Non League Pies

Pie 113: The Linlithgow Rose Steak Pie

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So a few weeks ago I went to Madrid with a couple of friends and I fell in love with it a little bit. With it’s party vibe, great (great!) food and passion for football it was the kind of place that makes me realise how much I missed out on whilst spending my younger years on the strips of Magaluf.

We visited almost every museum the city had to offer, drinking and eating our way through many tabernas and restaurant’s. We also made our way to, not just one, but two La Liga matches and I thought this is where I should focus my pre-amble today.

First up was Rayo Vallecano v Celta Vigo, the Partick Thistle of Madrid against that team John Guidetti now plays for. The day before the game we had to go and pick up some tickets and on arrival were treated to an open training session at the Estadio Vallecas. A funny 3 sided stadium slap bang in the middle of suburban Madrid. My Spanish lessons were of varying use throughout the trop but when it came to purchasing football tickets they were at their most potent. On match day we took the metro round to the stadium and as we walked up the steps you were greeted by an audible buzz, something far different from a game in the UK. It was loud and busy but safe feeling with stalls selling flags, scarves and perhaps most relevant to this website food. For this game I plumped for a bag of Chicharrons, deep fried pork rinds and a bottle of coke. The game itself was entertaining and the atmosphere was amped up by Rayo scoring a couple of early goals. Throughout the game it was near incessant even from the Celta fans just a couple of rows away from us bouncing, as they did, all the way through the game and the banter was good natured even with rival fans so close together.

The facilities were rather basic but for me it exemplified why the atmosphere was so great. There was no messing about here, you took to your seat, you watched the game and had a fiesta we even tried singing along a couple of times! It had got me excited for our trip to the Vicente Calderon the following day.

Game two was god awful. Truly, truly bad. Atletico Madrid known more for their stinginess at the back than their tacking prowess played a Sevilla team with exactly the same game plan. In truth, the most exciting thing to happen was when a Sevilla player getting set off prompting the home crowd to go as wild as if they had scored a goal. Amusement followed as we subsequently watched them go beserk as Sevilla went about wasting time in every way imaginable. It was also a pretty hot day and as we were sat halfway up the nonshaded side of the stadium an unexpected bout of January sunburn befell my body in the afternoon sun. My snack of choice for this game were, Pipas (Sunflower Seeds). I had noticed these all over the place at the Rayo game and ever one for a culinary adventure I took the plunge and proceeded to bite, spit and suck my way through these salty treats. I’m still not sure the risk of choking is worth the taste but as an authentic match day meal I think I nailed it.

I really enjoyed my La Liga adventures and I’ve already got Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao lined up for March whilst in Barcelona, the fans are passionate although incredibly biased and the atmosphere moves along even in the less glamorous of games. That said in Spain the empanadas are not a match day specialty, in fact, they didn’t even exist and as this site is called Meat Filled Pastries let’s return to our meaty home with pie review two from Linlithgow Rose.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Prestonfield, Linlithgow Rose 3-3 Forfar Athletic, Scottish Cup 4th Round

Chucking it down and near freezing but still queued out the door. It can only be the Scottish Cup.
Chucking it down and near freezing but still queued out the door. It can only be the Scottish Cup.

Price: At £1.60 this was only 10p more than the scotch pie offering from the same venue, meaning by comparison this was a relative bargain although I would still say the pricing of the scotch pie is a little bit dearer than the equivalents found in the west region of junior football.

Presentation: I should really do a copy and paste job from my last review here as it was identical, in fact, I’m going to: “Medium sized white napkin. It may be the first (now second) pie of 2016 but even as I enter my 4th year of pie some things in the pie game never change and honestly I don’t think it needs to. Does the job.”

THE PIE

Steak Daft!
Steak Daft!

Meatiness: I ate this pie quite a while ago now so my memories of it are somewhat distant, however my expertly crafted notes (which as always I had texted to myself) have helped jog the memory.

This steak pie was different from many others that I had encountered before. Usually they are a mix of chunks and gravy but in this instance the meat was stewed and shredded creating an effect similar to pulled pork except with steak, I was a fan. That said I thought it was a little bland and lacking a smidge of seasoning. The filling was pleasant enough although it was lacking the punch that would truly elevate to a pie of the highest order.

