Month: April 2014

Pie 62: The Arthurlie Pie

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Derby Day Pastry
Derby Day Pastry

It’s Meat Filled o’clock and this latest offering comes from the Southside Clasico in Barrhead between local rivals Arthurlie and Pollok. When I arrived at a sun-drenched Dunterlie Park it became apparent that a summer quiche would have been a more appropriate way to take in this derby day clash than my usual match day snack of choice, but as champion of the humble pie nothing was going to stop me munching down once more on that heavenly combination of meat and pastry with the same gleeful gusto as always.

So without much further ado, and with a Solero on standby, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1.20. A price that come rain, or in this case, shine will forever be engrained on my memory as the price to be for scotch pies in junior football during the 2013/14 season. Will the prices go up next year? We’ll have to wait and see.

Presentation: Although this was wrapped in the ever classical medium sized white napkin unusually for a junior scotch pie it was presented in a silver tin foil case which whilst keeping the pie warm contained a heat that was mercifully gentle on the finger tips.

Meatiness: I’m going to be honest here before I get started. I’ve been to Dunterlie for a number of years and in my head the pies have never lived long in the memory and I was concerned that it would be destined to take it’s place alongside some of the other ‘Bog Standard Bisto’ offerings encountered this season. However something had changed and I am pleased to report this was a well seasoned savoury morsel. Although not packing the fiery kick of pepper that so often gets my taste buds going the flavour of the pie itself was warming enough to compliment the pleasant late spring day that was bestowed upon me. Throw on the customary dollop of brown sauce and you had a perfectly pleasant mouthful of meat to satisfy yourself with.

Pastry: The pastry was of the well fired variety, not to everybody’s taste but for me it always adds a charred and bitter note that compliments the meat and sauce combo that will always be there when I do these reviews. It was maybe a little soft underneath but there was no sticking to the tin foil case and as such no spillage occurred the more I bit through. However apart from being well fired this was a pretty bog standard pastry that was designed more to hold the meat inside than to add a buttery wave of flavour.

Overall: A pleasant surprise of a pie, not spicy but well seasoned and savoury. The overly crisp edges may put some people off but the addition of brown sauce made a flavour trifecta that made it worth a nibble on one of Glasgow’s sunnier days.

Gravy Factor: Surprise Gravy. May not be a pie of the year contender but certainly worth parting with your £1.20 for.

Another pie down and as it stands only a few more to go this season. As this will be the last one to appear on the pages of the Albion Rovers programme this season I just wanted to say thank you to the good folk at Cliftonhill for giving me a platform to share my pie based nonsense. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I do writing it. If you want to keep track of my pie journeys over the summer and any of my other football work you can do so by visiting http://www.meatfilledpastries.com, my next offering will come from Junior Cup Finalists Glenafton Athletic.

However until next time, as always, go forth and eat pie!

Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?

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As some of you may know, I have spent the last year running two sites with football at their heart and soul. This one, a celebration of all things pie and a sister site titled ‘Leading The Line’ where I would muse over many of footballs little foibles that are not solely encased in pastry. As the season comes to a close and plans get set in motion for next year I have decided to amalgamate the two sites into a one stop shop for all things sporting and pie. Do not be afraid that pies will be off the menu for there is another two reviews working their way to you in the next few days but now I want to take this site and to the next stage. This may work, this may not, but either way I will still be your number one friend in pie. So without much further ado, let me welcome you to Meat Filled Pastries first non-pie piece, Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?.

Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards
Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards

When I was a much younger lad I had a t-shirt that read, ‘Football is life…the rest is just a game’. At the time I believed it to be true but as I have grown older with life continuing to throw its many curve balls, both good and bad, I know that the slogan sprawled across my chest in those most innocent of days was nothing but a clever play on words that only helped to serve as just another subtle enabler to my burgeoning football addiction. As I travelled back in the deathly silence of the supporters bus, the realisation dawning on the dozen or so of us on board that this was the season that relegation had finally come after what has felt like years of constant struggle, that t-shirt came screaming to the forefront of my mind and the question I asked myself as I looked around was ‘Why are we all so sad?’. ‘How can something that is in reality so fundamentally irrelevant when compared with matters of life and death cause a group of men to look so down trodden and broken?’

I could analyse what caused this communal depression but instead of staring down the pit of despair that relegation is meant to bring, and quite frankly to try and cheer me up a bit as much as anything else, let us try and put a positive spin on what without a shadow of a doubt is the most soul destroying aspect of the game we all love.

