Luxury Pies

Pie 54: The Ayr United ‘Steak & Ale’ Pie

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There be booze in this here pie!
There be booze in this here pie!

I’m back and it’s still British Pie Week so that means that once again Meat Filled Pastries is delving headfirst into a meaty masterpiece. You may think I’m being presumptuous, I mean I haven’t even reviewed this offering yet, but let us not forget that a pie no matter how beautiful or tasty is still a masterpiece. A story of man’s struggle to create a crisp but soft pastry golden to the eye and flaky to the touch. To find the finest cuts of meat, to chop or mince them whilst seasoning them sympathetically to enhance the flavours inside whilst providing you, the luck recipient, with an extra dimension of spice, sweet or savoury at the behest of the artist’s moods and tastes. A pie is indeed a masterpiece and one day Meat Filled Pastries will be their Louvre.

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

Where: Somerset Park, Ayr United v Forfar Athletic, SPFL League One

Price: This was priced at £2 and much like the Ayr United’s Scotch Pie (Pie 53) it is priced slap bang in the middle of the range most applicable for luxury pies in the Scottish lower leagues.

Presentation: Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a new leader in the presentation stakes. Look at this, that’s right I’m about to drop a second picture on you.

Just Wow!
Just Wow!

I mean wow, just wow, what is this!?!? Well in its simplest form it is a cardboard sleeve in which the pie was sitting comfortably, but to look at it in its simplest form would be a total waste of a pie review. Is it the front cover of a pie themed trance album that never quite took off? Is it a full-grown version of Sooty’s best friend forever Sweep after an acid trip? Or is it simply a felt tip and highlighter portrait of the first nun who decided she was quite fond of a meat filled pastry every now and again? Either way this provided plenty of entertainment during the pre match build up. Underneath the sleeve the pie was in a simple tin foil case but there was no napkin provided, a first in this journey of pie and could be considered by some as a pie eating faux pas.

Meatiness: Just like the presentation, the meaty filling inside this luxury pie was super fancy. It was a dark, stormy concoction of steak and thick unctuous gravy. Far darker than your normal steak pie which I can only assume was a result of the ale that the meat was cooked with adding a depth of colour and a lovely malty back note to each bite. A common flaw in ale based gravies is that there is no hint of the specially crafted ale that a brewer had spent weeks and months sweating over so it was a delight to taste its presence in this offering. Then there was the meat, not only wonderfully tender with a good mix of shreds and dice but it also had some wonderful crispy bits where the meat had obviously caught in the pan. It really helped to add a homemade feel to the pie whilst adding another dimension of this flavour. I know I’m gushing a bit but wowzers this was good pie!

Pastry: The pastry was lovely and golden. Soft and crispy with a small hole to let the steam out the top. The most impressive part though was that there was no soggy bottom and no catching on the tin foil case just a lovely layer of crisp soft pastry from top to bottom. It may appear, when looking at it, that it was a little pale but in reality this was the crowning glory on this belter of a pie.

Overall: This pie came with a lot of hype and before consumption I was nervous that it would be nothing but a disappointment. I am delighted to report that I had no need for nerves as this was delightful from first bite to last. Great Meat. Great Gravy. Great Pastry. And the kind of presentation that requires 3D glasses and a time machine back to the sixties. If you go to Somerset Park this pie is a must. Well played Boaby, whoever you are!

Gravy Factor: Bathe me in this gravy, wash me down with a towel and then ring it dry straight into my wide open gob!

This pie definitely made a midweek drive to South Ayrshire a trip worthwhile. A review this good only goes to encourage me to go further with these pie adventures and as such my next stop on Saturday will be Dunterlie Park home of Arthurlie, let’s just hope the rain eases up a bit.

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.

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.

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Pie 49: The Greenock Morton ‘Steak’ Pie

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Back to the lap of luxury...it's STEAAAAK!
No Pies were harmed in the making of this review.