Pastry: The bottom of this pie was rather burnt, enough to give a bitter note as I chomped my way through and I’m almost certain it was down to living to long in the oven. It did mean that you didn’t run the risk of the soggy bottom often caused by a moist pie such as steak but it did ultimately impact on the taste overall. The top, as can be seen, was a little loose meaning it would hit my nose as I took each bite but the puff pastry was golden and crisp. I think without the ‘well-firedness’ this would have been a pretty solid pastry effort from The Rosey Posey.

Overall: I liked the pulled steak texture and the filling was pleasant if perhaps lacking a bit of imagination. The pastry was a bit of a let down and as previously stated burning the bottom did add a bit of unwanted bitterness. Personally I would rather the bottom was a little softer and I had to do a bit of juggling over sturdy and burnt.

Gravy Factor: Well fired Gravy. Get your fish slice right under that bad boy!

I have no idea where my next review is coming from, this winter has been terrible for your favourite pie reviewer but I will come back with something soon I promise.

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.

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Pie 112: The Linlithgow Rose Pie

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This weather is absolutely brutal for trying to write pie reviews as weekend after weekend of lower league and non league football gets decimated by wind, rain and snow. This coupled with my local team visiting some familiar venues mean that I’ve had to resort to rationing the reviews I have stored in the bank. It’s been heavy going. Two weekends ago I watched in horror as my first, second and third choice alternative games all fell foul of the Scottish winter. Now, I love winter football when it gets played. There’s a sadistic pleasure in freezing your giblets off on a January afternoon, your toes going so numb they feel like Lego bricks and your breath doing it’s best Thomas the Tank Engine impression.

I’m not for summer football (it will be the death of the pie for a start) but I am for a winter break, some kind of provision that ensures thousands of fans are not left staring dead-eyed into the distance as their significant other asks if that is the right shade of terracotta for the dining room when all their heart yearns for is to cheer their team forwards to glory. That said I’ve managed to get about a bit and as such I bring to you today’s review from East Superleague heavyweights Linlithgow Rose.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Prestonfield, Linlithgow Rose 3-3 Forfar Athletic, Scottish Cup 4th Round

2150 hardy souls in attendance, and I mean hardy, it was well dreich!
2150 hardy souls in attendance, and I mean hardy, it was well dreich!

Quick note before I start. What a game this was! The kind of thing you dream of when you turn up to a match as a neutral. Controversial officiating, red cards, penalties, an underdog comeback and a ground rammed with people having good natured banter. I was so glad I went. It could have been a wee bit drier but for me that just added to the magic.

Price: A solid £1.50, about par for the top end of the junior game and a blessed relief from the burger disaster that occurred during my last review from Broadwood.

Presentation: Medium sized white napkin. It may be the first pie of 2016 but even as I enter my 4th year of pie some things in the pie game never change and honestly I don’t think it needs to. Does the job.

THE PIE

FINALLY!
FINALLY!

Meatiness: Finally! After what felt like a lifetime a new pie at a football match was sitting in my paw. I would have been lying to myself and everyone who reads this site if I hadn’t made my first review of 2016 a scotch pie and this was a solid effort in the meatiness stakes. There was a strong mutton flavour present in this pie distinctive from lamb however it was perhaps just a little greasy. Not offensively so for this pie guy but enough for a dribble or two to be coming from this pastries meaty core. However as any good cook will tell you, fat means flavour! As long as it’s not too much. That said, despite the grease, the meat held together well and all in all this was a nice ‘welcome back’ to the world of football pastries.

Pastry: The pastry is perhaps where this pie was let down a little. The bottom was, in yer granny’s terms, well fired or, in layman’s terms, a bit burnt and it did add a bitter note to your bite which I’m not overly keen on. The top was interestingly the complete converse to the base. Almost chewy in texture, like the pastry you would find on a perogi or dumpling and when you bit into it some of the pastry you weren’t quite ready for came away too. A little bit crisper on top and a little bit softer on the bottom and this would have been spot on.

Overall: A solid effort. Nicely flavoured meaty centre slightly let down by the bake on the pastry around it.

Gravy Factor: It was my first football pie in a month, it tasted amazing even if it wasn’t the best example I’ve had. Nostalgic Gravy.