1. At Least it’s Over.

Relegation is not something that happens in an instant, it’s the culmination of a season or in some cases many seasons woes and struggles. There is no more false hope to cling to, no mathematical equation that can save you and no desperate voice in the back of your head screaming ‘Please, please, please just put me out of my misery!’. When that final goal that seals you’re fate goes in the misery finally comes and the grieving can begin. Now some people deal with this grief in different ways, some get misty eyed giving knowing nods and gentle applause to the players who have just not been quite good enough whilst some get angry, unable to contain the raw emotion that the ultimate in footballing failure causes to coarse through their veins. For me I go into quiet contemplation mode, dissect every single tactical decision made, every substitution, every player signed and sold, wonder what will happen next and where it all went wrong this. Three very different ways of coping but all of them finally end with taking solace in the fact that at least it’s all over.

2. A Fresh Start.

A summer of fine tuning and removing the perceived dead wood has you starting the season, albeit at a lower level, as one of the title favourites and not the easy three points that your rivals eyed on a Saturday afternoon. The grieving is over and the wave upon wave of new hope and optimism is near impossible to repress even for the most cynical of fans. There is always that one new signing that scores 3 hat-tricks in pre-season and who you pin your hopes on for the year ahead. If a player doesn’t look up to the task early on they get the benefit of the doubt that a new season brings and you convince yourself he’s bound to come good soon. Sometimes the manager changes, sometimes it doesn’t but who cares as long as we keep winning and the crowds come flooding back.The dread of Saturday is replaced by the excitement of another potential day of glory. The dark days are over, by the end of the year your team will be champions!

3. Road Trip, Baby!

Get the satnav out as your geographical knowledge of the great footballing beyond is about to increase exponentially. All of a sudden places you’ve never heard of become your desired destination on a Saturday afternoon. The roads less trodden become the roads you and your fellow footballing army tread upon with new hope and expectation. You get to meet new people, drink pints in new pubs, stand on new terraces and set your taste buds alight with a smorgasbord of new pies and pastries all season long. For any football fan even the familiarity of a fierce rivalry can still breed contempt and the chance to go somewhere new is often what piques the interest of even the most casual of fans.

4. You Still Have Each Other.

Whatever joys or miseries a new season may bring you can carry on supporting the team you love safe in the knowledge that those fans that were there with you at the bitter end of a previously fruitless season will be standing side be side with you when hope springs anew once again. The slightly un-PC pensioners, the people you can’t remember how or why you stand with but you continue to do so with ever willing acceptance and the generations of family both young and old that are usually the ones responsible for you finding yourself in this mess in the first place.

I had spent 28 years on this earth without suffering relegation. I hope to go at least another 28 more before it happens again but until then I’ll do my best to remember that no matter how big a part of my life this wonderful game is, when the final whistle blows, it’s all still just a game.

 

If this is the first time you have read a non pie piece from me, I hope you enjoyed it and an archive of my previous work will remain on the internet until the end of time at http://www.leadingtheline.wordpress.com. But do not fear I have a programme deadline to meet so a new pie review will be with you imminently.

As always though, until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 61: The Cumnock ‘Onion’ Pie

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'This pie represents a call to arms!'
‘This pie represents a call to arms!’

In 3 days time (Friday April 11th 2014) entry’s close for the 2014 British Pie Awards and I’m using this latest entry into the Meat Filled Hall of Fame to encourage all you pie fans to ensure that the tastiest football pastries are proudly presented at this annual extravaganza. If you read this then please let your club know, let your fellow fans know whether they be supporters of your club or another and let the friendly faces behind the pie stalls up and down the country know that this is the time for their pastries to shine.

More information can be found at this link, http://www.britishpieawards.co.uk so go and have a look but until then with much gust and little further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, this is the same price as the standard scotch offering, re-opening the debate as to whether or not an onion pie should be bracketed as one that is luxury in nature.

Presentation: I touched on the lovely ladies behind the counter in my previous review (Pie 60: The Cumnock Pie) so we can return our focus onto the ever classical but oh so minimalistic production values of the medium-sized white napkin in which this pie was nestled. Standard.

Meatiness: This pie had that distinctive waft of onion that I have come to associate with pies of this nature although not as strong as other similar offerings. The meat inside was formed in a way similar to a scotch pie, a seasoned block of mutton that whilst lacking in that distinctive peppery kick was laden with chucks of near translucent white onion. There was enough fat within the pie to keep it moist, perhaps a little greasy for some but nothing that a couple of extra steps on a treadmill couldn’t take care of. I would add that in this instance a dot of brown sauce would have definitely enhanced the overall taste experience due to the fact it’s meaty content was that of a scotch pie but as I am treating this as a luxury option not a drop was to be had on this occasion.

