Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Football Pie: Oldest Football League Pie?

Mansfield Town All Steak Pukka Pie Review

A rainy and windy Tuesday night in Mansfield is what being a football supporter is all about. Under those conditions anything can happen which adds to the excitement. While anything can happen, actually nothing extraordinary did occur when we visited for the 0-0 draw with Wycombe Wanderers, although the match was fairly entertaining. When the weather is terrible it makes the match day pie even more obligatory. Rob and I both opted for the classic Pukka All Steak pie option for £3, a pie we have reviewed many times before for our football pie league.

The All Steak Pukka Pie at the One Call Stadium
However, as is often the case at the football the quality was variable. It really was a game of two halves. My pre-match pie was extremely dry which provided a contrast to the extremely wet weather. Rob's was cooked fairly well, although also dry on the bottom. I found mine was so dry the pastry had actually gone quite chewy and was difficult to eat by hand. This was very different to other football pies I have had recently which had soggy and crumbly pastry due to microwave cooking. It seemed that my Pukka had been sat above a heater element in the hot locker which had caused the bottom to burn.

Given that I got my pie before the match it was impressive that they had managed to dry it out so badly. I wondered quite how long it had been sat around for. Mansfield claim to have the oldest football league ground, dating back to 1861. Perhaps this pie had been sat in the locker since 1919 when Mansfield first started playing there? I also wondered how likely food poisoning might be after Mansfield were previously bottom of the football league in terms of their food hygiene rating.

This at least did mean that my pie had been kept warm. The molten gravy proved frustrating as it slowed me down in my pie consumption. I find my desire to devour pies often causes me to bypass my common sense. I keep taking bites somehow expecting the pie to have cooled to a reasonable temperature in the seconds that have elapsed since my previous bite. Whilst the pastry was pretty terrible the filling was just as I have come to expect from Pukka. Ample amount of thick, beefy gravy made the pastry a little more palatable but as usual it was not ideal to eat by hand because the gravy oozed out. The steak pieces weren't huge or overly abundant but none were chewy. Rob however found the opposite with a few gristly pieces.

Overall, sadly the pies weren't leaving us rushing back for more. Despite my claim that I was going to get a second pie at half time, I waited until after the match to get another Pukka pie from Kev's Fish Bar whilst we sheltered from the rain. It was both cheaper and cooked much better!

This review really highlight that whilst a lot of grounds serve similar pies, the choice of how the pies are stored, cooked and kept warm makes a massive difference!

All Steak (Mansfield Town/Pukka)


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

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Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
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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!

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