Castle Grove pies are sold at Lidl and one of the range is a Deep Fill Minced Beef & Onion Pie – which I picked up as I do love a pie and really don’t eat enough of them. This pie is made with British beef, with onion in a rich gravy and encased in shortcrust pastry.
This is a large pie, weighing 550 grams – the pack says “serves 3”, but I chose instead to cut it into quarters and have just a quarter of the pie, freezing the rest.
Can you freeze this shop bought pie? Yes, they are suitable for home freezing, so I cut the pie into quarters, removed the pie I was going to cook, then spread the remaining three pieces out in the foil dish, covered the dish with a freezer bag, put it all back in the box and put straight into the freezer for freezing. The bag is so once I decide to throw the box out the pie portions are already in a freezer bag, so that saves me messing about at that point.
The information nutrition panel on the front of the box gives the values for 1/3rd of a pie – while it’s got some red indicators on there, it’s all about balance, so I feel it’s OK for me to eat this pie even though it’s marked red for 46% fat!
The calories for 1/3rd of the pie is 516, so the whole pie has 1564 calories. As I was just eating 1/4 of it, the total calories in 1/4 of this pie is 387 – which now makes it positively “healthy” 🙂
How Long Does do You Bake a Pie For?
As this is a large pie the box says you have to cook it in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 35 minutes. Instead I’ll be using my mini oven – perfect for single portions – and so I cooked it at 185C for 10 minutes on the bottom shelf with the top and bottom elements both being on; I then turned down the temperature to 180C for a final 5 minutes – so my 1/4 pie took just 15 minutes to bake. This is the beauty of mini ovens, they’re so small they heat up quickly and can drastically reduce cooking time if you omit pre-heating!
Tip: If you buy a large pie and find the cooking time is too long, cut it into portions, then spread them out before cooking it and you can halve the cooking time required!
Pie and Portion Size:
I found 1/4 of the pie was a perfectly adequate size. The filling was deep and I was satisfied by the quantity of pie.
As a whole pie it’d have fitted easily into my mini oven to cook – as you can see in this photo:
The pastry is a shortcrust, not my favourite – but this is fine. It was quite a dry pastry overall, I prefer more moist pastries as a rule, but I knew what I was buying into when I bought it. Shortcrust pastry is what it is – so that was fine.
The filling was moist and tasty, there was plenty of minced beef.
Once gravy was added, the pastry was really crisp and wonderful to eat.
When cooked the pastry browns to a deeper colour.
This pie retails at £1.99 (2016 prices), although I did pick it up when it was marked at 30% off, so I only paid £1.39 for it, making my 1/4 pie £0.35. If you buy the pie at full price and follow the “serves 3” as indicated on the box this pie would work out at £0.66 per portion – and much better value than buying individual pies as you get so much more filling and overall quantity.
Would I Buy a Castle Grove Pie Again?
Absolutely! I’m not keen on spending £1.99 on a pie though, but, that’s just me – it’s not poor value when compared to competitors’ prices (which are often considerably higher). Taste-wise it was great. The only hesitation I have is that I prefer different pastry to shortcrust, but that’s not the fault of the pie!