Just OK. It rated lower than Mrs Mac’s - only just.
I tried the Mrs Macs pies recently and hit the gristle and veins…
Then I noticed Sargents Premium (in a new black box) and thought “by gum, I’ll try them”. They were “Quality cuts of Australian Beef in a tasty gravy enclosed in the famous Sargents pastry” and very nice.
The quality decline in Four N Twenty doesn’t surprise me. It seems every food manufacturer would rather use cheaper ingredients than raise prices. When I look at the retail price of a four pack of supermarket Four N Twenties, ($4.55 on special) I know they are not much chop. In fact at 2.5 health star rating, they are worse than a tin of SPC Spaghetti at 3.
With all beef cuts becoming more ‘trendy’ cuts for cooking and increasing demand on those often unwanted cuts…the option for pie makers to find cost effective ingredients is becoming harder to hon-existent.
With consumers not wanting to pay more for food products, something has to give…quality.
Just this week, I decided to opt for Aldi’s own brand meat pies instead of pizza. Well, I was seriously disappointed.
Elmsbury pies were the worst.
With 27% beef, they substituted a lot of TVP (textured soy protein). And yes, I could taste it. I was vegetarian for 3 years and used to buy the dried version to use in recipes.
I heated my pies in the oven at 180c.
The crust and puff pastry did not brown.
The shortcrust pastry was so hard, my knife had a hard time cutting it.
From now on, I will be buying pies from my local bakery.
I also realise that all store brands use the same manufacturers.
Swapping stores won’t help.
I even tried to use onion gravy to soften the crust without success.
Needless to say, I won’t be shopping store brand pies again.
Considering I paid a rather hefty $5 for for cheap pies, I would rather spend my money at a local retailer instead.
The store brands have also been using tvp on “meat lovers” pizzas.
I don’t mind paying a bit extra for quality during inflation but they are taking customers for fools.
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Choice has this to say about the content of a meat pie.
Could you share a pack shot or one of the product ingredients label.
Looking to some recent commercial program taste tests there are differences between brands of supermarket pies. None in our experience are as good as the local bakeries. Although not all bakery pies are created equal.
I am living in the Southern Highlands where they have a pie competition every year. I have only been here a couple of years, but have not found a very nice pie here yet. In Lismore they have a Caravan Cafe that sells the most delicious pies. Pie, peas and potato and gravy if wanted. I haven’t found anything that beats these pies yet. They also make the most delicious apple pies. For some reason most bakeries seem to think apple pies need the harder pastry, with sugar sprinkled on them, but these apple pies are made with flaky pastry, that make them more delicious.