CONTRIBUTOR REVIEW: Echuca Piehouse

I welcome piesaregoodforyou‘s first contributor review, written by Boof; a fellow pie enthusiast.

Left: Beef & Pepper. Right: Lamb and Mint.

Left: Beef & Pepper. Right: Lamb and Mint.

Located smack in the middle of Hare Street, Echuca Piehouse describe themselves as “a fresh new concept delivering on its promise of Australias (sic) best pies.” Approaching the counter of this tiny establishment one is presented with a list of awards and medals that the bakery has won during it’s short lifespan. Buying into the hype I decided to go with a Beef with Cracked Pepper Pie, which apparently won gold at the 2012 Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition. At $4.10 it looked a decent size. As I was about to leave I spotted a lone Lamb and Mint pie sitting in the warmer, which I hastily decided to adopt. Good thing I did, as it turns out.

Pastry: Not great, not bad. Flakey and slightly moist; not too rigid, and not too soft. Very inoffensive taste and texture. This was the same for both pies.

 Meat: Now, I’m the kind of guy who likes pepper. I add it, liberally, to just about everything. Can’t get enough of the stuff. Or so I thought. Eating the Beef with Cracked Pepper Pie is like being punched by an angry guy made entirely of pepper, and he stuck his hands in your mouth while you were lying dazed on the floor. It’s just way too much. To the point of being gross. I never thought I’d say that about pepper, but god damn. You’d be forgiven for not noticing the beef; while the gravy is thick and oozing, the meat is so soft and in such small chunks that I didn’t even realise I’d eaten it.

Beef VS Lamb. Or Pepper VS Mint? Which will prevail?

On the flip side, the Lamb and Mint pie was delicious. Stuffed full of big chunks of lamb, perfectly cooked, with a fresh, subtle hint of mint that complements it perfectly. The gravy is thick and meaty, and mixed through with green peas. This is a pie I can get excited about.

 Overall Satisfaction: For the Lamb and Mint, pretty high. It’s a great pie, full of rich, refreshing flavours and lamb that melts in your mouth. The Beef with Cracked Pepper pie, however, will make your face melt off. It’s a fiery assault on your taste-buds that leaves you feeling thirsty and wondering were the beef was that they talked about.

 Cost to Satisfaction Ratio: The Beef with Cracked Pepper was $4.10, seemingly pretty cheap for a nationally award winning pie. Except that the pie isn’t that good. The Lamb and Mint was a few cents dearer, closer to $5, but I’ve paid more for worse pies. While not huge, the pies are a decent size. And the shear amount of stuff packed into the Lamb and Mint pie justifies it.

Gradings:

Beef with Cracked Pepper: F

Lamb and Mint: B+

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