Ben Simmons isn’t the only Aussie snack that made his debut at the Wells Fargo Center this year.
The Four N’ Twenty Beef Pie has also come to town, bringing an Australian sports snack to the States. I had to try it.
First things first: What is the meat? While the package says Beef, and it’s got Beef, it is, by Australian law, listed as containing at least 25% meat (beef and mutton). Or, as the Sydney Morning Herald noted in a trip to the factory in 2009:
Mindful of the old "lips and arseholes" myth, it's a relief to find that Patties uses 27 kilogram boxes of 85 per cent lean frozen beef and mutton, mostly shoulder meat. The meat comes ready boned, but the boxes are still X-rayed for bone and stray metal before being minced coarsely... The mutton and spices give this pie its characteristic flavour.
And what else is in there? Wheat flour, Water, Margarine (Animal fats, Vegetable oils, Water, Salt, Emulsifiers (322 (Soy), 471), Antioxidant (307b (Soy)), Colour (160a), Flavour, Acidity regulators (330, 331)), Thickeners (1422, 412), Reconstituted onions, Textured soy protein, Carrots, Salt, Colours (150c, 160a), Hydrolysed vegetable protein, Yeast, Sugar, Mineral salts (500, 341, 450), Emulsifier (481), Rice flour, Spice extracts, Milk solids. We good?
Now that the technicalities are out of the way, let’s talk Meat Pie.
Firstly, it’s hot. When I asked for one around halftime of Wednesday’s game - to the
“why does everyone want the damn meat pies?” incredulity of the concession staffer - I had to wait a minute or two before getting it because they were “getting hot.” And boy were they. The pie, in it’s plastic wrapping, was handed to me in a little paper boat because the package was super hot to the touch. How do I know? Because I grabbed the package and immediately dropped it on the floor. Which brings us to our next point.
Durability. Again, to clarify, the pie is in a package, so when it was dropped, no portion of the actual food touched the ground. But with the 5-foot-or-so fall from my now very hot fingertips to the ground, the pie escaped with a small dent and - I didn’t think I would ever type these words in this order - no meat leakage. You don’t want any meat leakage. The hockey puck-ish sized pie was intact and still piping hot, but I had to dig in.
It tasted....basically exactly how I expected. I compared the inner texture to a sloppy joe, though the flavor isn’t the same. My brother compared it to Salisbury Steak which I cannot co-sign because Salisbury Steak is the world’s most garbage food. I put the quality and heartiness somewhere above your standard arena hot dog but obviously lower than your full sandwiches and topped nachos and what have you. The Australian Beef Pie gets a 7.5 out of 10 Schmitter’s, which is the scale for sports food that I just invented.
A few final notes:
- I did not, despite the urging of Aussies, put ketchup on the pie because I generally don’t put ketchup on things.
- It’s not cheap. I don’t recall exactly how much it was because it wasn’t the only part of my transaction, but it’s on the lower end of the stadium food costs, so, less than a beer.
- While I was hungry and it was hot and good so I liked it, I can’t help but think a piping hot meat pie would actually be suited better for an outside sport like football when it’s really cold out. THAT seems like the way to eat it.
- I have had precisely one (1) Australian meat pie so I don’t know the intricacies and technicalities to what separates them from British meat pies. But if you want a super delicious British meat pie, go to Stargazy in South Philly.