Hello, apparently I’ve been away for too long and on reflection it has been nearly 3 weeks but I would like to take this opportunity to remind folk I don’t get paid for any of this and sadly the realities of a normal working life mean that occasionally I’m too scunnered to do anything other than come home and sit on my bahookie whilst dreaming about a life on the Spanish coast. Anyway, my apologies, I’m back for a two-week burst before I’m off on my travels to Vancouver . My hope is that either the Whitecaps and/or Canucks will be able to add to the rather small Passport Pies section of the site but failing that there could be a food inspired mini blog in the works whilst I’m away.
I ended up in East Kilbride on a bit of a whim, the Pollok game having been called off due to a waterlogged pitch in Hurlford despite not a drop of rain falling from the sky for two days previous and a desire to have some pints with my pals. Anyone who has an understanding of junior football grounds will tell you if a game is on at the notoriously flood friendly Showpark then the likelihood is games will be on everywhere else. It was all very strange.
Anyway it’s always interesting to go to a game a bit further down the leagues, if only to get a true understanding of what the level of play you normally watch is really at, it also meant there was new pie for me to review so without much further ado, let’s get to it, let’s rate some pie!
Where: The Showpark, East Kilbride Thistle 1-2 Johnstone Burgh, Central District Second Division
Price: A scotch pie at £1 is something that no fan, especially those of us who have experience of visiting much larger venues, should ever sniff at. Bargain.
Presentation: Sporting the classic medium-sized white napkin look that has become the most trustworthy of pie presentational techniques as this journey has unfolded. It’s not exciting but it does the job.
Meatiness: This was a funny little filling, it was well packed and had a softly spiced hit of flavour. There was no peppery kick as such but there was enough intricacy of flavour to keep the palate dancing. That said there was a couple of issues, the pie was incredibly moist, in fact to be honest probably too moist and an over elaborate hand gesture on my part led to a small trickle of grease rolling down my arm. Now as an experienced consumer of pies I know how to handle such scenarios, tilting the pie ever so slightly upwards as I continued but my friend, who had joined me just after kick off, was getting himself into an awful mess. Although greasy I actually think on this occasion it wasn’t too detrimental to the overall taste of this filling, it would have been nice though it if was dialled back just a little.
Pastry: The pastry was a funny little thing too, despite appearing quite anaemic in colour apart from a golden tinge around the top edges it was in fact very tasty as a singular entity perhaps boosted by some of the fats within absorbing into the pastry itself. It was perhaps a little soft but then it stayed together fairly well as I munched my way through, although once again my cohort had managed to take the whole top off in one bite and was continuing to get in a right old mess.
Brown Sauce: Not the sharp and spicy burn of an HP, this sauce had an almost BBQ flavour, matched with the sweet spiced filling it made for a quirky finish to each mouthful.
Overall: In theory this pie should have been a bit of a write off, it didn’t have my much-loved peppery kick and it was a tad greasy. The pastry was soft and the brown sauce wasn’t quite right but yet I find myself saying this was a fairly enjoyable effort.
Gravy Factor: Only for consumption by experienced pie handlers. More Krypton Factor than Gravy Factor for those uninitiated in the way of the pie.
Well that was a funny little thing, subsequent of a funny little day where I found myself thinking how, in a day of glorious sunshine (if not a bit chilly), did my original fixture not make it. Well that game did eventually make it on and that will be the focus of Meat Filled Pastries next review, The Hurlford United Pie.
But until, next time, go forth and eat pie!
Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.