Month: August 2014

Pie 73: The Arthurlie ‘Steak’ Pie

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Hello and first of all my humblest apologies as it has been a couple of weeks since my last pie story and I can assure you that it’s not for a lack of football in the time since my last entry.  visited both Beith and Airdrieonians but on each occasion was disappointed to find that new pies were not to be found whilst my own team have been in the midst of a raft of home games that’s not due to end for a couple of weeks yet.

In Beith the steak pie I desired was not on offer and my meat filled misery was compounded further when I was told that they hadn’t made any of their  wonderful Chicken & Haggis offerings, something that I am pretty sure disappointed every single member of the Bellsdale Park crowd. Last week I went to Airdrie to take in my first ever Women’s Champions League between FC Union Nove Zamsky of Slovakia and WFC Kharkiv of Ukraine. It was a freebie on a Monday afternoon so I went with my pie expectations set more to hope than expectation although it was still a shame that they weren’t able to furnish my mush with a pie especially considering a wind was blowing that made it feel more like Lapland than Lanarkshire.

But have no fear as here we have Pie 73, The Arthurlie Steak Pie, so without much further ado, because let’s be honest it’s been two weeks, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, Sectional League Cup Section 5. Entry: £5

That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist
That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist

Price: Priced at £1.50 this was a fairly priced offering falling well below the average of £2 found in senior Scottish football last season for luxury pastries.

Presentation: It was naked! Well not naked it had its roasting hot tin foil underwear on caressing the pastry skin of this meat filled morsel. What I mean by naked is that there was no napkin, no medium-sized wafer of tissued comfort, no piece of kitchen roll or tiny square of white paper to dab my lips with and mop my brow, nothing! Now using my years of pie eating experience I think there was a napkin shortage as there were definitely a small mound present behind Dunterlie’s pie counter but they seemed to be getting dished out to the select few. Maybe I should have made my presence known as Chief-Pie-Officer of Meat Filled Pastries but really should I have had to? Anyway with the lack of a napkin and the aforementioned roasting hot tin foil sleeve in hand I carried out a spot of impromptu juggling before taking my first bite.

THE PIE

NAE NAPKIN!
NAE NAPKIN!

Meatiness: Being a steak pie this had to be nothing less than luxurious and I think it made a fairly good fist of it. The meat inside was tender and was chunked into a variety of different sizes, some that slipped straight down the throat and some that required a good chew. There was no hint of pepper or anything out of the ordinary flavour wise but that didn’t stop it from being well seasoned and tasty. There was a lot of gravy in this pie, something I am a big fan of, but something I would have been an even bigger fan of if I had had a napkin. You see as I took a bite, not knowing the size of the steak my teeth had munched down on, bits of meat fell out of there pastry cave and into the shiny silver lagoon below. This resulted in a lot of finger picking and due to a lack of napkin a lot of finger licking. Thankfully this pie was consumed prior to kick off otherwise I almost certainly would have missed something. It’s not really a complaint to be fair as I’m forever eating things with my fingers that I shouldn’t, roast dinners, curries, soup (OK not soup) but when I do I always make sure I have something to wipe my greasy paws on after I finish, it would have been good to have a napkin with this pie as tasty as it was.

Pastry: A puff pastry top with well fired sides. The top was just cooked enough to provide crispness whilst also allowing the soft under layers to mix with the gravy. The sides were well baked at the top and bottom but seemed a little doughy in the middle although due to its crispness I was able to employ the break-off and scoop technique by breaking off part of the crust to use as an edible spoon to scoop up the meat and gravy residue. This pastry had a function far beyond tantalising the taste buds.

Overall: A tasty steak pie, but woe betide the good folk of Barrhead if they run out of napkins again.

Gravy Factor: Messy Gravy. More pastry spoon than silver spoon.

The next helping of pie will be from an as yet undetermined location so keep your eye out by following me @MFPTasty.

