CHEAP FOOD I LOVE #4: Fray Bentos Pies

An office conversation reminded me of these delights, which I’ve regretfully given up as they are too obviously unhealthy even for me. The basic idea is PIE IN A TIN – you open the tin to reveal a gelid expanse of pastry, after half an hour in the oven it is a crisp, lightly brown puffed-up beauty concealing a bubbling lake of steak and kidney goodness (NB no individual piece of meat in a Fray Bentos pie is identifiable as either steak or kidney, I assume in the intense heat of gas mark 8 they have fused into a new wonder food.).

I used to eat these quite a lot at University. They are packed with lab-bred flavour and went well with peas, the perfect fortifier before stepping out on a night of boozing. Fray Bentos are unusual in that to the best of my knowledge they make nothing other than their pies, and also in that they don’t have a proper website (heroic resistance to the era of cross-channel branding, this). The obvious URL is taken by an amateur football team.