Home-made mince and onion pie

Hugh Thompson of Bellingham

For an avowed devotee of the pie, your correspondent has historically been purist at best, at worst conservative.  Chicken, steak, steak and kidney: these are all pies with which one can do business. The drive afforded by this organ to seek out new material has resulted in the revisitation of establishments whose more mainstream offerings have already been appraised. Such was the case with Hugh Thompson of Bellingham.

A mince and onion pie was duly purchased. The pastry from this establishment is very distinctive. Juices from the filling invariably escape onto the crust during baking, leading to extreme colouration, which is by no means to be damned. As with previous encounters, however, the base tends toward the undercooked.

As with their steak pie, the filling is unusual. It is packed with meat, to the extent that there is no gravy or sauce at all. This is not by definition a failing, as a meat and potato pie will witness. Initial impressions of this filling were noncommittal. Low on flavour, there was something about it which was hard to identify.

However, drawing on considerable experience, the conclusion was eventually reached that this pie tastes precisely like a fast-food burger encased in pastry. Seasoning was non-existent, which is astonishing, given the ocean of salt present in this establishment’s home-made steak pie, and the onion, while undeniably present and detectable, succeeded only in placing this pie under the dread golden arches in the taste stakes.

This pie will probably be to some consumers’ tastes. The dry texture is interesting, and the crust pleasant. However, it is not for this critic. Perhaps the addition of ketchup, mustard, a processed cheese slice, and sliced gherkin would elevate it, but there are some depths to which one must never stoop.