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

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BONUS PIE! The Commonwealth Games ‘Steak & Haggis’ Pie

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DISCLAIMER: This is a bit of fun to continue to spread the love of the Commonwealth Games and one of Glasgow’s most distinguishable snacks the humble pie. Kind Regards. CPO, Chris.

Ding Ding! It’s time for the first bonus pie of the season. Pies that have not been consumed in the presence of twenty-two men kicking a ball about a rectangular grass field but instead in a variety of locations across the globe sporting or otherwise. A surprisingly large number of people (more than two) have been asking, ‘So when you doing a ‘Commonwealth Games’ pie?’.

You see for the last 11 days the biggest sporting event Glasgow has ever seen has been right on my front door and I have flung myself well and truly into it. I have loved it, the atmosphere has been amazing, the events have been well organised and entertaining and the volunteers were relentlessly cheery to the very end. I don’t think anybody could have anticipated it going so well but after the debacle in Delhi the Commonwealth Games is back on the map. Anyway at the various events I attended I was always on the look out for a pie, but alas none were to be found.

Well that’s not strictly true. At the Rugby Sevens held at Ibrox there were pies a plenty, however the full Ibrox range has gone under the Pie-croscope already and so with a heavy heart I resolved to having to leave pies off my Commonwealth menu. That was until a trip to my local supermarket uncovered the joyous sight of the Limited Edition Commonwealth Games Steak & Haggis Pie from Bells.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: My Gaff. Entry: Free, it’s my house if I charged myself to enter my house that would be just mental.

This is my ACTUAL living room
This is my ACTUAL living room

Price: Before I reveal the price of this pie let me please remind you this was bought from a supermarket, not from a pie stall, roasting hot and ready from the oven. There would be a bit of preparation required on my part and it would be remiss to ignore the fact that this is a mass-produced pie. So bearing that in mind a price of 50p per pie is still bloody brilliant. 50p! 50P! Five! Zero! Bargain of all bargains right there.

Presentation: The two pies per pack were wrapped in a thin plastic wrapper with the design of a fluttering saltire across it, a Bell’s branded badge in the corner and the contents of the pie scrawled across the top. Once opened these meaty beauties were neatly fitted into two clear plastic pie holders. I fired them into the over for the recommended 15 minutes and presented them to myself on a small, square black plate accompanied with the customary medium-sized white napkin, in the form of a piece of kitchen roll. It was time to scran this pie.

THE PIE

Never with a knife and fork
Never with a knife and fork.

Meatiness: This pie was filled with a thin meaty layer of equivalent thickness to the pastry above and below. Although billed as a Steak & Haggis pie, suggesting a 50/50 split at least of its two component parts, this pie was very much haggis based. This wasn’t a bad thing as it gave a spicy pepper kick to the pie and meant the filling felt thick and unctuous. The few bits of steak dotted throughout were chunked largely enough to provide a contrast in texture to the haggis and thanks to my expert use of the oven the steak pulled away in strips between my teeth. Haggis in its nature is quite moist and so although there was no discernible gravy this pie was anything but dry. Its only real let down was the shallow nature of the filling making it all feel a little bit stingy.

Brown Sauce: Don’t let the bottle of HP in this picture throw you. This is a luxury pie so no sauce required.

Pastry: The pastry was a little limp, there was no steam hole on top although would it really be required given the home-baked nature of this meat filled pastry. Some parts turned golden some stayed as pale as they were before I placed them in the oven. In mass producing the pie I always feel it’s the pastry that suffers more than anything else and this pie was a case in point.

Overall: It was 50p. It had a bit of steak in it and some haggis. This pie was made to be eaten in Scotland.

Gravy Factor: Patriotic Gravy.

Well that was a bonus pie, the next pie will be something a bit more football based from an as yet undecided location. Howver continuing the Commonwealth theme I’ll be looking at whether or not football should have a place in the newly dubbed ‘friendly games’ at some point this week. This will however be after my preview of the upcoming Scottish Premiership season for The Football Pink.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!