With Christmas just around the corner it is the perfect time to try some goose stuffed into a pie. I’m a fan of goose and every year have a go at persuading my family to forego dry old turkey and give goose a go, every year I fail. This is partly due to the fact that the ratio of money pounds to pounds of goose meat is not great and also down to the fact that my dad is one of the worlds fussiest eaters and if we put goose in front of him it might just ruin his Christmas and nobody wants that on their conscience. So I am stuck with turkey and have to get my goose fix in other ways and luckily for me Tom Kerridge stepped up to the plate.
Last week I wrote about a dodgy panna cotta that Tom created for his Chef of the Season range at Harrod’s. It was a big disappointment but everyone can have an off day and so I have given him a second chance with his goose and ale pie. To be fair, a pie is more Tom’s thing than a panna cotta, he’s all about big hearty, delicious yet refined food and his pie looked a real beauty.
Initially I was planning to take the pie into work and eat it for lunch, but Tom suggested it would be at it’s best warmed up so I stuck it in the oven and had it for dinner. It came out looking like something from a photo shoot, it was perfect! An evenly baked golden brown pastry housing generous lumps of meat, and shreds of green cabbage, it looked incredible. The only negative was that it appeared to be dry due to a lack of ale based gravy, but apart from that win win win.
I took a bite and after some brief mastication soon realised that whilst it was a looker, it had no personality to speak of. There was a vast selection of textures but no flavours. The pastry was crumbly but tasted of nothing. The meat was a bit tough and chewy and considering the hefty punch of flavour you’d expect from goose, it tasted of nothing. The cabbage had some crunch, however it tasted of nothing. The lack of gravy really became evident in the eating as the more I chewed the more moisture got sucked from my mouth until chewing became such a chore that a drop of Bisto would have been welcomed with open arms. I don’t think the pie had been seasoned at all and I’m at a loss as to where the ale was.
I can’t remember the last time I ate something that came with so much promise, but delivered so poorly and I’m surprised that it was Tom Kerridge who let the side down.
As I mentioned in the panna cotta post the food at the Hand and Flowers is delicious and the recipes in Tom’s books are great (we’re particularly fond of his chicken kiev) so if you want to sample some of his food then save up and book at the Hand and Flowers or buy one of his books, but give Harrod’s a wide birth!
Tom Kerridge Goose and Ale Pie £6.95 from Harrod’s