Did you know the word luxury started out as a term most commonly associated with sexual intercourse in the 1300’s? I certainly didn’t and whatever comparison you have now made between the physical act of making love and a golden filled pastry packed with meat and gravy is entirely of your own doing. As part of good housekeeping I should probably confirm that I am never going to tell you to make love to a pie, firstly it’s not that kind of site and secondly it would just be a downright waste. This is not American Pie, you are not Jim, please keep your pants on!

Anyway, welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries where we love pies, not make love to them. This is the second review of a packed week of pie and a long-awaited return to the luxury market with our second offering from Cappielow, home of Greenock Morton.

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

Where: Cappielow, Greenock Morton v Queen of the South, SPFL Championship

Price: At £1.80 it is 30p more expensive that the standard scotch offering at Cappielow but when compared with other luxury offerings it’s priced towards the cheaper end of the scale. As it happens, I nearly missed out on this pastry present to myself, only being alerted to its existence by the chap behind me promptly ordering one for himself and I hope his 3 friends. I imagine it’s the first time anyone has given back a pie at the football but 3 pies in one 90 minute sitting is too much, even for this lover of all things pastry filled and meaty.

Presentation: One of the few luxury steak pies to go against popular convention and not present itself inside a tin foil case, instead flying solo on a napkin of similar size, colour and heat resistance to that the Morton scotch pie was provided on.

Meatiness: This was a steak and gravy pie, the steak was tasty and well seasoned with the right mixture of large chunks and smaller strands of meat distributed throughout. The gravy that surrounded it was seasoned well with a salty as opposed to peppery undertone of flavour which for my palate was perfectly pleasant. As nice as the pie was I am disappointed to report that it was rather cold, not undercooked in any way, shape or form but tasted like it had been sat out for a while before it had made its way into my paws. The taste of the pie was good but I can’t help but wonder if a hotter pie would have tasted even better with the gravy surrounding the steak being glorious and unctuousness as opposed to a little congealed.

Pastry: The pastry suffered from the cold too as it appeared a little pale and limp as opposed to crisp and golden.  The softness of the pastry did make for a really forgiving bite and little mess but from a personal standpoint a good luxury pie should result in puff pastry flakes in your beard and a dribble of gravy down the side of your mouth. This pastry, although perfectly serviceable, robbed me of that satisfaction, and as a result was a little disappointing.

Overall: A pie of frustration. It was tasty but I feel that if this pie had retained some it’s warmth then it would have undoubtedly gained even more ticks in my flavour boxes. A simple message to all you purveyors of match day pies, make sure they’re warm, especially when it’s hats and gloves weather.

Gravy Factor: Leftover Pie. You could heat it up but that would involve getting off the couch, turning the oven on, waiting for it to heat up and then having to repeat the process all over again. After you’ve eaten it you’re happy because you’ve eaten a pie but if that little bit more effort was made to inject it with warmth it probably would have been that wee bit better.

One pie shy of 50, and that my friends will be winging its way to you before the week is out with a return to the junior pie ranks and a scotch pie offering from Penicuik Athletic.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest piece for www.thefootballbloggingawards.co.uk looks at the new found tradition of kicking the ball out of play when a player goes down ‘injured’ go have a look it’s almost as good as all the pie chat.

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 36: The Hampden ‘Chicken Curry’ Pie

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This pie is pure filth'
‘This pie is pure filth’

Namaste pie fans and welcome to the latest review from Meat Filled Pastries. This week we get right into the international spirit and take on board one of the more exotic offerings at the home of Scottish Football, Hampden Park.

While the staple of Meat Filled Pastries is pies of the scotch and steak variety there is an equal, if not greater, amount of joy found when a pie doesn’t fall underneath these most traditional of fillings. The ‘luxury’ pie is one that must be offered whilst also taking into consideration the taste buds of your average football fan. While a rabbit and crayfish pie sounds delicious, and trust me it is, you wouldn’t really want one at the football. The idea of eating rabbit is still for some associated with Thumper from Bambi, and for that matter the idea of eating a venison pie will for some forever be associated with that same film’s lead character.

