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Ingredients: water, minced beef, onions, wheat flour, vegetable oil, modified maize starch, beef extract, tomato puree, salt, malt vinegar, flavoring, sugar, monosodium glutamate, ammonia caramel

If you’re an American like me and you see a can of pie, you probably think that is bizarre. I started seeing cans of pie soon after moving here, and was always disturbed at the sight of them. I always thought, “How does that work?” It is pie filling with a layer of pie crust dough sealed into a can. The can does a pretty good job of keeping the crust on top of the filling, and then you bake it in the oven, and in about 20 minutes it is pie. In this case it is beef and onion. They also make various chicken varieties. My husband says that steak and ale is the best, but the only options I had at the 99p store was beef and onion or steak and kidney. I’m not ready to try kidneys yet.

Upon opening the can, I was pleased to see that all was okay inside. No filling or gravy leaking onto the top of the crust or anything. I baked it for the required 20-25 minutes. I should have put a baking tray under it because it leaked onto the floor of the oven a bit. The crust had puffed up really high, and the filling was bubbling, and it smelled like beef and gravy. It was a bit tricky to scoop out of the can because the crust had gotten stuck in a few places, but I eventually extricated it onto a plate.

The crust was puffed extremely high in the first few layers, and then clung limply to the filling underneath in a moist mass. So the top few layers of the flaky crust were truly flaky and crisp, while the rest was a bit on the mushy side. I had to work to get the crunchy bits evenly distributed. The crust was okay, but not particularly flavourful. The filling was not bad. It was a bit salty but definitely tasted like beef and onions. I could even see bits of onion. It had a nice bit of oniony sweetness, like a french onion soup, and the beef still retained some nice texture. However, it was salty like a cheap canned soup. It wasn’t awful, but it gave the clear and definite impression of something very processed. I wouldn’t refuse to eat this type of pie, but I don’t think I’d buy it again. For the price, you can get frozen meat pies that are a much higher quality with a much lower sodium level.

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