Month: May 2015

Pie 98: The Irvine Victoria Pie

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What up pie fans!? It’s me! The self anointed prince of pie, here to spread another pastry review all over the world wide web. As the idea of writing a book continues to take shape I have been looking back over some of my past pastry conquests to see how easily I can knit all these component parts together.

I had already known that the reviews from this sites infant days were far less detailed than those I find myself scribing now but what I hadn’t considered was how the style of my writing has evolved, how the content has varied, and how Meat Filled Pastries has become more than just an ode to pies but a project that has taken me to places that a much younger me would be a little bit envious of. I mean, it’s not commentating on a Scottish victory in the World Cup Final but its a start and as life continues to show me you’ve got to take what you can get and run with it and as long as people want it I’ll continue to find new ways to spread the word of pie whilst being a champion for football’s little guys. You never know maybe one day that World Cup Final dream could become a reality.

So with that in mind, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Victoria Park, Irvine Victoria 1-2 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

It's a Tommy The Tank!
It’s a Tommy The Tank!

Price: £1.20. The same price as the last offering from Cumbernauld United and about par for the course when it comes to junior pies as the end of the season draws near.

Presentation: Presented simply on a medium-sized white napkin, although two may have been more appropriate (more on that later).

THE PIE

Take Two Pies. Eat One. Then Take a Picture of the Other.
Take Two Pies. Eat One. Then Take a Picture of the Other.

Meatiness: This was a well seasoned pie although somewhat missing a peppery kick with the butcher (or baker) focusing more on bringing the most possible flavour out of the mutton within. I mentioned a few moments ago that this pie would have benefited from a second layer of napkining and this was in part due to it being quite greasy, not greasy enough to compare it to the waterfall that cascades from the Beith Pie, but enough for a drop or two to hit the floor below. It also seeped onto the napkin meaning that to wipe your face you had to use a napkin that was already rather greasy, thus replacing the grease that you had just removed from your face. It was a vicious cycle but one I persevered because ultimately it was a tasty pie, I think.

Pastry: The pastry was soft, which can be attributed to the grease around the sides but was rather well fired underneath. This in the end helped consumption as you could tip the pie away from you as the grease looked as it was destined to end up all over the place. Practically it helped but if Paul and Mary were to be presented with it you just know there would be a sigh or two.

Brown Sauce: As you know I adorn my pie with brown sauce, it’s habit. It’s what I’ve always done and on this occasion things were no different…however I couldn’t talk about condiments without making reference to the smorgasbord available at Victoria Park. There was, and I kid you not, the following:

  • HP Brown Sauce
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • HP Fruity Sauce
  • HP Honey Smoked Barbecue Sauce
  • HP Oak Smoked Barbecue Sauce
  • Reggae Reggae Sauce
  • Coleman’s Mustard.

Look and see!

Aw Da Sauce!
Aw Da Sauce!

I don’t really get the need for them all but it was impressive nonetheless.

Overall: As I spoke to people about this pie it definitely split the crowd. The fact it was quite greasy counted against it while the fact it was actually pretty tasty worked in its favour. I found myself somewhere in the middle.

Gravy Factor: Aaaah I’m so confused by this pie, in some ways great in others not quite right. It’s definitely gravy, but of what variety? I think on this occasion I’ll leave that totally up to you.

I’ve got a plan for pie 99 but as yet no destination for it.

So 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.

Pie 97: The Cumbernauld United Pie

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Hello pie fans, how are you? This question is entirely rhetorical as I won’t be able to respond, well unless you get in contact and if you do go to such extremes then I will (because I’m sound like that) get back to you. Anyway as regular readers will know I came back from Canada a couple of weeks ago and it’s safe to say some of my joie de vivre seems to have got lost on the flight back over the Atlantic.

Lazy people would attribute it to the holiday blues but for me it’s been part of a far longer malaise that a holiday only managed to put a temporary pin in. I can’t really put a finger on what has been gnawing away at me. It could be the realisation that as weddings and baby announcements become more frequent that I am now a proper adult, a proper adult who turns 30 later this year but still has next to no idea what he really wants to do with his life. I feel like I’ve lost my sense of purpose at the moment, not in some morbid kind of way where I’m getting the rusty razor blades out whilst turning Alanis Morissette’s Greatest Hits up to 11 ( Writers Note 1: I’ve just had a wee search on Google to see if such a thing exists and it does so in case you’re interested you can purchase The Collection for £4.45 on Amazon). (Writers Note 2: How good is Spinal Tap? Seriously it’s just great).

No, it’s not that but I have always had this belief that I’m destined to do something great, something that will leave my mark on the world for centuries to come. As much as we all have a laugh about it, Meat Filled Pastries (whilst obviously being the greatest thing on the internet today) is probably not going to be my coup de grace but at the moment I’m getting, just a little bit, impatient as I try to get the casserole of nonsense that floats about in my head to form some kind of sensible conclusions. I’m sure I will, it’s just going to take some time.

Anyway, apologies for using these hallowed pages to have a bit of a moan but sometimes man cannot communicate in pie alone. Ah pie, the one meaty constant in my life and the reason why most of you will have skipped to this part of today’s pieatribe upon the realisation that is not a football based tale of humour and whimsy.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Guys Meadow, Cumbernauld United 0-4 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

I didn't stand behind the net all match, that would have been stupid!
I didn’t stand behind the net all match, that would have been stupid!