What is the point of this Disney orientated meander of the mind I hear you ask?

Well from my journey so far we have seen The Chicken & Haggis Pie, The Beans, Mince & Tatties Pie and now this Chicken Curry delicacy and I have come to the following conclusion. If you put a full meal into a pie the chances are a football fan will like it, or try it at the very least. Now, there is no facts and figures that I can provide that will prove this theory as accurate. It is more based on the hum of excitement I hear at the football grounds I visit when an interesting new pie is on the menu.

So with our appetites suitably whetted with all this talk of luxury pie, let us not waste any more time, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland v USA, International Friendly

Price: £3.00. That’s a new highest priced pie on the Meat Filled Pastries pages. Twice the price of a junior football Steak Pie, a luxury contemporary, and 40p more expensive than any of it’s pastry cased rivals at Hampden. This pie has a lot to live up to.

Presentation: The first thing that strikes you about this pie is that is bigger than a standard scotch pie, noticeably so. It comes in a tinfoil case that fits snugly round pie, perhaps too snug as it made it difficult to take that all important first bite as can be seen by the picture above. Also the napkin was one of the smaller plain white variety and as such it became immediately apparent that it was not going to be sufficient for the mess I was about to find myself in. The problems caused by the size of the napkin were highlighted further when the pie was placed in my hand as I spent the walk back to my seat juggling it between my two hands such was the heat coming through.

Meatiness: This was a very meaty pie, it was deep filled, really deeply filled and when also taking into consideration the more generous portion of pie you get for your pounds the £3 cost starts to become a little bit more bearable. Then I took a bite, and my mouth was awash with a molten madness I hadn’t encountered in a pie before. Firstly the filling was piping hot, the chicken chunked into small 1cm cubes adding a lovely texture and bite. But if the temperature of the pie itself was hot the taste of the gravy had you in a spicy haze that no Bovril could quench.

Let me say here that I love spicy food. I have a collection of hot sauces that have been known to make grown men cry but I don’t think the terraces is the place for something with so much punch. It was heady with spice but with had an almost sweet aftertaste on the back of the throat, something that helped to counter the ever increasing inferno in the mouth building as each bite was taken. This was certainly a meaty, spicy treat but a filling fit for the terraces I’m not sure.

Pastry: As previously stated this was a bigger pie than usual and as such had more pastry to encompass the filling. The problem with the bigger pie and the tight fitting nature of it within its tin foil suit of armour was that as soon as you took one bite the lid came off and you were left with a bowl of chicken curry without a spoon to eat it with. I tried the classic ‘pastry as spoon’ technique but as there was no hard upper crust as found in a scotch pie the pastry just flopped under the moisture of the gravy. Instead I had to resort to finger picking my way through it. Not a big problem I hear you say. However once my final scraping of the foil with my turmeric stained fingers was complete I had realised that 22 minutes of the game before me had passed by. A pie should be the side dish to the main meal of football and unfortunately due to the lack of a solid pastry base this wasn’t the case in this instance.

Overall: This pie has left me a tad confused. While the £3 cost is expensive it certainly felt more filling and was obviously bigger to the naked eye. I also thought it was very tasty but ultimately unsuitable for watching a game of football from the stands. The napkin was too small and the pastry collapse created a distraction from the game I had paid to see. I think if I was to have this pie again whilst watching the football I’d want to have it from the comfort of my couch.

Gravy Factor: Spicy gravy but best leave it at home knowing that you have a wonderfully tasty pastry sitting there to warm you after a cold winter’s day.

