Monday, 28 September 2015
Simpson's Pie is Excellent
Simpsons of Stranraer - Scotch Pie Review
When done well a Scotch pie can be both delicious and cheap. But when spending a pound or less on a hot pie it can be a bit hit and miss, there are probably more that are 'd’oh' than 'whoohoo'! But the search is well worth it as there are some bargains to be had. Simpsons of Stranraer is one of those establishments serving up great hot pies for just one pound. I paid them a visit recently as part of my quest to find out 'What Makes the Best Scotch Pie?'.
I went to the Newton Stewart branch on a rainy afternoon to seek some shelter. The display that greeted me warmed my spirits, a display of pies is the first thing you see as you come in the door. When I requested a Scotch Pie I was asked whether I wanted the onion version or the non-onion version. I have come across some Scotch pies with onion and some without but I haven’t normally found somewhere which does both. I opted for the onion version despite the potential for hallatosis. There are many ways that pies can help you make friends but smelling of onion is not one of them. However, when you have pies, who needs friends? This pie was a pretty good companion, it was just a shame that it didn’t last long. It was delicious and slipped down so well it was gone in moments.
Condition – 5.70 out of 7 – A pleasing shape and such sharp edges, this was a pie in high definition, no wonky handmade malarkey here. I do prefer my pies not have such big holes in the top though!
Colour – 5.60 out of 7 – A slightly flour-y outside gave this pie a matt effect, which is not normally what I look for in the ultimate pie but it still looked nice.
Cheapness – 6.70 out of 7 – For £1 this pie was absolutely packed with meaty contents. Given how cheap it was I was pleased to see a sign telling me it was 16% beef. I do wonder sometimes with these cheap pies if they bulk them up with some road kill. The meat didn’t look disgusting as it can do for other cheap pies (c.f. the Greggs Scotch Pie).
Capacity – 6.00 out of 7 – It was quite big for a Scotch pie and completely full.
Chewiness – 5.50 out of 7 – The meat wasn’t at all chewy and slipped down really well. If anything it slipped down a bit too easy, it was all a bit too soft which is really the only criticism of this pie. The pastry rim was the only part that had a bit of crunch. Given that Scotch Pies use minced meat bulked out with starch it is difficult for them to obtain the satisfying texture that I would expect the ultimate pie to have. But, there is something about them which I love anyway!
Content – 6.30 out of 7 – The filling didn’t have a lot of seasoning but it didn’t need it because it was full of flavour. It was nice that it wasn’t overly salty. The fatty, rich beef flavour and strong onion taste was reminiscence of a burger and fried onions which worked well for me, but of course if you don’t like onions then steer well clear! This was a pie so pungent if eaten in public then people will turn to see what their delicious/disgusting (delete as appropriate) smell is.
Consistency – 6.40 out of 7 – Slipped down a treat, the fat made it really moist and whilst it didn’t have any gravy, the sign of a good pie was that I wouldn’t even bother pouring gravy on even if I did have some. I just wish I had gone back to try some more of their pies! So good it currently occupies 2nd place in our all time ranking of Scotch pies!
Beef & Onion Scotch Pie (Simpsons of Stranraer)