Price: £1.20 a diversion from the £1 offerings that have been gracing me these last few weeks. A 20% hike in price sounds whopping but in reality it”s only 20p and when you remember that for some pies at Hampden, the home of Scottish Football, they charge you up to £3.60 for a pastry then £1.20 isn’t all that bad really.

Presentation: Another paper plate and medium-sized white napkin offering here. Not quite sure why this has all of sudden sprung up as a key presentational technique towards the end of the season but it seems to be common none the less. This pie had the added bonus of being accompanied by a pint that you could quaff at your leisure during the game, which in Scottish football, is a very rare commodity indeed. It gets loads of extra points for that alone.

THE PIE

A Pie & A Pint and A Game of Football on a Sunny Spring Evening. Nice!
A Pie & A Pint and A Game of Football on a Sunny Spring Evening. Nice!

Meatiness: I know, I know. I need to calm down with the David Baileyesque attempts at pie based photography. I promise you that next time normal service will be resumed. Anyway, this was the first pie that I’ve had in a while that had a serious pepper kick to it, with a linger that lasted long into the night. The meat within was well-formed and suitably moist. That aside though I don’t really have much else to say to be honest, meat wise there was nothing wrong with it but it hasn’t lasted long in the memory.

Pastry: The pastry was slightly over-baked and being honest the top edges were burnt which gave the pie a slightly bitter and chalky finish. I try not to focus too much on the bake when reviewing pies at football grounds. It would be remiss of me not to pass comment as I believe all pies should be prepared with care and presented to fans in its optimum condition but I understand that sometimes a busy pie stall can result in the oven being left on a little bit longer than needed. If this pastry had been cooked to golden perfection I’m sure it would have been a suitably sturdy cup for its meaty contents as it was though, it was just a little bit frazzled.

Brown Sauce: In an opaque brown squeezy bottle this was a tangy version of this king of condiments.

Overall: The burnt pastry let it down a little but it was certainly a welcome return to the long peppery linger.

Gravy Factor: Peppery Bisto with a boozy finish.

Another pie down, a mere 3 steps away from the magic hundred, at which point the realities of writing a book about all of this will finally hit home. But before that pie 98 will be coming to you from Irvine Victoria in the Scottish Juniors. Remember to subscribe to the pie for all my latest meat filled coming and goings.

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.

Pie 96: The Kilsyth Rangers Pie

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Hello and the meat filled bandwagon rolls on this time from Kilsyth to the north of Glasgow. I’m struggling to find much to focus a pie-atribe on just now as I got locked out of my flat tonight due to my main door key splitting in half as I turned it in the lock so that was fun. Then I ruined my dinner and have made an almighty mess in my kitchen that I’m now going to have to tidy up. All in all I’ve had a better 120 minute periods in my life.

That said my team got promoted last night, and 3 points at Kilsyth on Saturday helped put us on our way, the review from the promotion winning game in Cumbernauld will be coming later in the week but for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Duncansfield Park, Kilsyth Rangers 0-2 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

Condemned
Condemned

Price: £1. On quite the run of one pound pies at the moment, a comfort to the wallet as fixtures pile up towards to the end of the season.

Presentation: On a larger than average, but not quite large enough to not call it anything other than medium-sized white napkin. A classical technique.

THE PIE

Trying to mix it up  a bit with the old one bite expose
Trying to mix it up a bit with the old one bite expose

Meatiness: I have to level with you here as I ended up buying two pies at Duncansfield. Well actually I’ll level with you even further in that the reason I had to buy a second pie was because the first pie that was purchased for me was sent tumbling to the gravel below. Don’t get me wrong I still ate it, but I thought it would be pretty unfair to review a pie that had small pieces of gravel in it and then accuse it of being a bit gritty just because somebody (not me, I should add, I would never be so careless with a pie) had dropped it. Aye, so anyway, I bought a second one.

The meat in this pie was quite loose textured meaning there was a little bit of juggling to do when eating it but nothing too detrimental to the match viewing experience. I found the filling quite salty and felt it had an almost pork like flavour to it which was nice if not a tad unusual. Continuing on the high seasoning theme there was also a peppery kick present after consumption although not strangely not during. The meat was moist and definitely focused more on the savoury notes as opposed to the peppery ones most commonly associated with a scotch pie.

Pastry: The pastry was nice. Golden and bubbly on the edge and solidly baked through. The top was a little grey where some boil out had occurred but all in all it was a solid effort.

Brown Sauce: HP. The self-proclaimed grandaddy of brown sauces but yet isn’t called Daddies? Weird.

Overall: Obviously only taking the one into consideration that hadn’t spent 10 or so seconds on the ground this was a tasty savoury treat, still can’t shake the feeling that there was pork in it though!

Gravy Factor: Porky Gravy.

96 pies and counting, looking into my crystal ball it looks like ‘Pie 100’ will likely be hailing from either Rugby Park, home of the infamous Killie Pie (some would say a fitting place to celebrate a century of pastry) or from across the Irish Sea at the Aviva Stadium as I continue my Tartan Army travels but to get there I have just a couple more places to go, starting with Cumbernauld United a ten minute hop from the home of today’s review I look forward to seeing you for Pie 97.

So 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.