Another pie down, and another variety added to the list. The next time you hear from Meat Filled Pastries will most likely be a review from Lochore Welfare, weather permitting, as we go back on the junior pie trail.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

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 your 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 35: The Irvine Meadow ‘Steak’ Pie

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'Gushing with Gravy'
‘Gushing with Gravy’

Hello, it’s your friend in pie here and I am once again ready and willing to delve headfirst into another meat and gravy filled delicacy for your reading pleasure.

I have been asked many times why I spend every week sitting down and writing about pie and other than hinting that this started as the result of conversations had over a pint I’ve never really gone fully into it. Well today is the day you get under the golden flaky crust of Meat Filled Pastries as I try and make this journey seem less mad cap than it looks on first appearance.

Firstly I am a massive football fan, I have my teams that I follow, and if you read through the pie reviews I have made so far then you should be able to figure out who they are, but as a rule if there is a game of football to be found, then I’ll be at it. Whether its junior, professional, part-time, international or even the wrongly maligned women’s game. As far as I am concerned the true football experience involves standing (or sitting) at a football ground come rain or shine, something that Gary Neville and his multiple camera views will never be able to replicate.

Now, when you go to so many games of football the natural side effect to this is you eat a lot of pie, and I have eaten a LOT of pie. For many the pie is a quintessential part of the match day experience and since such additional costs like programmes and hospitality packages are rated it seemed odd to me that something so intrinsically linked with football in the UK, and Scotland specifically, did not have a champion of it’s own. I am going to be that champion, and not just for the humble pie but, as a by product, for all the clubs that I visit on my journey. I hope so far you’re happy with the job I’m doing.

Since this journalized adventure has started I’ve consumed 35 pies, gained a bit of notoriety around the terraces as the ‘pie-man’, been on local radio and picked up readers from as far afield as Tajikistan, South Africa and Vietnam whilst also returning to doing some serious writing when not engulfed by the world of pie. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m sure it will be for a long time to come.

With the rationales explained, time to get down to business and review the second pie from Irvine Meadow, and a return to the luxury market with a steak special.

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

Where: Meadow Park, Irvine Meadow v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: Priced at £1.50, much like the Irvine Meadow scotch pie this is slap bang in the middle of the price range expected to be paid at a junior ground for a luxury pie.

Presentation: Wearing the little black dress of the pie world, a medium sized white napkin, the first steak pie not to come within a tin foil case and as such removing any risk of the pastry sticking and the bottom falling out of the pastry base.

Meatiness: Within one bite the meat came gushing out of this pie in all its plentiful glory. This really was a case of the gravy smattering my face. The meat was cut into a mixture of thin ribbons and small chunks adding variety to each bite. The texture of the meat itself was great as you could feel the strands of meat fall apart in your mouth almost instantly. This pie had been cooked with care. The greatest joy of the filling though was the gravy. There was zero risk of calling this pie dry and it was seasoned very well. It was also of the right consistent to stay within the pie without the confines of a tin foil case to support it but still ooze as you bit down on the pastry lid. Lovely Stuff.

Pastry: The pastry had a lovely golden top and the puff hadn’t expanded too much meaning that the all important meat to pastry ratio was well within the acceptable parameters. The pastry round the outside was fine, nothing outstanding but provided the necessary tasting notes a good pie should have. The base collapsed a little due to the volume and the moistness of the filling but nowhere near as much as you would expect. A functional casing for the meaty gold inside.

Overall: This was a delicious pie and I would quite happily have one of these again in a heartbeat. My only criticism, the napkins need to be bigger because you end up getting yourself in a right mess! That mess however was totally worth it.

Gravy Factor: Get me a pastry straw so I can sook up this gravy quicker than an aardvark partying on an anthill.

All in all, an excellent effort and a good overall outing for Irvine Meadow on the pie front, the next pie to hit these pages will most likely be a result of a Tartan Army based misadventure over the weekend.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on 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 your 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 32: The Dufftown ‘Mince, Beans and Tatties’ Pie

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A full dinner, in a pie!
‘There be beans in that pie!’