This is the first of two reviews from the Rosey Posey as I am forced to take the stack them high approach to my pie visits whilst the weather refuses to play ball. Next time out their steak pie will be under the microscope plus an insight into my trip to Madrid and my La Liga matchday experiences.

However 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 111: The Clyde ‘Not Pie’ Pie: A Call to Arms

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Happy New Year from Meat Filled Pastries! My apologies for a lack of activity recently, a fixture list that saw a string of home games for Pollok along with weather conditions that obliterated almost every game I had lined up to go and see meant that things have been rather quiet on the pie front so far in 2016 and my first offering of the year has not a drop of pastry in sight.

Before the review though let me share with you the outcome of this year’s 2016 Scotch Pie Awards hosted at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld on the 13th January. Once again I was honoured to participate in the judging process to find the best pies and pastries from across our fair land, first judging in the hot savoury category and then taking part in the second round to find the World Scotch Pie Champion who this year is found at The Kandy Bar in Saltcoats. A full list of winners can be found at http://www.scotchpieclub.co.uk/ as well as by following me on Twitter (@MFPTasty). As always I had a blast both on the judging days and attending the awards themselves meeting numerous individuals who make my passion for pie look paltry. I left the ceremeony thinking that there is work to be done to promote pastries at our football grounds and with that in mind I thought I would share with you the 2016 Football Pie Winners, headed by Bruce of Broch’s steak pie offering, available at both Fraserburgh in the Highland League and Fraserburgh United in the North Region Juniors. The full list is below, I’m writing this on the move so apologise it’s only in picture form:

Congratulations!
Congratulations!

Congratulations again to everyone involved. So with that covered off, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie! (Or in this case a burger!)

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Broadwood Stadium, Clyde 0-1 Queens Park, Scottish League Two

Disappointment awaits...
Disappointment awaits…

Now usually I’ll go through a series of ratings before summing up my feelings on the quality of pastry I have been provided with but as this is ‘not a pie’ and has some key elements like pastry missing then the following is more of a long winded monologue (for ‘long winded monologue’ read as rant) on the state of non pie based catering at Scotland’s football grounds. I have no idea where this is going to go so I’ll try not to ramble.

I have always been one to build my Saturdays around a game of football, it’s always felt wrong to sit in the pub and watch Soccer Saturday, however since I have started this little venture a new variable has been added; have I reviewed a pie there before? In the case of Clyde I had not and with the Scotch Pie Club Awards ceremony happening just around the corner the following week I smelled the opportunity for a tie in.

Imagine my disappointment then as I walked into the main stand to find the shutters down and a steward ‘helpfully’ pointing me towards the corner of the stadium in the direction of a burger van. This isn’t the first time this is happened this season and my apologies to Clyde that they are getting the ones that have unleashed my ire but going to a ground and being able to get food, but not a pie, makes me sad and a little bit angry.

Now before people start getting defensive I understand a couple of variables may have been in play in this situation:

  • It was January 2nd. A Scottish Bank Holiday. A day where the whole of Scotland sit in their pants and watch a Wallace and Gromit marathon whilst eating the remaining left over turkey and steak pie.
  • Maybe the butcher wasn’t able to provide pies that day.
  • As it is such a day of rest maybe wee Betty who runs the pie counter didn’t fancy hauling herself down to Cumbernauld to feed a bunch of folk for a fiver.

You know what? If any of the above are true then fair enough, everyone deserves a holiday. Maybe a bit of better planning would help in the future and I can almost, ALMOST accept the contingency of a burger van coming into play if the quality of the fare offered in the place of pastry is of an equivalent or higher standard. Sadly though, in this instance, and in many others, you are presented with a crunchy frozen burger heated up on a griddle and topped with a slice of limp processed cheese and some barely warmed through onions. Don’t believe me look at below:

Not a Pie.
Not a Pie.

Scotland, renowned for nurturing some of the best produce in the world, and this is what you get presented with. Then after discovering the one place where you always expect to ‘take a pie’ doesn’t provide one you are stung with the fact you have to pay more (£3!!) for the privilege to eat something that you wouldn’t look twice at it in the frozen meats section of your local supermarket.

