I’m born and bred in the Black Country. So for me Mad O’Rourke’s is a bit of a local institution. It’s located in Tipton, in the heart of the Black Country, and I’ve been there a number of times to sample their famous pies. Up until recently you needed to go to Mad O’Rourke’s to try the pies. But the family-run business has started shipping out its delicacies by post, to allow pie aficionados from across the country the chance to sample its wares.
Pies By Post has a host of cheekily-named pies including the Hen Pecked, packed with chicken and chestnut mushrooms in a classic creamy sauce; the 100 % Bullocks, with best cuts of beef slowly cooked in its famous gravy; the Andy Murray, a delicious chicken curry pie; and the Eeny Meeny Beeny – a vegan offering with a mixture of beans, mushrooms and garlic in a tomato and chilli sauce. You can see the full range here.
I was sent some pies to try out. They came well packaged and undamaged which is always good to see when you are receiving food through a delivery service. I popped them straight in the fridge. You can keep them in the fridge for 3 days, or alternatively you can freeze them until you are ready to use them.
The pies are made using traditional methods. A pie paste is used that creates a lovely shortcrust pastry. It’s good to know too that the ingredients are sourced locally. Most of the meat comes from Shropshire and the vegetables come from the local market.
It’s really easy to have the pies ready to eat. They just need 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees from chilled and 40-50 at 190 degrees from frozen. There’s even a cheat’s hint in the instructions: microwave for 2 minutes, before blasting in a hot oven for another 2. I tried mine following the 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees from chilled instruction.
This is the Steak and Stilton pie, also known as Posh ‘n’ Becks. I was intrigued to know what this one was like. I love a steak pie, but I wasn’t sure about the addition of stilton. Stilton is such a strong flavour, it could easily overwhelm the beef. I need not have worried though as it was perfectly balanced. The Stilton is there for a bit of a kick and to add some flavouring, but it doesn’t overwhelm the tender beef.
In all the pies I tried the meat was of very good quality and very tender. I loved the pastry. The pies stood up to the oven and their fillings and the pastry was intact when they came out of the oven. I was really pleased at this as I hate a leaky pie. It’s a difficult balance getting the moistness of the filling right without impacting on the pastry. This was managed wonderfully on the steak as well as the steak and stilton pies, I tried. The chicken and mushroom pie was a bit drier than I’d have liked. The sticky rib and the curry pies were about right.
Overall I was really impressed by the quality of the pies and it’s great to support a local business. Currently priced at 6 pies for £24 with free delivery and you can pick out a mixture of pies for your delivery. I love that you can even add in a couple of bottles of Lumphammer beer for your delivery.
Disclosure: I was sent a selection of pies for the purposes of this review.