Hello again, and yes that is a bean peeking out of a pie but more on that in a bit.

As those that follow the exploits of Meat Filled Pastries know this Halloween instead of spending my time chasing trick or treaters away from my door I will be in the studio for the ‘Nugent4Nil’ Junior football show on Pulse 98.4 (http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/) from 8-9pm. In preparation for this I thought now would be as good a time as any to throw some pie stats at you:

Pies consumed: 32, this figures is taken from the start of the season, which for me began at Dundee North End on the 20th July a few weeks before the inception of the Meat Filled Pastries site you see before you know.

Pie Consumption Rate: 1.4 pies per game.

Pie Varieties Consumed: 4 (Scotch, Steak, Chicken & Haggis, Mince, Beans & Tatties).

Most Expensive Pie to Date: £2.60, Pie 18 ‘The Hampden Steak Pie’ (this is disregarding the Wembley ‘Bonus’ Pie which was a pie in name only)

Cheapest Pie to Date: £1.00, Pie 12 ‘The Rob Roy Pie’.

Biggest Surprise so far: Beans in a pie!

Biggest Let-down so far: That on my last 2 visits to Hampden they had NO BROWN SAUCE!

Those are the pie facts so far, and yes I am aware there is a particular type of chart that would be remiss of me not to use when discussing meat filled pastries but for that analytical beauty you will have to wait until the end of the season. For now though we are back in Dufftown, so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Westburn Park, Dufftown v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Rd

Price: As with ‘Pie 31: The Dufftown Pie’ this was £2 and was part of the ‘one price fits all’ structure used at Westburn Park. As this can be deemed as a luxury pie the £2 price tag sits better than it did for the standard pie they offered.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin much like its Dufftown contemporaries.

Meatiness: So this pie had mince, beans and tatties in it and therefore was only conceived with a 33% meat content in mind. That being said what was there was very tasty although I would question if it managed to reach that 33% level. On top of the mince was a single layer of baked beans, adding a tomato taste and an extra bit of texture and bite. It’s a shame that there was not a few more beans as I felt there should have been more of a satisfying ooze coming from the beans themselves once bitten into. The mashed potato on top was piped lovingly although not to the edges and as such some of the beans caught in the oven and were a little burnt. The mash itself was nice but could have done with a good knob of butter in it before piping for added richness. As traditional Scottish dinner’s in a pie go this was pretty good.

Pastry: Aaah the pastry, not really designed to add much other than to hold the smorgasbord (when it comes to pies 3 count as a smorgasbord) of fillings inside. It was a standard scotch pie case but what I can say is that parts of the base were well-fired enough that the smoke alarms must have been going off somewhere in the kitchen. That being said the burnt nature of the pastry underneath somehow worked really well with the pie filling itself. Now once again this is my personal taste and preference for pastry to be overdone than under of not done to perfection but despite this gastronomical faux pas the pastry did a sufficient job for what it was designed for, holding the rest of the pie together.

Overall: This pie definitely scores high on the novelty factor. It would have been better with a few more beans, a little more meat and the base a little less burnt but all in all it provided a satisfying match day snack. If I ever end up in Dufftown again I would certainly have this pie again and also consider a squirt of brown sauce on top as I think this would have added an extra zing to this meat, bean and tatties filled ensemble.

Gravy Factor: A gravy that’s a work in progress, you know you need the bones to make it tasty but you can’t figure out what to do with them. Potentially excellent, but not quite yet.

Well, that’s Pie 32 added to those condemned to the pit of my stomach as this journey of one man and his love of football and a tasty scran rumbles on. Next time out we go back to the SPFL as ‘The Stenhousemuir Pie’ is taken out of the oven and thrust into your faces courtesy of Meat Filled Pastries.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on 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 your 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 tune in to Pulse 98.4 the ‘Listen Live’ function on  http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/. on Thursday 31st October for some live pie on ‘Nugent4Nil’ and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to the now child friendly Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 29: The Beith ‘Chicken & Haggis’ Pie

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Yes, that really is mashed potato on top of a pie!
Yes, that really is mashed potato on top of a pie!

