Month: November 2013

Pie 36: The Hampden ‘Chicken Curry’ Pie

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This pie is pure filth'
‘This pie is pure filth’

Namaste pie fans and welcome to the latest review from Meat Filled Pastries. This week we get right into the international spirit and take on board one of the more exotic offerings at the home of Scottish Football, Hampden Park.

While the staple of Meat Filled Pastries is pies of the scotch and steak variety there is an equal, if not greater, amount of joy found when a pie doesn’t fall underneath these most traditional of fillings. The ‘luxury’ pie is one that must be offered whilst also taking into consideration the taste buds of your average football fan. While a rabbit and crayfish pie sounds delicious, and trust me it is, you wouldn’t really want one at the football. The idea of eating rabbit is still for some associated with Thumper from Bambi, and for that matter the idea of eating a venison pie will for some forever be associated with that same film’s lead character.

What is the point of this Disney orientated meander of the mind I hear you ask?

Well from my journey so far we have seen The Chicken & Haggis Pie, The Beans, Mince & Tatties Pie and now this Chicken Curry delicacy and I have come to the following conclusion. If you put a full meal into a pie the chances are a football fan will like it, or try it at the very least. Now, there is no facts and figures that I can provide that will prove this theory as accurate. It is more based on the hum of excitement I hear at the football grounds I visit when an interesting new pie is on the menu.

So with our appetites suitably whetted with all this talk of luxury pie, let us not waste any more time, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland v USA, International Friendly

Price: £3.00. That’s a new highest priced pie on the Meat Filled Pastries pages. Twice the price of a junior football Steak Pie, a luxury contemporary, and 40p more expensive than any of it’s pastry cased rivals at Hampden. This pie has a lot to live up to.

Presentation: The first thing that strikes you about this pie is that is bigger than a standard scotch pie, noticeably so. It comes in a tinfoil case that fits snugly round pie, perhaps too snug as it made it difficult to take that all important first bite as can be seen by the picture above. Also the napkin was one of the smaller plain white variety and as such it became immediately apparent that it was not going to be sufficient for the mess I was about to find myself in. The problems caused by the size of the napkin were highlighted further when the pie was placed in my hand as I spent the walk back to my seat juggling it between my two hands such was the heat coming through.

Meatiness: This was a very meaty pie, it was deep filled, really deeply filled and when also taking into consideration the more generous portion of pie you get for your pounds the £3 cost starts to become a little bit more bearable. Then I took a bite, and my mouth was awash with a molten madness I hadn’t encountered in a pie before. Firstly the filling was piping hot, the chicken chunked into small 1cm cubes adding a lovely texture and bite. But if the temperature of the pie itself was hot the taste of the gravy had you in a spicy haze that no Bovril could quench.

Let me say here that I love spicy food. I have a collection of hot sauces that have been known to make grown men cry but I don’t think the terraces is the place for something with so much punch. It was heady with spice but with had an almost sweet aftertaste on the back of the throat, something that helped to counter the ever increasing inferno in the mouth building as each bite was taken. This was certainly a meaty, spicy treat but a filling fit for the terraces I’m not sure.

Pastry: As previously stated this was a bigger pie than usual and as such had more pastry to encompass the filling. The problem with the bigger pie and the tight fitting nature of it within its tin foil suit of armour was that as soon as you took one bite the lid came off and you were left with a bowl of chicken curry without a spoon to eat it with. I tried the classic ‘pastry as spoon’ technique but as there was no hard upper crust as found in a scotch pie the pastry just flopped under the moisture of the gravy. Instead I had to resort to finger picking my way through it. Not a big problem I hear you say. However once my final scraping of the foil with my turmeric stained fingers was complete I had realised that 22 minutes of the game before me had passed by. A pie should be the side dish to the main meal of football and unfortunately due to the lack of a solid pastry base this wasn’t the case in this instance.

Overall: This pie has left me a tad confused. While the £3 cost is expensive it certainly felt more filling and was obviously bigger to the naked eye. I also thought it was very tasty but ultimately unsuitable for watching a game of football from the stands. The napkin was too small and the pastry collapse created a distraction from the game I had paid to see. I think if I was to have this pie again whilst watching the football I’d want to have it from the comfort of my couch.

Gravy Factor: Spicy gravy but best leave it at home knowing that you have a wonderfully tasty pastry sitting there to warm you after a cold winter’s day.

