Monday, 3 September 2018

Football Pie: Stick a Pie in your Plymouth

Plymouth Football Club - Ginsters Peppered Steak Pie

On the Pierate Ship we can be a bit cautious about the South West. It is the pasty heartlands and whilst there are many decent pasty products, we maintain that a pasty is not a pie. But of course, everyone agrees with us on this point, it is not like a pasty would ever win the British Pie Awards.....


Often, because of the dominance of pasties, our beloved pie can be squeezed out. Hence I had a bit of trepidation about heading South to Plymouth Argyle for the match against Wycombe Wanderers. Would they even sell any pies to add to the Pierate Football Pie League?

Entering the ground I started to worry, there were a lot of Ginster's adverts (they are even Argyle's main shirt sponsor). We have reviewed some Ginster's pies but they tend to be rare, with their fame mostly associated with the Cornish pasty. I needn't have worried, as well as a range of pasties they also had Ginster's Peppered Steak and Chicken Balti pies; a very wide range of pastry products. I opted for the Peppered Steak for £3.50, slightly more pricey than average for the size of pie (which was a bit smaller than a Pukka). It was presented well in an eco-friendly paper bag. This not only prevents adding to the mountain of plastic in our environment but also seemed to have allowed the pie to breath whereas football pies in plastic/polystyrene can often be soggy. It had been sat on a warm counter which had kept it hot. The good Condition that this pie was served in was the biggest success for the Plymouth pie. It seems like they have a well organised catering team, making sure the food is cooked at just the right time rather than sitting around for ages and becoming dried out which is often the case for other football pies. Taking the pie out of the bag it looked pretty good, although it had sagged in the middle. It also looked a bit 'top heavy' with the pastry lid extending wider than the rest of the pie to make it look bigger than it actually was. It looked quite different to the supermarket Ginster's steak pie that TJP previously reviewed and I was certainly hoping for a better score than the dismal 2.32 out of 7 which that version picked up!

Delving into the pie it was immediately obvious to me that it was better than TJP's version. The pastry was perfectly cooked, quite rare for a football pie and quite difficult when you are cooking hundreds at once. Hats off to the Plymouth catering team for that. The lid had a nice crunch to it with a slight biscuit taste. The sides were softer, but not too soft, having also been properly cooked. There were identifiable pieces of steak, although they were perhaps a bit small compared to other 'steak' pies. There were also unexpected pieces of potato, which were fine and added some variety although I did initially think they were massive pieces of fat. There was a nice thick sauce, enough to keep it moist but not an excessive amount like you get in a Pukka pie. This was good because it meant the pie could be eaten by hand without making a mess, ideal for a football pie. The pastry also held together well. However, there was a lack of filling given the small capacity and the fact that the lid had sagged.

My main note of caution was that when they say 'peppered steak' they mean PEPPERED Steak. There really was a big hit of pepper. I love pepper but I think it might be a bit much for some people. You could actually see the big pieces of pepper within the pie. The peppery taste in combination with the potato reminded me of that classic Cornish pasty taste! Perhaps no surprise when it is Ginster's making the pie. It was a really nice change and I did enjoy this pie, but it is not something I would be looking to eat regularly outside of the football. Given how well it was cooked, this pie claims a reasonable mid-table position in the Pierate Football Pie League.


Plymouth/Ginsters (Peppered Steak)
4.45/7
SJL






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