It’s been a while since my last Junior pie review, so I am happy to report that this week I will again be bringing you not one, but two pie’s for your mental consumption. My regular attendance of Junior football games is what started this particular little project, and so it gives me great pleasure to bring you more meat filled pastries from the places most of you would never even consider going to, let alone think a football team is there selling pies. This week we start with a special treat, a pie that has a reputation as being one of the best around. So much so, that I had to forgo the usual routine of starting my pie tastings with a scotch mince pie, and instead go straight into the lap of luxury such was my concern that the pie shown above would be sold out before I had a chance to smack my lips right around it.

I also have a bit of exciting ‘Meat Filled Pastries’ news but you’ll have to wait for the aforementioned second Beith pie review later in the week before I reveal this latest development, let’s just say my mouth is going to be doing more than just eating pies in a couple of weeks time.

So with that rather cryptic statement out the way, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith v Pollok, West of Scotland Cup 1st Rd

Price: £1.50 for a luxury pie is a price not to be sniffed at, especially considering it is a pound cheaper than some of it’s SPFL contemporaries and with a far more interesting filling waiting inside.

Presentation: Presented in a silver tin foil case, something that I would be thankful for later, and a large branded napkin for ‘Irvine’s Baker and Coffee Shop’. I liked this touch a lot, not only is it smart for a small business to promote itself and hopefully continue to be a success, but it also gives you the pie consumer a point of origin. In fact it also give’s me as a reviewer a fair chance to point people in the right direction if a pie is worthy of the Meat Filled Pastries stamp of approval.

Meatiness: As can already be seen this pie is not mince nor steak, but the heady combination of chicken and haggis. As I write this I wonder if someone somewhere has thought to christen this the ‘Balmoral Pie’ after that dish commonly found at many a Scottish sit down function. If they haven’t then I will happily allow it’s use on the condition that I get a lifetime supply of these beauties. Firstly it was bursting with meaty goodness! The chicken was cut into rough 1cm cubes, perfect size to provide texture without resulting in you pulling large bits of meat out the centre of your pie when biting. The haggis added a creaminess and that all important hint of pepper and spice that makes a truly great pie which, when coupled with the chicken gravy inside, left you craving that second bite almost as soon as you had dabbed the corner of your lip from taking the first.

Pastry: The pastry was as close to perfect as I’ve had yet, it was sealed with the kind of precision that would have Paul Hollywood stroking his nipples with glee. A golden top with a thin crisp layer and the pastry round the sides soft enough to bite straight through. Then there was the mashed potato, that’s right mashed potato, on a blinkin’ pie, madness I hear you say? Not at all. Although not a world beating mash it provided a lovely contrast to the pastry that surrounded it. My only minor criticism would be that the moistness of the filling did mean that after a few bites the insides fell out the bottom a bit, but I’m not really caring as it was well worth the messy fingers.

Overall: I created the term ‘Luxury Pie’ initially to cover any pie that wasn’t your standard mince pie, however this effort has raised the bar considerably. Fully worth the extra expense and the title of ‘Luxury Pie’ not only for its taste but also its originality.

Gravy Factor: The ‘Balmoral’ Pie would be the kind of gravy that Prince Charles would have at a royal visit and immediately get onto the marketing men at Duchy Originals to buy get it bought out and trademark it as their very own gravy. Lovely, lovely gravy.

The first poultry pie is in the books, and I think you’ll agree that it has done rather well for itself, I’m aiming to get the mince pie review up on Wednesday night, will it fair so well? And perhaps more importantly what is the big announcement from MFP HQ?

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on 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 your 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. Finally if you could take some time to visit ‘The Grambler’ or make a donation to ‘The Booby Moore Fund’ it would be most appreciated.