Another pie down, and another variety added to the list. The next time you hear from Meat Filled Pastries will most likely be a review from Lochore Welfare, weather permitting, as we go back on the junior pie trail.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

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Pie 35: The Irvine Meadow ‘Steak’ Pie

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'Gushing with Gravy'
‘Gushing with Gravy’

Hello, it’s your friend in pie here and I am once again ready and willing to delve headfirst into another meat and gravy filled delicacy for your reading pleasure.

I have been asked many times why I spend every week sitting down and writing about pie and other than hinting that this started as the result of conversations had over a pint I’ve never really gone fully into it. Well today is the day you get under the golden flaky crust of Meat Filled Pastries as I try and make this journey seem less mad cap than it looks on first appearance.

Firstly I am a massive football fan, I have my teams that I follow, and if you read through the pie reviews I have made so far then you should be able to figure out who they are, but as a rule if there is a game of football to be found, then I’ll be at it. Whether its junior, professional, part-time, international or even the wrongly maligned women’s game. As far as I am concerned the true football experience involves standing (or sitting) at a football ground come rain or shine, something that Gary Neville and his multiple camera views will never be able to replicate.

Now, when you go to so many games of football the natural side effect to this is you eat a lot of pie, and I have eaten a LOT of pie. For many the pie is a quintessential part of the match day experience and since such additional costs like programmes and hospitality packages are rated it seemed odd to me that something so intrinsically linked with football in the UK, and Scotland specifically, did not have a champion of it’s own. I am going to be that champion, and not just for the humble pie but, as a by product, for all the clubs that I visit on my journey. I hope so far you’re happy with the job I’m doing.

Since this journalized adventure has started I’ve consumed 35 pies, gained a bit of notoriety around the terraces as the ‘pie-man’, been on local radio and picked up readers from as far afield as Tajikistan, South Africa and Vietnam whilst also returning to doing some serious writing when not engulfed by the world of pie. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m sure it will be for a long time to come.

With the rationales explained, time to get down to business and review the second pie from Irvine Meadow, and a return to the luxury market with a steak special.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Meadow Park, Irvine Meadow v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: Priced at £1.50, much like the Irvine Meadow scotch pie this is slap bang in the middle of the price range expected to be paid at a junior ground for a luxury pie.

Presentation: Wearing the little black dress of the pie world, a medium sized white napkin, the first steak pie not to come within a tin foil case and as such removing any risk of the pastry sticking and the bottom falling out of the pastry base.

Meatiness: Within one bite the meat came gushing out of this pie in all its plentiful glory. This really was a case of the gravy smattering my face. The meat was cut into a mixture of thin ribbons and small chunks adding variety to each bite. The texture of the meat itself was great as you could feel the strands of meat fall apart in your mouth almost instantly. This pie had been cooked with care. The greatest joy of the filling though was the gravy. There was zero risk of calling this pie dry and it was seasoned very well. It was also of the right consistent to stay within the pie without the confines of a tin foil case to support it but still ooze as you bit down on the pastry lid. Lovely Stuff.

Pastry: The pastry had a lovely golden top and the puff hadn’t expanded too much meaning that the all important meat to pastry ratio was well within the acceptable parameters. The pastry round the outside was fine, nothing outstanding but provided the necessary tasting notes a good pie should have. The base collapsed a little due to the volume and the moistness of the filling but nowhere near as much as you would expect. A functional casing for the meaty gold inside.

Overall: This was a delicious pie and I would quite happily have one of these again in a heartbeat. My only criticism, the napkins need to be bigger because you end up getting yourself in a right mess! That mess however was totally worth it.

Gravy Factor: Get me a pastry straw so I can sook up this gravy quicker than an aardvark partying on an anthill.

All in all, an excellent effort and a good overall outing for Irvine Meadow on the pie front, the next pie to hit these pages will most likely be a result of a Tartan Army based misadventure over the weekend.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 34: The Irvine Meadow Pie

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'One man went to mo, went to mo a pie down'
‘One man went to mow, went to mow a pie down’

‘If gravy be the food of love, let us pie munch on’

That’s right the next entry into the grease smattered pages of Meat Filled Pastries has started with a Shakespearean quote paraphrased from Twelfth Night, Wullie’s ode to cross dressing. A play that spawned the god awful ‘She’s the Man’ starting Vinnie Jones and Amanda Bynes, yet another perky Disney club kid that went a bit bonkers. How I know this film exists and the reason I have seen it twice are something I will never fully comprehend so I think we shall move on.

Luckily, unlike the aforementioned film, this will not be not god awful, this is a pie review and pies are tremendous! We are back on the Junior football trail for the first of 2 taste sensations from Irvine Meadow.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Meadow Park, Irvine Meadow v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: £1.20, falling slap bang in the middle of the price range you can expect to pay for a Junior footballing pie.

Presentation: This pie sported the classic medium sized white napkin look. Not a lot wrong with that.

Meatiness: This pie, a standard mutton pie, was nicely flavoured inside. The meat was moist and heated to the temperature where the fat was able to add more flavour. In an ideal world it would have had a twist more pepper but it was perfectly fine without it. My one disappointment was that the meat in the pie was a little sparse. While this was well packed in the centre, round the edges there was space for more to fill, my disappointment is purely down to the fact that I would have liked more meat as it was very tasty.

Pastry: This may have been the best pastry I’ve had so far. The crust was golden brown and had a lovely crisp crunch although as the filling wasn’t as plentiful as I would have desired it took a big initial bite to capture the picture above. That said the pastry was buttery and was seasoned well something that I wouldn’t normally note in the pastry section but felt it significant enough to highlight in this instance. The base held well especially when taking into consideration the meat inside was very moist. The more I consider this pie, the more apparent it becomes to me that the pastry really was the stand out component of this very good meat filled pastry.

Overall: The high praise for the pastry should not mask the fact that the meat inside contributed to make this a delightful meaty morsel. The only tiny fault I could find is that the pie presented to me was a little light on filling but the overall quality was of a very high standard.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy you would make on Masterchef and receive the kind of compliment that involves Gregg Wallace making mouth love to his spoon with delight.

Well one Irvine based pie down, one more to go. Next time out it will be another trip into the lap of luxury and a return to the steak pie.

Until then. Go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 33: The Stenhousemuir Pie

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No that's not mood lighting, it was just dark.
Look at the floodlights glisten in the brown sauce. Beautiful.

 

Hello! Do you love pie? I love pie, and that is why I am here once again to get elbows deep in another meat filled beauty.

A few things have happened since my last entry on Meat Filled Pastries. Firstly, I have a shiny new banner header, it’s good innit? I still need to tweak a couple of things but your pie man is now a Pac-man and a big thanks to the person who made my rather crude drawings come to life. Secondly, Meat Filled Pastries made its radio debut as a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ on Pulse 98.4′ It was good fun to speak to fellow junior football fans and obviously spread the word of pie. If any of you missed it here’s a link to the show, http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/72429430/file.html‘, I’m on it for the whole hour so no need to skip ahead. You may hear the odd reference to ‘Beastie’ and I think it will be more entertaining if I let you decide who or what he or she may be. Hopefully though a few good things will come out of the back of my appearance and I’m already pencilled in for an end of season review.

How do you celebrate these latest developments I hear you ask. By sitting back, relaxing and reading another story of football based snacking from the ever increasing tome of pie that is Meat Filled Pastries.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ochilview, Stenhousemuir v Rangers, Ramsdens Cup Semi Final

Price: £2 worth of pie, cheaper than some but more expensive the others within the SPFL set up.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin, sufficient to hold the pie and provide you with a corner to dab your mouth.

Meatiness: I usually find this the easiest part of these reviews to write but in this instance I have very little to say. It was filled well enough but what lay inside lacked any real punch and would have been helped substantially if it was a little warmer. This would have let the fat soften and spread flavour throughout the meat. The addition of a particularly tangy version of brown sauce certainly helped to add some more flavour which was needed. There was nothing wrong with the meatinees of this pie but nothing that left me feeling more than ‘meh’ about it.

Pastry: And the feeling of ‘meh’ continues. The pastry was just there, it lacked any real crispness to give a satisfying bite and was slightly pale in colour suggesting it may have been underdone. One thing of note is that unlike most scotch pies there was no hole on top to let the steam out. That’s right this pie is so boring that this may be the most interesting thing you read about it!

Overall: It was just boring, I had been told of the wonderful steak pies at Ochilview but alas these were not on offer for my consumption. Instead I was left with a scotch pie that, while filling a dinner-shaped hole in my belly, did not result in any great feelings of excitement in my taste buds when going to take the next bite.

Gravy Factor: Made with value gravy granules, it does the job but you find yourself reaching for additional condiments straight away.

I feel like any time I give anything other than a positive review I need to put a disclaimer at the end of it to re-confirm that this is just my opinion. Other people may love this pie, others may not. It’s what this journey is all about, watching football and consuming meat filled pastries. Just like every game of football isn’t a 4-4 thriller nor is every pie going to leave you yearning for more but when the final whistle goes or the final bite is but a distant memory you still love it all the same.

Until next time my fellow pie munchers, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.