Pastry: The main distinguishing feature of this pie was the two holes on top of the classic scotch pie casing, this I assume helps to easily distinguish between the normal scotch and onion options available whilst serving. Outside of this it was a normal hot water pastry surround and top. It was a little bit caught around one edge but nothing that was too detrimental to the overall flavour of the pie. A solid pastry casing for the meat inside that tore apart as your mouth would expect it to on each bite.

Overall: A sweet onion pie that whilst different was also very much the same as the scotch pie effort. The large chunks of onion added extra flavour but maybe could have been a little more cooked through before adding to the mince. It would have benefitted from a glistening blob of brown sauce and perhaps being a tad less greasy but this was still a tasty treat.

Gravy Factor: Chunky Onion Gravy.

After a whistle-stop tour of East Ayrshire we have reached pie number 61, the next offering is to come from a yet undetermined location and as soon as I know the Meat Filled Pastries twitter, which you can follow on the right side of this page, will be the first place to tell you but until then go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ‘Deliberate Deliberations’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at what constitutes a deliberate handball in the modern game. An archive of all my non-pie pieces can be found on Leading the Line and on The FBA’s website.

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 you are 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 60: The Cumnock Pie

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Brought to you by 'Nock Nosh'
Brought to you by ‘Nock Nosh’

 

A pie for every minute in an hour, that’s the stage we’ve got to as the season enters its final throngs and a pie on a warm sunny day becomes anever increasing possibility. If you weren’t aware of it already this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s mission to keep pies at the forefront of footballsnackage on the terraces up and down this wonderful land of ours. I write this as I sit and watch Barcelona vAthletico Madrid in the Champions League and I wonder what the pies are like at the Nou Camp? I assume the answer is non-existent; my only experience of Spanish football to date coming at Tenerife v Barcelona B where the snack of choice was sunflower seeds, husked at the teeth and available in a variety of flavours. A surprisingly tasty but very messy and distracting footballing snack. But what about snacks across the rest of the world, what do they eat there? What do they do when they need something to get them through to dinner time? The Germans are known for beer and sausage but outside of this is their any country in the world where a food stuff can be so intrinsically linked to football as the humble pie is in bonnie Scotland.

With a World Cup on the horizon and the barren pie weeks of the summer to contend with, perhaps we will look to find out more in the future, but for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, yeah £1.20 your average junior pie price. Let’s just move on.

Presentation: This pie was presented in the standard medium-sized white napkin that we have all come to know and love however the real stand out memory from this visit was the fierceness of the lassie behind the counter. Almost demanding the queue of men awaiting their post pint snack to announce themselves as the ‘First One’s There!’, if they dared to admit it. I would hate to think what kind of moist panted panic would have ran down the legs od the few that had got to the window and not known what they wanted. OK, I may be exaggerating a bit but for some I would imagine it could genuinely be a little bit frightening.

Meatiness: This was a proper scotch pie with a fairly solid meaty block held within the pastry. It was well textured and a had the peppery kick that I have oh so been missing in my recent pie based exploits. The meat was moist although for my taste perhaps just a little greasy as could be seen by the light pie stain on my napkin after completing consumption. Ignoring that though the meat was well seasoned and the brown sauce dollop that has caused me a few issues in recent weeks returned to its rightful place atop a scotch pie, adding another layer of flavour to the meat inside. Taking all these points into consideration this was a solid filling to a scotch mince pie.

Pastry: The pastry was more of receptacle to the pie as opposed to adding any great waves of flavour. As can be seen from the one bite expose it was a little well fired in places which for me is fine but for some others that may be disappointing. This meant that the pastry was incredibly crisp and on occasion broke off into small shards. No real inconvenience as sometimes I like to do dip the outer edge of the crusts into the puddle of brown sauce above, you know just to mix up the pie eating experience a bit. This pastry did the job it was intended for.

Overall: As previously stated it had been a while since I have had a scotch pie, in its truest form, in my hand. It had a nice pepper kick and lovely crispy pastry. It was a little bit greasy and if I’m being honest it won’t live long in the memory but it was a tasty version of a scotch pie and one that I wouldn’t be disappointed to have pass by my lips again.

Gravy Factor: The Return of the Snack, the scotch pie snack that is.

Another meat filled marvel down, and still so many more to go. The next one will be The Onion Pie offering from Cumnock. How will it stack up against the previously reviewed Onion Pie offering from near rivals Auchinleck Talbot, although I can assure you even I’m not brave enough to tell you which one I think is better. They are all pie and as such are welcomed gleefully into my belly.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ’Pretty in Pink’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at some of the pinkest kits you’re eyes ever did see and the stories behind them. I also encourage you to look out for my piece ‘Defining World Class’ on the same site, you’ll have to scroll down a bit but it’s definitely worth a read. Something new will be coming soon.

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 you are 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.