Quorn Mince & Potato Pies – a review…

As advertised, I finally re-dipped my toe into the ocean of vegetarianism last night. Been here before, of course – I was a veggie from 1986 to around 2005. If that’s a bit vague it’s because it fizzled out rather than came to an abrupt halt. It still rumbles on, in fact, as I have regular veggie meals. It’s just not full time.

I have, as regular readers will know, had several abortive attempts at a return to veggiedom, of which this is the latest. Attempted return, that is, not necessarily abortive. Yet 😉  And not entirely veggie, I’m afraid, Until my legs can be stopped from leaking (lymphorrhoea), my best – only – chance of survival is a high-protein diet (I’ve covered this in detail elsewhere ), and I don’t see that I can get this on a veggie diet. True, it would be absolutely fine at providing normal levels of protein – we don’t need a hell of a lot, just a few ounces a day – but I doubt it would compensate for my losses, so there will be meat and fish here and there, usually for lunch

Last night, then, it was a choice between two of Old Mother McCartney’s Cheese, Leek, and Red Onion Plaits (could be allium overkill here – leeks being far more assertive than red onions), or a pair of Quorn Mince and Potato Pies.

I settled on the Quorn pies and I have to say that, finally, after several decades of failing miserably, they’ve got the texture of the mince spot on. Pity it ends there.

These do have the capacity to be really good pies, but they seem utterly devoid of seasoning and – almost – of flavour. Back in the mid 80s, Sainsbury’s did a family steak pie, and hidden on the back of the box was the fact that a proportion of the “steak” was Quorn. But here’s the thing – there was no way of telling which was meat and which was pretending – it was all the same taste and texture, which proves that, even in the early days, Quorn had the capacity to be very much better than it has ever been under its own label.

Anyway – the pies. Lots of mince, great texture, poor flavour, studded with undercooked bits of potato and carrot. There was, allegedly, onion and swede in there too, but if there was it eluded me.

The pastry case was odd, too, the base appeared to be short crust while the top was definitely puff not, for me at least, a happy combination – I prefer all short crust.

So, to sum up, what we have here is a product with great potential, profoundly let down in the execution and that, I’m afraid, sums up the entire Quorn experience for me, and always has.

In my freezer, though, I have several packs of Quorn sausages, which I’m going to prepare with beans of various sorts (some even Heinz baked beans). They will not, however, no matter how traditional it is with sausage and beans, be fried, as there’s a better way – watch this space…



4 thoughts on “Quorn Mince & Potato Pies – a review…

  1. Oh dear, used to like the ‘Country Pies’ but they seem to have vanished off the face of the earth. The Leek plat things put me off as I think they are going to be high fat.

    • You sure you’re not thinking of Old Mother McCartney’s Country Pies? They’re still around. The Plaits are 16% fat. High, but tolerable as an occasional treat – if they’re any good, that is.

      Just having a home-made ready meal – Braised Soya Burgers, new spuds, onion gravy and peas – pretty damn good.

      As soon as I can stand up without wishing I hadn’t, I’m making some veggie sausages. I made some a couple of years ago


      but had to use sausage casings to hold them together. Next time I’ll try using Xanthan gum as a binder although, for my own use, I can live with the casings as the amount used is tiny – 7g of casings makes 1.5kg of sausages.

      Haggis – NOT veggie! – is also on the agenda.

  2. If you stumble upon them on offer (I tend to think around £1.00ish for three tins is a good offer) then Branston baked beans are superior to Heinz. I stopped buying Heinz years ago when there were just too many tiny, hard beans in a too thin sauce.

    I can’t remember if you have a pressure cooker, but I have a lentil and tomato soup recipe that is fantastic, uses almost no power (using a pressure cooker), and probably uses up very few spoons. I’d be happy to send it to you if you’re interested.

    • Going to have to give you an argument here. I used to love Branston beans – when they were new. Now, though they’re grossly under-cooked and rock hard, and the sauce leaves a great deal to be desired. Presentation is good – very few broken beans (cos they’re so hard, presumably!), and well coated with sauce, but you can’t eat presentation.

      It’s true, Heinz do use a smaller bean, which tends to break (a fault with other beans too, like cannellini – it’s in the bean, not the fault of the canner, and affects their eating quality not at all), and, at the moment, Heinz are the best available (not those in the microwave snap-packs though, which are a tad strange).

      Yep, post your recipe by all means.

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