Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pie n Mash @ F Cooke - Crimes against Pies

I have a fondness for pie n mash, maybe because of all the stories I used to hear from my parents, aunts and uncles when I was a child about how great it was.
When I first tried it, I thought it was the blandest meal I’d ever had. Then I learnt pretty quickly that the vinegar, white pepper and salt are all there for you to make it to your liking. And like it I did.
Every pie n mash shop I’ve ever been to, sells the dish exactly the same. There is but one recipe and change it at your peril.
The mash is always smooth but never seasoned or buttery enough. A bit like mash at school in the 70’s but without the lumps. The pies are made with a cold water pastry with a lovely minced meat filling that a tad of vinegar brings to life.
The green liquor, which I used to deplore, has become a staple on my plate these days. Something about that eel water and parsley that has a hook in me now.
I’d never been in a F Cooke Pie n Mash shop before. But I was expecting everything to be as I’ve eaten countless times before. But it wasn’t quite there.
The mash was as it is always, smooth but bland. The liquor was green and not too thin that it ran around the plate, it was pretty spot on.
The problem was the pie. The filling was good after a drop of vinegar and white pepper on it to bring the bugger to life.
It was the pastry. It was like cardboard, bloody hard and old. I not sure how long they had been stuck in that small oven on the counter waiting to be sold, but it was more than a day. The pastry was so hard, I could of done with a knife to cut it. Normally a spoon suffices but on this occasion it was rock solid. Not a happy man.
The girl behind the counter was less than interested, and seemed annoyed that people were coming into the shop and was taking her away from her texting marathon.
I was less than impressed with my first venture into an F Cooke shop if the truth be told, that I’m not sure if I want to venture into one again, but as I am a sucker for these things I probably will, but maybe not this branch on Broadway Market.

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