Thursday, 3 December 2015

Pierate advises BBC One's Rip Off Britain on football pies

The BBC have once again called upon the Pierateers to find out what makes a great pie! The team from BBC's Rip Off Britain called upon our ex-pie-tise to advise on football pies, following our TV debut on Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and appearing on the BBC Sport website in their video on pies related to the Price of Football Survey.

Rip Off Britain Pie Review
Pierateer Rob on BBC's Rip Off Britain
Pierateer Rob - who was the chosen pie expert for the show - is seen talking about the quality of British football pies and whether they really are a rip off or not. For the eager pie-d among you, you'll know that the clip on Rip Off Britain this lunchtime was actually the same footage as back in April, but it's clearly a big talking point as it's been shown once again!

In the clip (which can be view on BBC Pie-player for the next month and features us in the pie story from minute 18 to minute 26 and Pierateer Rob specifically in minute 22), Bradford City fan Kevin was questioning the quality and price of the pies at his local football club. Like us, Kevin thinks a half time pie is part and parcel of football culture in Britain. When you think football, you think half time pie. What better during those cold, winter evenings to warm the heart, as well as the hands, during the half time interval as you watch your local team? But is that actually what people do? Or has the quality and price of football pies put off the regular football fan? Do the caterers even have enough pies to go round? And if fans do buy a pie, is it piefection or are football fans being held to ransom? Find out in the episode!

We at will readily admit we are first and foremost a pie rating website, rather than specifically a football pie rating website, but we’re looking to delve further into the provision of football pies as we develop our Pieremiership of football’s best half time pies.

We've rated over 500 pies, including a number of football pies

But while we realise we haven’t eaten anywhere near enough pies in different football grounds yet – despite having over 500 pies rated in our Pie Rankings from many of the regular football pie manufacturers like Pukka Pies, Holland’s Pies and Peter’s Pies – we have always been a fan of eating a golden pastry product in the football stadiums we’ve visited. And in our minds what’s more important than simply the price of the pie is how the pie rates. Is it a soggy disappointment, overly dry or lacking in content or does it meet the 7 criteria we Pierateers look for in a pie?

In our view, it’s all about a great tasting pie – filling and pastry - which is value for money. You can find out more about what makes a great rated pie by reading about the 7 Cs of pie rating. However what makes a great football pie?

Here are a few specific pointers for making the perfect football pie:

Firstly, it’s got to be cooked properly. Sadly, in the rush to serve so many customers in such a short space of time, food at football grounds can be undercooked or left sat in a hot locker for far too long, making the pie taste bad or even be pretty much inedible. We have unfortunately fallen foul to a few pies being served to us either undercooked or over baked. Naturally, the rating of such pies is badly affected.

Secondly, the football pie has got to be something you can pick up in your hands and bite into, without it crumbling all over the place. Quite a few football pies can be too soft to pick up or crumble all over the place when bitten into, so a firm but crisp pastry casing is key.

Finally, the consistency of the pie filling has got to be just right. Naturally we want a meat pie to be filled to capacity with nice, tender meaty chunks, but we also expect the viscosity of the gravy or sauce to be well thought through so that it is flavoursome but not too runny, as the last thing you want is gravy down your football shirt!

Morecambe FC British Pie Awards 2014
Morecambe FC won the British Pie Awards in 2012 and 2014!
All this has got to be provided at a reasonable price that leaves the fan going away happy and without a huge dent in the wallet, otherwise it's certainly a rip-off!

Featuring in the Rip Off Britain episode, one football ground has seemingly found the perfect reci-pie for the half time pastry snack, producing some of the highest rated pies on Pierate, let alone best football pies! Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC has won several titles at the British Pie Awards for the quality of his pies, including being British Pie Awards Supreme Champion 2014, where unsurprisingly we were there as one of the judges.

In summary, we think there’s nothing better than a warm, hearty pie to get you through half time. But the key thing is that they have got to be top rated pies! Too often the pies are not only overly expensive but are just not up to scratch, either too dry or undercooked. So as well as checking out the price of pies, we’ll be making sure we rate as many as possible on our 7 Cs of pie rating so that you know what pies to purchase and don't get ripped off!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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