Month: September 2014

Pie 75: The Shettleston Pie

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Hi folks, I know I know it’s been a while I apologise, I had some battery recharging to do and some bits and pieces of non pie related stuff that needed some immediate attention but fear not Meat Filled Pastries is back to work with a review from Shettleston Juniors based in Glasgow’s east end but before that time for your regular pie-atribe.

As I am sure many of you will be aware that recently Scotland was in the midst of referendum fever and whilst I am disappointed with the outcome I am not here to go on a mini rant of gloom and doom. Firstly that’s not in my nature as I, like many others, am hopeful that whatever happens in the coming months will be beneficial for Scotland and its patrons at home and abroad but secondly, and most importantly, football and politics should not mix.

Let me explain.

As I have mentioned previously I have been known to frequent Ibrox on the odd occasion. On my last visit I was greeted on entry by a raft of ‘No’ paraphernalia making my intuitive decision not to display a ‘Yes’ badge all the wiser. On reaching my seat it was apparent that the partisan Broomloan Front section of the stadium were also very much for the union focusing more on chanting Rule Britannia and flashing ‘No Thanks’ signs than concentrating on what was actually a fairly competent Rangers performance. Now this is an easy illustrative example to make, and it would be even easier to think that the idiotic behaviour of the few in George Square the day after the vote was driven, in the main, by Rangers supporters. It would be impossible to ignore that there are some elements of truth in this assumption but to chastise the masses for the behaviours of a minority is downright ludicrous as for the minority of idiots on one side there can be no doubt that the counter argument will be home to just as many morons. I would have been no happier to go to a Scotland game to be met with ‘Yes’ campaigners thrusting ‘No to Trident’ posters in my face or calling me unpatriotic if, for whatever reason, I had chosen to vote the other way.

Tese behaviours were not solely reserve for the Old Firm or Tartan Army minded amongst and in the main any debates I saw, heard or were involved in where of a convivial nature at football grounds across the country but the fact they were happening still irked me. What right does a team you support have to thrust its political affiliations on you, why can you not support a team because they’re close by, because your grandfather and father supported them or because quite frankly you got so disillusioned that the idea of a new football team to follow signalled a fresh start toyour life as a supporter. This political posturing by fans and clubs is not reserved to independence either. Palestinian, Israeli, Irish, Northern Irish and Catalan flags have all been flown at grounds across Scotland as some kind of misguided solidarity with a situation that only a small percentage of those in attendance will fully comprehend.

I am not against political debate, I am all for it and I hope that the revitalised Scottish scene continues to grow but please, please, please when you wrap that scarf around your neck, push your arm through the turnstile and launch into the traditional kick off roar just please leave the politics at home and let the football fuel all the debates you need.

So yeah pack it in! Anyway we’re back to Shettleston so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Greenfield Park, Shettleston v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division

The Green, Green Grass of Greenfield
The Green, Green Grass of Greenfield

Price: £1. Something that has quickly became the standard price in the West Superleague First Division. My, that’s a bit of a mouthful innit? Anyway one golden nugget for a pie can’t really grumble about that.

Presentation: This was just bizarre, as you will shortly see, this pie was presented in a polystyrene bowl with no napkin. I’ve heard of a roll and pie an often scoffed at delicacy, but a bowl and pie, no thank you. And the no napkin scenario is just lunacy. ( A slight exaggeration on my part as one contained after completing the prerequisite number of nods and winks). The pie etiquette here was just all wrong.

THE PIE

Seriously, A BOWL!
Seriously, A BOWL!

Meatiness: I am afraid to say this was not the finest example of a scotch pie I have ever encountered. There was a slim layer of mince within this pie but that was it. It had a slight savoury flavour but there was no distinct peppery kick and although it was moist all the moistness achieved was to wash away the meaty flavour found within. Texturally it was fine but I’d be a liar if I said that this particularly meaty filling was something I would go out my way to have again.

Brown Sauce: I mentioned earlier on about poor pie etiquette, this was in evidence once again when on the request for brown sauce I was not allowed the simple task of applying it myself but instead presented with a pre-sauced pie. My question is simple, how do you know how much sauce I like on my pie? For example, some people smear a layer so thick it looks like they’re icing a cake while others suffice with the merest of splodges. Let me sauce my own pie!.

Pastry: To be fair the meat was not the biggest problem and neither was the saucing debacle, the bowl, however, was and this had disastrous consequences for the pastry underneath. Politely put it was a bit soft but realistically it was a soggy mess. Here’s why. Because the pie was placed in a polystyrene bowl the steam was trapped in a pocket between the pies base and the bottom of the bowl, now as we know when steam gets trapped it forms condensation causing water droplets to form on or around the surface of an item, in this case the pie. This meant that as you bit the pie the bahookie fell out of it almost straight away. The more you bit into it the more mess it made. The pastry walls started crumbling and before I knew it theres was pits of pastry floating about everywhere in a mincy sea. It was just all a bit wrong.

Overall: See if this hadn’t been served in a bowl this would probably have been a perfectly serviceable bog standard Saturday snack, however it wasn’t and along with the fails in pie etiquette this pie did not leave many fond memories.

Gravy Factor: A Gravy Boat. But where’s the Gravy? Ditch the bowls.

