Meat Pie Quality Decline and ingredient substitution - EG TVP

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.


We use our el cheapo air fryer to heat our Garlo’s pies.

Perfect crispy pastry in around 10 minutes so much quicker and less power use than the oven.

We were putting them in the microwave for 2 minutes before putting them in the air fryer but the pastry does not turn out anywhere as nice as if they are only heated in the air fryer.

Same thing with Garlo’s sausage rolls.


I’ve seen the Master Chef judges go to similar extremes on tasting each component of a dish independently, and with great consideration. Perhaps Mr Z missed his true calling? :wink:

I prefer the all in one approach. There’s no such thing as a bad pie. Some are memorable for all the wrong attributes. It’s rewarding if only for the learning experience.


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.


what brand is your air fryer

Neither Coles or Woolworths sell the tin mushy peas in my area, which I find very sad. A pie is just not the same without the mushy peas.

I did not think it even had a name as it has no markings on it until I recently looked at the bottom of it and saw a sticker.


Model No. DV310858

Imported By My Discount Store Pty Ltd."

This appears to be their Facebook page.

The air fryer on the right had side of the images is the one we have

A Product Review of the air fryer.

A website selling them.

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Perhaps you need to ask a staff member as all our Coles and Woolies stock them.

Our local Coles have them on the bottom shelf of the canned vegetables section but they also might be in the international foods section.

You could also try searching your local Coles and Woolies for the actual product names.

What area are your local Coles and Woolies located in?

I asked at Coles and Woolworths both, in my town and the next town, and was told they don’t stock it.

What town or area do you live in?

I must agree
Came online as Herbert Adam’s pies have really deteriorated in the last 6 months.
Their chunky beef was the only go to pie we buy but it had gone down hill to be just run of the mill now

Please bring back the quality even if you stop discounting them


Don’t bother looking anymore.

The stocks of Garlos pies and sausage rolls at our local Coles disappeared from the shelf earlier this week, days before their markdown date.

When I was at another nearby Coles today, I spotted them in the freezer and they were dated June, 2022.

Pies and large sausage rolls “on special” for a mere $1 each so I stocked up.

Coles website showed a reduced range a few days ago and now shows just 3 items, all “temporarily unavailable”.

Coles, in their usual inimitable fashion, have once again dumped a great product.

Looks like I will have to revert to making my own sausage rolls once again, as well as pies after the successfull trial of making them this week.


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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.

So a reason for 3D printed meat or non meat meat substitutes to conquer the market. :grinning: TVP (textured vegetable protein) may be back in with gusto.

Possibly the best pies.

Food Standards (FSANZ) require a pie to be at last 25% meat.‘

For a 200gm pie, weight of a Herbert Adams “chunky slow cooked beef and mush” Pie it would take just 50gms cooked weight minimum?

Whether a home cook needs all these ingredients

HA likely get a better deal on their beef than the $15-$20 /kg we might pay for chuck steak.


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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A very unpleasant experience. I too like my pies. Also not the first time TVP had been mentioned in the community, if one refers to several of these older posts.

Assume the $5 was for a 4 or 6 pack. ALDI is well know for honouring its product return and refund policy. ‘

How do I obtain a refund on your everyday grocery products and your Special Buys?
We will immediately refund or replace any everyday grocery item you are not entirely satisfied with. We will refund or replace any non-grocery specials within 60 days. Please provide your original receipt (or other proof of purchase), ideally with packaging, when you return the item to us.

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.

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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.