Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dining on decadence

So yesterday was entirely deranged, resulting in no post. Today we resume our irregularly scheduled program.

After my pie eating festivities I decided that having seen what a truly nasty pie can be like, it was time to see what lies at the far end of the pie spectrum. Expecting a few interesting recipes, nothing prepared me for what I was about to encounter. A bit of research lead me a mere 20 minutes down the M65 from my ancestral home of Blackburn, England to Burnley. More accurately into the doors of Burnley's Fence Gate Inn where, after eight regulars decided to celebrate a good at the office and challenged owner Kevin Berkins, 57, to create an "upmarket" pie.

A pie, the likes of which England has not seen before, was created. Steak and kidney, Melton Mowbray, nothing I have had could prepare me for what these culinary lunatics had forged. Kevin nipped out to pick up £500 of tender Wagyu fillet of beef which comes from cattle raised in such a relaxed state they are even given massages. With the beef secured he picked up some Matsutake mushrooms. For those unfamiliar with these fungal fineries (like I was) it is extremely valuable, so much so that they are harvested under guard in China due to their declining harvests. These go for £500 a kilo!! Add to that more gourmet fungus with the French Bluefoot mushrooms at £200 a kilo and Winter Black truffles at almost £500 a kilo and the price is getting scary.

Deciding that this was not decadent enough it was time to up the ante on the gravy for said pie as well. The gravy base was made with two whole bottles of vintage 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine at £1,000 a bottle. This Whole thing was wrapped in pastry like any other pie and they stood back looking at their creation with pride. It was then decided that one last touch would give it the look it deserved. The pastry for the "Golden Bon Vivant" pie was covered with edible gold leaf at a price of £100 a sheet.

When it was all done with, Kevin was quoted as saying "They wanted something special and they loved it. It started off as a bit of fun, then we got into it. We just went for the best." The final price tag on this monstrosity lands at an astonishing £8,195!! While I admire the chefs for being able to meet the challenge, and I do love a good meat pie, I can't help but wonder what the hell these lads do for a living. I go mental when my groceries come to more than $150.00 for the week!

I've had some good food, but this one would definitely top the charts for me. I wonder if they have any leftovers they can mail to me?


Blogger sands of time said...

As much as i love steak and kidney pie i won't be sampling that one at those prices.

12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Aims said...

Thank goodness I don't eat meat - I'd be even more skint!!

4:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

anything is better than sardines, custard, apples and beets!

ewwwww, I can't wait, I can believe you would eat that foul mixture!


5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

I could probably whip something together that tasted very similar to that pie, only mine would cost about 6 cents to make.

5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Nyx said...

What a pie, quite an impressive effort really. I make a pretty good vegetarian pie but I think I'll have to up the ante now and include truffle aioli and the like. Perhaps I should dispense with the gold leaf thing and chuck some solid chains into the mix..

10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

just because it's got expensive ingredients, doesn't necessarily mean it'll taste good. I wonder whether it really tastes any better than a cheap pie you'd get at a normal bakery.

2:51:00 AM  
Blogger sisiggy said...

He-he. When you say "pie" a lot of times it sounds funny. Doesn't work the same way with "cake." Only "pie." Hee!

7:56:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Ahhh...those wacky Lancastrians of my home county. Coming from Preston, I've heard all kinds of stories of what people in Burnley get up to - but this surprised even me. I think it was the word 'upmarket' in the same paragraph.

I've survived many a pie in Blackburn in my time, and Wigan of course where the old joke is a balanced diet is a pie in each hand. But the real hardcore head down to Bury - the birthplace of Black Pudding, which truly separates the men from the boys. And the inedible from the edible.

5:48:00 PM  
Blogger CharlieBeth said...

OMG! This is what I get for not blogging for a few days! How can I have missed this!

I am a Burnley Girl (luckily I managed to escape to Lancaster by the time I was 18 so I'm not too badly scared) but I have never heared of these pies.... maybe it's time for a trip home.

8:51:00 AM  

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