I feel I have to say this ever time but I don’t like writing negative reviews, but I am nothing but honest and when it comes to all things football you will never find me blowing smoke up anyone’s orifice. Anyway the next review shall be from Ayrshire at Ladywell Park home of Maybole Juniors, I promise I’ll try to get this out a bit quicker.

However until next time. go forth and eat pie!

Interested in some non pie work then visit The Football Pink at,  http://footballpink.net/2014/09/22/the-sporadic-scottish-football-round-up-first-installment/ for the first of my Scottish football midseason reviews covering men’s, women’s, senior and junior football in Scotland.

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Pie 74: The Greenock Pie – A Meat Filled Tribute

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Hello and welcome to Meat Filled Pastries the home of pies, pies and a little bit of football chat. Usually I would have a light-hearted pre-amble about something that has irked me about the recent weeks football activities but today will be slightly different.

A year ago to the week one of my closest friends passed away after a 2 year battle with bowel cancer, last week I was asked to say a few words about him as a tribute and for once I struggled. Not because I didn’t miss him, because I do sometimes without even knowing it. No the reason I struggled, me, the man who once a week writes a 1000 word diatribe based around pies, is that for all the words I write and say they don’t really mean anything, not really. I’m glad it spreads a little happiness and I’ll continue to do for as long as its fun but it’s not going to change the world. Might change a few pie suppliers, but not the world. So here it is, inspired by the eloquent and heartfelt sentiments of his friends and family I do my best to truly articulate what my friend meant to me, a meat filled tribute if you will:

Smit was a wonderful man and friend. For all the time I knew him he never once changed who he was or how he acted for anyone and that’s because he didn’t have to. Every day eulogies appear where someone is dubbed as the kindest or the nicest or the most well liked person and I’m sure in their own way they are but in Smit there was a man who nobody could say a bad word about. He would always be there for some hijinks or there to call you an idiot, something I had much experience of but most importantly he was always there. Even through the traumas of chemotherapy, of endless doctors appointments and hospital stays I never one felt that he wanted you to be anything other than normal with him. To live life to the end with that strength is something that I can only aspire too.

Smit died aged just 28 an age at which no person should pass away. When something like that happens its hard not to evaluate your own sense of worth and the decisions you make, it’s just human nature, the sudden realisation that life is fleeting and then invincibility of youth is a cruel façade that can be so quickly and unfairly taken away. The words of Meat Filled Pastries may not have been here was it not for the likes of ‘The Grambler’ and ‘Rubbertoe Mankini’ some of Stewart’s finest creations and the choices I make now are not made with more than a thought to what he would do if he was standing there beside me. I’ve become a little braver and I’d like to think a little wiser but these changes pale in comparison against what my friend had to go through.  I will always remember, I will never forget.

A year down the line and the focus of Stewart’s friends and family are firmly focused on raising the profile of bowel cancer and The Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund has raised nearly £15,000 to date. If you want to donate then you can do so at the following link, https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3/, you don’t have to but if you do it will be greatly appreciated.

The Grambler  is still going strong left in the capable hands of Stewart’s father Kevin, who continues to produce the betting tips that will win one day win you millions and all it asks in return is you push a little of those winnings towards the funds way. Below is a link to those testimonies I described earlier, if you’ve got this far you might as well read a little further:

http://www.thegrambler.com/2014/08/week-4-tribute-to-our-founder.html

The next fund-raising event is scheduled for Sunday 7th September and below I’ve attached all the information you need to know for a fun filled family day out!

fit fun day

Thank you for bearing with me through all that if it’s not your cup of tea I understand but it would be remiss of me not to use my mild infamy to promote something close to my heart. But for now let’s have a change of pace and why many of you are, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Ravenscraig Stadium, Greenock v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division

A Tipsy Pie...
A Tipsy Pie…

Price: £1. One single golden nugget has to depart from your paw to be rewarded with a meat and pastry snack. That my friend, in today’s world of £59.7m Angle Di Marias and £16m Danny Welbecks , is an absolute bargain.

Presentation: Being a scotch pie this rode bare back in my hand with just a medium-sized white blanket playfully wrapped around it.

THE PIE

Pie day is Cheat Day!
Pie day is Cheat Day!

Meatiness: This was a traditional scotch pie but if I’m being honest it was all rather disappointing. There was definitely a meaty centre derived from the most aged of mutton but it lacked any real flavour. There was no peppery hit and neither was there a savoury note to the meat inside. It was moist but didn’t feel lubricated with the wafer thin film of grease that a good scotch pie should leave on your lips as you consume it. This was certainly an instance where I was thankful for a healthy dollop of HP to add some much needed spice and zing.

Pastry: The pastry was OK, it was a hot water crust and a little crispy but also managed to be a little too soft on the sides at the same time. There was no hole in top to let the heat escape although to be fair I am yet to be convinced those pies that give a sneak peek of the meat inside do so for no other reason than aesthetic appeal. There is nothing more frustrating than a pie that you can’t get enthused about when you spend a good chunk of your time reviewing them but the pastry on this pie did little to lift my apathy.

Overall: I ate it, but it’s not devastating to think that it could be another wee while before I have another one.

Gravy Factor: A little below bog standard Bisto. Disappointing.

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!