Product review: Linda McCartney Mushroom and Ale Pie

I’m constantly on the look-out for tasty meat-free meals that I can whack in the oven on a busy weeknight. It’s certainly felt like pie weather lately, so I was delighted to be sent a sample of Linda McCartney Mushroom and Ale Pies.

They are the result of the ‘Search for the UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish’ competition run by Linda McCartney foods and won by home cook Kate Ford who came up with the delicious recipe.

You can find them in Sainsbury’s and cost £1.99 for a pack of two, which I think is pretty good value as they are pretty substantial offerings.

They come frozen in little foil dishes, you simply brush with a little milk, beaten egg or milk alternative and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. They puff up beautifully and turn an attractive golden colour.

The pies were easily removed from their foil cases and once sliced open revealed a hearty amount of mushrooms and lentils in a really rich looking gravy. The over-riding flavour was the ale, perhaps a little overpowering, but really very tasty and so filling I didn’t even consider a snack for the rest of the evening.

Because of the pastry I’d just serve with plenty of steamed greens, as mash would just be too much stodge.

Are you a meat eater trying to eat less meat? 

It’s not just the ethics of eating animals, it’s also about the cost of your weekly shop, not to mention the impact of meat production on the environment.

Environmental group Greenpeace estimates that every kg of beef we eat represents roughly the same greenhouse gas emissions as flying 100km and the group, Compassion in World Farming, estimate that if the average UK household halved its consumption of meat, this would cut more emissions than if they cut their car use in half.

Compelling stuff. If you want to find out more head on over to the Meat free Mondays section of Linda McCartney’s website

Thanks to Linda McCartney for my delicious samples

p.s. I am still eating meat, just a lot less!


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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6 Responses to Product review: Linda McCartney Mushroom and Ale Pie

  1. They sound good! We eat a lot of the Linda McCartney pies so a new one is most welcome. I’ll look out for it. I wonder though, if they may be too strongly flavoured for my 7yo but then I could always mix and match with the other pies in the range.

  2. Emma says:

    I have to be honest, I tried these when they first produced them (they’re the result of a public competition) and I found them pretty shocking, not up to their usual standard at all 😦

  3. Emma says:

    Actually the ale didn’t put me off (though I agree it’s probably a love/hate ingredient), it was the fact that the filling was otherwise pretty insipid. And that I had just one tiny sliver of mushroom in my whole pie – big disappointment sadly.

  4. Julia says:

    I totally agree about the insipid flavour; I also had problems cooking these. The top would brown nicely and then the bottom and sides of the patry case would be raw. What I’m doing now, to use up the one’s I’ve already bought, is cooking them, and then splitting them and putting the raw pastry back in with a little filling on top to cook more. I’m pretty disappointed with these – I have to put quite a bit of salt on the filling to make it palatable, otherwise I don’t think I could stomach it. Disappointing considering how much I love other products from their range like the lasagne with ‘beef’.

  5. Jules says:

    Hopelessly dreadful ‘pies’. Can’t imagine having a palate that thinks these are in any way enjoyable…

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