Pie 26: The Cowdenbeath ‘Steak’ Pie

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Back in the lap of luxury.
Back in the lap of luxury.

Well here we are again, as promised, the Cowdenbeath Steak Pie is next to go under the taste test of Meat Filled Pastries. The site is currently under some modifications, hopefully culminating in a snazzy new banner so don’t be scared of the change, embrace it. Anyway back to pies. One of the things that you learn to appreciate when you go to a lot of football games is the variety of food that a particular ground can offer. Whilst some will stock solely Scotch Pies, Bovril, Juice, Sweets and Crisps others are a bit more adventurous although I’ll never forget my disappointment that you couldn’t get Arbroath Smokies at Gayfield. Cowdenbeath, however, certainly fell into the more adventurous heading as can be seen below:

Variety is the spice of life, except when you want to review a pie.
Variety is the spice of life, except when you want to review a pie.

Please focus your attention past the Bacon Rolls and Lentil Soup to the bottom item on that list, Corn Beef Stovies. A truly unique addition to the footballing menu. Now in these circumstances I have a difficult decision to make and I have to remind myself that I need to put pies before what my stomach desires for the benefit of this little project. Normally I would have had my mits wrapped around a warm cup brimming with Corn Beef Stovies but knowing how unlikely it is that Central Park will bw somewhere that I will visit again soon, and knowing that this site is called ‘Meat Filled Pastries’ and not ‘Corn Beef in a Cup’, I selected a steak pie for my secondary consumption,

I know, I’m your hero. You’re Welcome.

Before we get into the review let me remind you of a couple of the rules that surround a ‘luxury’ pie. Firstly no brown sauce should be required and secondly as you are paying more than for your usual scotch pie the overall quality should be of a higher standard.

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

Where:  Central Park, Cowdenbeath v Dundee, SPFL Championship

Price: At £2 this ‘luxury’ steak pie is actually cheaper than the scotch equivalents found at Ibrox and Hampden getting this review off to a good start without a bite being taken,

Presentation: Identical in presentation to the Cowdenbeath Scotch Pie, presented in a silver tin foil case with a medium size white napkin, sufficient enough coverage of the case to prevent you dropping the pie due to excessive heat.

Meatiness: The steak inside the pie was smaller chunked than you would usually find in pies of similar ilk and also seemed to have some coarse mince running through it as well. I took this as an indication that the meat inside was incredibly fall apart tender something that I am happy to confirm after taking that first bite. The gravy was rich and flavoursome and was of a consistency that was sufficient to coat the meat and also ooze a little from the pastry without being runny and causing puddles in the tinfoil casing.

Pastry: The pastry was cooked well, with the underside of the top part of the casing willing enough to absorb that lovely gravy. Unfortunately it had caught a little on the bottom which meant that when I went to pick up the pie for it’s first bite I left 75% of it in the case! Once again, not a massive flavour flaw but more of a potential distraction when trying to watch a game of football. I am however happy to share a couple of tips I have used in the past to resolve this issue.

Tip 1: Break a piece of the outer crust off, if baked well enough this should be sturdy enough to use as a pastry spoon to scoop out that meaty goodness.

Tip 2: Eat all the topping of the pie using your fingers ensuring you have sufficient napkin support for the inevitable mess you get yourself into. Once the majority of the filling has been devoured use the now softened base to wrap up the remaining filling into a Steak and Gravy Taco.

In this instance I went for the pastry spoon option which worked just fine.

Overall: A tasty steak pie, with a well flavoured gravy meaning adding brown sauce never entered my mind. the meat was tender and well textured. The pastry fell apart a bit but as this was once again consumed before kick off provided an amusing aside to the pre-match routine.

Gravy Factor: Tasty but messy gravy although sometimes that’s the best way for it to be.

So that’s another pie quaffed, that’s 26 for the season as we enter the winter months, so until next time go forth and eat pie.

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