I picked up a pie from Lidl, a Chef Select Minced Beef & Onion Pie – this is 550 grams and is a family sized pie, that serves 3. So I thought I’d write a quick review in case you’re thinking of getting one!
This is a deep minced beef pie, with shortcrust pastry and I’d gone in for a “pie from Lidl” but when I got there I just grabbed a pie from the shelf and hadn’t spotted that it was different to the last one I bought. The one I expected to see, which I’d had before, was the Castle Grove Minced Beef Pie.
This was a Chef Select pie from the chiller shelf. I didn’t actually notice until after I’d eaten the first portion!
How Was It?
The first thing I noticed is that the pre-cooked colour is darker than the previous pie I’d bought – it did look nicer. I’ve always seen these pies as serving 4 people, so I’d typically cut them into four pieces and just cook one, but I was really looking forward to eating a pie, so I’d already decided that I’d cut this one into three pieces, when I saw that the box said it serves 3 anyway!
Here’s a photo of the cold pie, cut with 1/3rd removed – these two thirds I put back into the box ready for another day.
The box instructions said to cook the pie in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 35 minutes – but as I cooked this in my Lidl Mini Oven / Toaster Oven, I knew it’d be quicker. I put the pie into the unheated toaster oven on the bottom shelf in an ovenproof dish.
I turned on the top and bottom elements (top is for grilling, bottom is the oven element) and turned the timer to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I then set it to just the bottom oven element for a further 10 minutes.
Once the timer pinged, I then left the pie in the oven while I made up some mashed potato and a side vegetable, which took me just another 5 minutes before I served up the pie on the plate.
Serve Pie With:
I’ve now eaten all three portions of this pie. I decided against freezing it as it was tasty and I try to avoid freezing food as freezer space is always tight. I served the pie with:
- Instant mash and baked beans and a little Bisto gravy – the baked beans I had leftover in the fridge, so they needed using up; instant mash as I didn’t want to buy a whole 2.5Kg bag of potatoes this week.
- Instant mash and brussels sprouts with Bisto gravy – instant mash as I had no fresh potatoes and the brussels sprouts are Christmas leftovers I still have to eat my way through! I used 90 grams of brussels sprouts.
- Instant mash, frozen peas and Bisto gravy.
This was, as ever, an utterly gorgeous and moist pie! I will absolutely be having one of these again.
Having had the first 1/3rd of the pie I did consider freezing the last portion, but then changed my mind and ate it anyway – but you can freeze pies.
To freeze a pie, cut out the cooking instructions, wrap the pie portions in foil and place the instructions and pie portions into a freezer bag and into the freezer. It’ll probably be frozen through within 2 hours in most freezers.
To cook from frozen I’d reheat this in the oven for 30-40 minutes, but it will defrost in the fridge if you want to defrost it before you cook it. Defrosted, a pie portion would just take the 20 minutes the original cooking instructions indicated.
This pie, at the time of writing, costs £1.99 – cut into four pieces that’d have been 50p per pie portion; cut into three pieces it’s 66p per portion.
I served it with some instant mash and a knob of butter, costing about 8p. The first 1/3rd I served with half a tin of baked beans (cost 12p) and the second 1/3rd I served with 90 grams of brussels sprouts (9p). The instant Bisto gravy was pennies.
Whichever way I served this, it was under £1/meal. Not the cheapest of meals, but a good, filling, frugal hot dinner!
Here’s the nutrition panel from the back of the box: