Month: December 2013

Pie 42: The Berwick Rangers Pie

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'A Chippy Pie'
‘A Chippy Pie’

Hello to all my fellow pastry lovers, I hope you had a lovely festive period and that Santa brought you all the pie related gifts your heart desired. It’s been a couple of weeks since the last entry into the Pie of Hall of Fame but we have time to squeeze one more entry in before the bakers of 2013 close their oven doors one last time.

A couple of developments to make you aware of since the last review. Firstly as some of you may or may not be aware I don’t write solely about pies, but try to squeeze out some other football related pieces when time allows me to. These articles have been run primarily through my sister site Leading the Line, and while articles will still appear there from time to time an agreement has been reached with ‘The Football Blogging Awards’ to become a regular contributor in 2014. It will allow me to keep Meat Filled Pastries as a solely independent venture whilst also spreading the word of pie through other channels, something that I wouldn’t be able to do without the support of all you delightful folk that read it.

This brings me on to the second piece of news, for the remainder of the season my stories of pie can be found in the Albion Rovers match day programme. For Meat Filled Pastries to become a part of a fans match day experience is more than I could have wished for when I started this venture but now it’s happened I want more, and in 2014 I hope we will all see the growth of Meat Filled Pastries even further. So if you are interested in my tome of pie and would like me to contribute to your programme, magazine or website just drop me an email or send me a tweet.

So without much further ado, and with the PR Campaign out the way, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers v Peterhead, SPFL League Two

Price: A rather expensive £2, a price that required asking as none was listed for a single pie.  The same price as the ‘Premiership’ pie from Motherwell but more expensive than the Cowdenbeath offering and the various junior equivalents this journey has provided us with.

Presentation: A break from the norm this pie was presented in a polystyrene tray. The reason for the polystyrene tray, you ask? Well this pie did not come from a loan standing pie hut at the side of the ground or from a kiosk in the bowels of the stand but from a chip shop van, a traditional one none the less, one of two conveniently located in the ground. Now this caused a small moment of panic in this pieman’s head, initially because I was unsure how traditional a Fish and Chip Van was at a football ground, but perhaps more pressing was the realisation that there may be no pies to review and as such this blog would have had more padding than Bobby Mann at the end of his playing career. That said I got a pie it was in a polystyrene tray, because usually they would have chips in them, and it came with a medium sized white napkin to mop up any meatfilled spillages. Disaster averted, let’s move on.

Meatiness: This pie was a slow burner on the taste front. On the initial one bite expose the taste, although definitively of pie, was rather underwhelming and I had concerns that this would be confounded to the status of ‘Bog Standard Bisto’. However as each bite was taken the warmth of spice and pepper became more prevalent and by the last bite I found myself wanting more. The meat was well packed inside and not very greasy at all which is impressive considering my suspicions were this was a deep fried pie, but more on that in a moment. Despite the initial concerns of the first bite this was a tasty morsel indeed.

Pastry: This is where my deep fried suspicions really started tingling. The pastry was incredibly golden and the pie lid itself had no hole in the top to let out steam that would be generated in an oven. Then there was the first bite, the pastry didn’t flake but more crumbled and where the pastry had tore away from the main body of the pie it had slightly disintegrated around the edges. It was of no detriment, although the further into the pie you got you became increasingly grateful for the polystyrene tray provided. Once again, just like the filling it was impressive how un-greasy the pastry tasted. If someone at Berwick can tell me if I’m right or wrong on the deep fried factor it’d be greatly appreciated.

Overall: This pie was a pleasant surprise after the obstacles it put in front of itself before its consumption was complete. It was slightly expensive for the surroundings and the fact it came from a chip van was something that caused a bit of initial confusion. The ‘potential’ deep frying left the pie suitably moist and crispy without being over greasy and with a long slow burning flavour of mutton and spice.

Gravy Factor: The marathon pie, remember pie eating is not a sprint, savour every bite and don’t discount it because your first bite wasn’t all your pie dreams were made of.

Another pie down, another five minutes added to the tread next time I’m in the gym. Work commitments mean that next weekends offering will most likely be either the first rugby pie of Meat Filled Pastries journey of pie or from the Scottish Premiership.

Either way, 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 40: The Largs Thistle Pie

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'Do you want a flake in yer pie!'
‘Do you want a flake in yer pie!’

‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,

Meat Filled all the way.

Oh what fun it is to have the gravy on my face.’

‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,

Pastry golden brown.

Oh the taste of a brown sauce squirt is by far the best around.’

I was going to apologise for going all festive on you but in reality I’m really chuffed with that. Hello my fellow pie connoisseurs and welcome to another entry into the best football based pie site around. As Christmas comes closer shops across the country are stocking those most festive of treats, mince pie’s, and I am not excited in the slightest. But you’re the Pieman, Mr. Pie, Sir Meat Filled of The Pastry Roundtable, yes these are all true but I have never been partial to a mince pie or the candied peel nature of Christmas desserts. However, this year in the spirit of this here misadventure I am pleased to announce that I now think mince pies are….alright. I still think they have the distinct aftertaste of ear wax but I can munch my way through one in a social surrounding without looking ungrateful at what has been put before me.

Anyway back to the proper stuff and the journey of Meat Filled Pastries’ rolls on to Largs, home of ice cream and Vikings (apparently).

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

Where: Barrfields Park, Largs Thistle v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1. Amongst the cheapest pies that we have come across on our journey so far.

Presentation: Today’s presentation will be presented in the form of a riddle. It is not as black as night, and neither generous or stingy. I’m not going to give you the answer if you have read enough of these by now you know what I’m getting at.

Meatiness: Unless my taste buds were deceiving me this was not your standard mutton pie. It was a tad disconcerting at first, and to fully get my taste buds around it I required another couple of bites but the filling inside was strong in it’s taste of lamb. There was no taste of pepper in this pie which I think only helped to heighten my initial confusion. After my taste investigations I would say this was a really well seasoned lamb mince pie as opposed to a standard mutton scotch pie. Now with this confusion firmly put to one side I could focus on the other elements for consideration. It was well filled if not a tad uneven, the meat inside had a nice bite that held well but for some reason I felt a slight film of grease forming each time I moved the pastry away. On appearances this was by no means a greasy pie but I wonder if the lack of pepper I usually find in the scotch variety was causing confusion in my pallet. It was certainly tasty but definitely not what I was expecting.

Pastry: This was a crisp golden pastry with a lovely buttery flavour, however it was so crisp that it caused me to roll my tongue around my teeth to check for chips when biting down. In fact, the crucial ‘one bite expose’ you see above had to be doctored a bit as on first bite all I was provided with was a shard of pastry. The pastry though was definitely one of the better efforts I have come across but be warned that your first bite should be taken with caution in mind.

Overall: Disconcertion’s aside this was a tasty pie and as it came in at only a quid it was certainly worth the money paid. The pastry was a little too crisp, it would have been better without the faint hint of grease that accompanied every bite and or my taste an extra peppery kick would have been nice. However there was a good splodge of brown sauce available to provide that flavour boost. Everything tasted good but could have been made even better.

Gravy Factor: Made not with gravy granules, but one of those fancy stock pots. A different take on your standard gravy.

Another pie down, another 10 minutes on the treadmill added to the routine. The plan is to visit next one of the most recognisable names in junior football Auchinleck Talbot but that involves some serious negotiations when I get back into work that I reckon will be doomed to failure. I think we can all agree that Saturday afternoon’s should be spent with pie in hand, scarf round the neck, watching 22 men kick about a synthetic leather sphere especially when you run a site based on the consumption of these meat filled beauts.

However until next time, whenever will that be, 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.

 

Pie 38: The Lochore Welfare Pie

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'A Pie via Polmadie'
‘A Pie via Polmadie’

 

I know, I know the pie chat from Meat Filled Pastries has been a little sparse the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately somebody doesn’t pay me to talk pie and as such keeping the pennies in the pocket to fund this meaty addiction has had to take priority. I promise you though my love for football and pie has not diminished and I hope your enjoyment of this tour of the best pastry snacks around is duly satisfied by this latest entry. I also had my last blog published on The Football Blogging Awards website and due to the nature of an exclusivity arrangement I couldn’t share the gravy with you until a certain time has elapsed.

Anyway, the title of today’s pie, ‘A Pie via Polmadie’ is a tribute to the elder generation who managed to navigate a supporters bus through every single inch of the south side of Glasgow before safely depositing it onto the motorway that was a mere 3 minutes away from the original starting point 25 minutes later. I salute your many years of support and love your stories of a simpler footballing time but please, please, please the next time the driver asks for help with directions let the youngsters and their technology do the talking.

That said, we made it to Lochore and as such I’m here again, so let’s rate some pie!

Where: Central Park, Lochore Welfare v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round

Price: £1.20 which is fast becoming the recommend retail price for a scotch pie at Junior football grounds. (If you are wanting a statistical average you will have to stick around until the end of the season.)

Presentation: A medium sized napkin of the white variety. Standard.

Meatiness: This pie was very well filled although a little on the dry side. It had a gentlemen’s whack of pepper which as you will already know is right up my taste bud alley but the taste of the meat itself was struggling to get through. This I think can be attributed to the lack of moisture from the meat itself rendering it a little bland and therefore I was thankful for a generous squirt of that most trusted of tools in your pie first aid kit. Brown Sauce. Adding the moistness required for a truly satisfactory bite and heightening the meaty flavour inside.

Pastry: Caramelised if you are a chef and well fired if you are a baker trying to punt you the roll’s that require a good scraping before you layer on the butter. This my fellow pie fans was a burnt pie. Now previously I have said in some circumstances a burnt pie is perfectly acceptable if the pastry itself is only tarnished. However in this instance the black marks around it were a symptom of a pie that was in general over baked. The all important one bite expose in this instance was more like two as a quick breaking of the crust was required before attempting to bite down. Although it should be said that burning aside the pastry was perfectly serviceable for holding the meat inside.

Overall: A pie that would have benefitted from a couple of minutes less in the oven, something which some of my fellow supporters pie’s had graciously been given. It would have kept the moisture in and meant that pepper kick was spread more lovingly throughout.

Gravy Factor: Blackened Gravy of the Bog Standard Bisto variety.

A pie that I feel that will not live long in the memory for it’s taste but for being another stop in the never-ending pursuit of football pie perfection. The next stop on our journey of pie will take us to Largs Thistle and another junior pie.

But as always, until then, 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.