Friday 1 September 2017

Football Pie Review: A Vale-iant effort?

Rating the steak football pie at Port Vale FC by Wrights

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Cross section of my Wrights Steak Pie
After a slightly fraught end to my journey to Stoke I finally paid for my ticket by card and got through the turnstiles, having realised I only had enough cash to either buy my ticket OR buy a pie – but not both! Schoolboy error!

In any case, the match at Vale Park – which was on a surprisingly sunny Saturday afternoon, unlike your typical “cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke” that has become a bit of a cliché – was about to kick off when I arrived, hence there being absolutely no-one in the queue in front of me and free access to the food bar! After a slightly awkward conversation with a steward about why I was taking a photo of the food menu – “Are you lost?” “No… just taking a photo for a food blog I write…” – I ordered my Wrights Steak Pie and made my way to my seat behind the goal.

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Matchday is Pie Day! Agreed!
Simply served in a silver foil tray, I could immediately tell why the lady at the bar gave me a few napkins to hold the pie in, as it was steaming hot! Clearly the hot locker had been doing its job, which gave me a few extra minutes to sit down, take a few photos and cheer the lads out before the whistle blew and I was ready to take my first bite!

The pie was pretty golden in colour and while not looking particularly large it was just £2.50, one of the cheaper football pies I’ve bought. I soon found out why…

Did you see that we recently contributed to the Coral Pie Premier League article to find out fan's views on Premier League pies? We dissect it in our "We bet you'll want to know the top football pies!" article.

Also see their short one minute video below for a summary of their results, including a shock response to the nation's favourite half time snack!

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Taking the pie out of the foil to take my first bite, the large overhang of lid pastry was immediately apparent. I took a first bite and all I got was quite dry, biscuity pastry. My second was hardly any better, and in fact it wasn’t until about bite four that I got anything resembling a meaty chunk and some proper gravy. The pastry overhang, in comparison to what was quite a small pie, was in my eyes far too large (if indeed needed at all), so I had to keep biting through in order to get to the meaty chunks in the middle!

Finally some flavour! In fairness, the meat and gravy was actually quite nice for a “just steak” pie. I turned the pie upside down and could see how small the base of the pie was in comparison to the lid. The base was significantly smaller and explained the experience of dry overhang pastry I’d suffered from in the first few bites. The base pastry was significantly softer and actually quite pleasant, so I focused on eating that with the meat and gravy. However that wouldn’t cut the mustard when it came to rating the pie, and one of the chunks of meat was also particularly chewy, which didn’t help either (though overall the meat and gravy was the redeeming feature!)

Wrights Steak Pie Review
Soooo much pastry overhang on the two sides!!
In the end I struggled to finish the pie due to the excessive dry pastry edge and felt short changed at even £2.50 for a football pie. While the pie didn’t collapse in the way that my Wrights pie at Wolverhampton Wanderers had (reviewed in the article I wrote for Buzzfeed), it seemed to have gone the other way and been overly solid, especially the lid. Hopefully Wrights can find a happy medium next time!

Wrights Steak Pie
Score: 3.32/7
[Colour 4, Capacity 3, Consistency 2, Condition 3, Chewiness 3.25, Cheapness 3.5, Content 4.5]

We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies

As for the match itself, Wycombe Wanderers dominated the vast majority of the match, cruising to a 3-0 lead within the first half hour. At that point I was seriously thinking I’d see Wycombe score more goals than this pie would score on the 7 Cs! But with just 5 minutes to go and the points seemingly in the bag, Wycombe coughed up two quite simple goals and had to hang on for a 3-2 win in the end!

More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Regulars to our pie blog will know we're the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! Two years ago we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

Check out our PIEremiership article and you'll find that Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC makes his pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Top work Graham and the team!


Want to find out what the Pierateers really make of the state of the (pie) game in English Football? Check out our analysis in our Pies of Football 2016 article to find out what makes a great football pie!

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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