Mouton, Cristal, Wagyu beef...world's priciest pie polished off in Burnley
- Thursday 17 November 2005
The First Growth sauce – the two bottles were reduced to one to intensify the flavour – was by no means the most expensive ingredient in the steak and mushroom pie created by chef Spencer Burge at the Fence Gate Inn in Burnley, Lancs.
The pie was made with Japanese Wagyu beef, famed for its unique marbling, velvety texture – and price tag of about £500 a kilo.
There were Chinese mushrooms so rare they are picked under armed guard, black truffles, 24ct gold leaf – and a couple of bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé to wash it all down.
With the mushrooms costing around £2000, and the Mouton worth about £375 a bottle, a slice of the pie was on the menu at £1000. There were eight slices. Add to that the price of a bottle of Cristal Rosé - £200 – and the meal turned out to be an expensive one.
Fence Gate owner Kevin Berkins acknowledged it was somewhat extravagant. ‘But once you’ve started making a sauce with 82 Mouton, you’ve passed the point of no return. That’s why we felt we had to have the Cristal to match. To eat that kind of pie with beer would have been not quite right.’
He admitted he did ‘shed a tear’ as he rendered down the claret to make the sauce – having drunk a ‘delicious’ glass of it.
The pie was made on Monday and ordered by a table of eight that evening. Berkins would not reveal names, but said they were all local people.
Berkins also said that being interviewed by Decanter required a certain amount of courage. ‘I knew you’d be the people to say, “You idiot, what do you think you’re doing with that wine?”’