Monday, 30 January 2017

Football Pie: Tottenham Hotpies

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club/Piglets Pantry - Steak & Ale Pie Review

It is still difficult to find the words to talk about Wycombe's 4-3 loss at White Hart Lane. Really proud that our fan owned team were so close to causing an upset. The atmosphere was great amongst the Wycombe fans who were determined to enjoy the occasion. The Tottenham fans even applauded us at the end which was a nice moment. The match will live long in my memory.... but then so will the pies.


My brief research indicated the pies would be mass produced and probably not all that good. However, entering the concourse of the imaginatively named Upper South Stand, I got a sense that the pies might actually be a bit special. Pies seemed to be the main attraction at the food kiosks with an attractive 'N17 Pie Club' branding which was even printed on the pies themselves. They looked a bit more gourmet than pies at your typical football ground and had a slightly handcrafted appearance. These were certainly not Pukka pies... They also looked a bit bigger than average. My Dad and I both opted for the classic Steak & Ale which was useful as it allowed me to get a second opinion on what turned out to be a very good pie.

What I had missed in my research was the big summer signing at Tottenham, the gourmet pie company known as Piglet's Pantry! I knew these boutique pies from the South Coast started at Brighton and could also be bought at MK Dons because Pierateer Rob had previously reviewed them very highly (putting them 3rd in our Football Pie League). But I hadn't realised that Piglet's Pantry had started to supply a burgeoning number of football grounds including Reading, Swansea, Leicester and most excitingly, Tottenham. This was disguised by the fact that Piglet's Pantry didn't use their logo at all at Tottenham, so I only realised later.


The Piglet's Pantry pie was nearly perfect for a football match. The thick pastry held it together nicely so that it could actually be picked up and eaten by hand. It had been cooked really well compared to a lot of football pies. The pastry was satisfyingly solid. Often football pies can have soft pastry, either because they are not cooked for long enough, or the dreaded convection microwave shortcut is used. If anything the pastry was a little too thick and almost a bit chewy. But the addition of herbs to the pastry crust made it taste great so this didn't really bother me. I could have eaten the pastry by itself which is always a good sign.

The pie was well filled with plenty of meat and a thick gravy. The thick gravy was very much appreciated as it prevented the pie from becoming too much of a mess. The filling was a delight due to a great balance of flavours from both the meat and the ale. The ale gave a pleasant, hoppy and sour taste without being over powering. The flavour wasn't wildly different to that you would expect from a mass produced steak & ale pie but it did enough to stand out.


The meat in the pie could have been a bit softer, it was bordering on overly chewy (although it was nice to have something to get my teeth into). There were also some soggy fat pieces which I didn't enjoy so much. But overall the pie was very satisfying, it felt like I had got more for my money that I normally do with a football pie and I am delighted to see these good quality pies becoming more common at football grounds. What impresses me with Piglet's Pantry is that they are still maintaining high standards despite increasing production, which must be a challenge. They are also keeping things interesting by providing bespoke pies to different football clubs which prevents the boring homogenisation experienced by the growth of companies like Pukka.

However, it is worth noting that I had forked out a #PieHighPrice of £4 for this pie which has affected the score. Yes, it was a premium product but these premium pies can be purchased for less at other grounds and £4 is a lot for one pie. Having said that, I would rather pay £4 for this pie than £3.50 for a dehydrated Pukka pie! Good luck to Piglet's Pantry as they continue to raise standards!

Find out where this pie ranks in our Football Pie League

It was great to be able to go to a game at White Hart Lane before Tottenham move out at the end of this season for it to be rebuilt. One corner of the ground had already been knocked down and work on part of the new stadium is already well underway. I hope Tottenham continue to use Piglet's Pantry in the new White Hart Lane although I am not sure if they will have much control while they temporarily relocate to Wembley.

As pie standards at football grounds continue to improve, it is an exciting time for us. We will continue to tour different grounds and let you know where the best can be found!

Steak & Ale (Tottenham Hotspur/Piglet's Pantry)
5.58/7

SJL


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