Saturday 9 January 2016

Goal-Den Football Pies at Millwall?

Millwall Football Pie Review - Steak and Ale from The Pie Factory

When it comes to football, there can't be a more famous cup competition than the FA Cup. The history, the legend... but also plenty of cupsets! So with the infamous third round ties about to get underway, we rate the pie we had in Round 2 as Wycombe caused a shock at The Den against higher ranked Millwall with a stoppage-time winner! Would the pie rate highly or upset the fans in the stands?

The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The pies in question were marketed as by ‘The Pie Factory’ which was a company we had previously come across at Northampton FC. Having rated the Steak and Ale pie while watching the Cobblers, Pierateers RAS and SJL were intrigued by the option of the meat and potato pie on offer - alongside the steak and ale and chicken Balti pies we were told were on sale. It therefore came as a surprise to both of us then when we got to our seats that what we actually got served was the Steak and Ale, as there weren't any meat and potato there (we just weren't told this!)

It was a shame this therefore wasn't a new flavour to add to the Pieremiership table, however we were pleased that after a few bites it was clear that the pie was a lot better quality than the version we had at the Sixfields Stadium. Once again the pies certainly looked good - golden brown in colour with a nice, crisp flaky pastry on top, but this time we weren't so disappointed with the filling. Sure, we wouldn't go as far as saying it would challenge at the top of the Pieremiership, but it was good to see that they were selling a much improved pie at the Den than they had at Northampton. It really highlighted to us what difference it makes when a pie is more thoroughly cooked and not dried out at a football ground, as I think the need for speed of service can often hinder the perfect pie being sold in football grounds up and down the country.

If anything, the pie at Millwall was probably a little too cooked, which made the pastry rather crunchy and flakes immediately fell off upon biting into it. However the extra baking meant the pie held together quite well, as nothing's worse than a football pie which collapses in on itself and falls apart, getting gravy all down your football shirt! Sure it still did break up a bit, but nowhere near as badly as some football pies we've had! It tasted decent too, due to the quite well filled capacity, with a decent amount of steak and soft, tender meaty chunks. There was still quite a lot of gravy though to bulk it out, which was a reasonably sour taste from the ale but a reasonable flavour.

At £3.40 this is on the more expensive end for a mass produced football pie, which reduces the cheapness score but certainly after some of the football pies we've eaten recently, it made a change to have a football pie I would be happy to eat again!

The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The Pie Factory Steak and Ale

Condition – 4 out of 7 - Looked pretty appealing, nice and tall. Particularly crisp, golden lid. Held together quite well.
Colour – 4 out of 7 – Quite golden on top but sides paler, a bit matt rather than glossy.
Cheapness – 3 out of 7 – £3.40 is quite a bit above average for a football league pie - especially one that's mass produced - and despite being decent meat content for a football pie, in the grand scheme of things this still didn’t feel like great value.
Capacity – 4.5 out of 7 – Quite tall and big capacity but still a reasonable airgap at the top. Whilst it looked like it would be satisfying, overall there was an air of disappointment. I would prefer a smaller pie without the airgap. Still, above average for a football pie!
Chewiness – 4.5 out of 7 – Pastry was a lot crisper and more enjoyable than before. Not much chewiness to the meat.
Content – 4.50 out of 7 - It was nice that the ale was noticeable but was a little too sour. The meat that was there was nice enough but still a bit too much of a gravy pie top marks!
Consistency – 4.50 out of 7 – Much improved on the Pie Factory pie previously eaten. A lot more meat and far better pastry, more cooked.

Steak and Ale (Millwall FC/The Pie Factory)

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