I understand some people don’t like pies, these people are beyond help but understandably football clubs, in a bid to boost revenue streams, often provide alternatives. I don’t particularly like it but I don’t object to it. Burgers, fine. Hot Dogs, OK. Chilli, stovies, curry all easy to prepare in large quantities and warming to the soul on a cold day, I’d rather they weren’t there but they serve a purpose. All of them, all of them bar one: Chips. Sh*t chips. Really sh*t chips. Think about it, have you ever went to a game and walked out the ground thinking, ‘my, those chips were right braw!’. Football chips are an abomination and fall into one of two categories:

  1. Canteen style mass-produced tatties, usually found in larger stadiums. Available already sitting lukewarm under the heater for your tasting pleasure accompanied by sachet’s of sauce that are impossible to open because the smallest amount of grease on your fingers turn the small tear you need to pick at to get into the condiment of your choosing into some kind of water torture.
  2. Chips at smaller grounds where invariably a man stressfully fills the deep fat fryer he’s brought in from home with enough chips to serve one person at a time as an ever increasing queue populates itself with frustrated individuals unable to make their purchases until the 17 minutes required to cook these frozen beauties to just past raw perfection.

Chips! Do one.

I’ll stop here. You know my stance by now, I want pies, have your other things but I want pies. I want to protect the sanctity of a product that is so special to Scotland and ensure that at football matches in 2055 people are still letting the gravy smatter their face and the grease run down their elbow. With that in mind, and to support Scotland’s butchers and bakers I will be compiling the first ever (I think!) Scottish Football Pie Database. Telling you what pies you can get where and who can provide them. I want football clubs across the country to really champion there pies and the people who provide them. This year there were 53 pies entered in the Football Pie category, sounds grand doesn’t it, and yet there is:

  • 42 SPFL clubs
  • 18 Highland League clubs
  • 15 Lowland League clubs
  • 17 East of Scotland League clubs
  • 14 South of Scotland League clubs
  • 165 Junior clubs

Plus a plethora of amateur clubs I haven’t even mentioned, all of a sudden 53 out of 271 doesn’t sound that impressive. For the 2017 Scotch Pie Awards let’s get more involved!

Right that’s me. I’m off my soapbox and next time out I will be back with the first of two proper pie reviews from Linlithgow Rose 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 104: The Neilston Pie

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I’m still powering through the Spanish classes at the moment so I’ve not had much time to let my meander too much but one thing I’ve still had time for is my football. Prior to this week’s match our group of merry men had set up camp in the local bowling club. Whilst supping a pre-match pint our conversation was halted by the unexpected sound of an elderly man gleefully ringing a bell.

It soon became apparent that the bell signalled the all important announcement of the pairings for that afternoons bowling session and so with the mystery solved we resumed our conversations, primarily focusing on how white all the participating bowlers jackets were only to be again interrupted. This time by a lady of later years who I can only assume took great pleasure in very sternly shushing our collective more aggressively than any person has done anything in their life ever. It was both comical and frightening but nonetheless effective as it brought instance silence and a clear understanding that you should never EVER mess with an old dear when it comes to her bowls. Needless to say 20 minutes later, and feeling like a group of naughty school children, we had finished our pints and it was off to the match we went.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Brig O’Lea Satdium, Neilston 1-8 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5

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Price: At £1.20 this is a return to the average pricing of the 2014/15 season so nothing to really grumble about with that.

Presentation: Presented within an aluminium foil container (somewhat of a rarity at junior level) and with a medium-sized white napkin of sufficient size to prevent the foil melting into your hand and forming some kind of half man half meat robotic mandible that would protrude from the end of your arm.

THE PIE

Deep amongst the Renfrewshire hills there still are pies to be found...
Deep amongst the Renfrewshire hills there still are pies to be found…

Meatiness: This pie was huge and it was with some great relief that when I bit inside the pastry was not just a hollow shell but bursting to the seams with meaty goodness. The filling was sweet and spicy however the pepper kick wasn’t prevalent until the very end of consumption at which point there was some linger. Although the first bite was a little greasy, leaving that slightly unpleasant film on the lips that grease often does, the quality of this pie filling grew the further I munched my way through. There were some rumblings from others that I was being blinded by the (unusual for the juniors) ‘fancy’ tin foil casing but as an experienced pie connoisseur I can assure you that this was not the case, after a sluggish start on my palate this filling was very tasty indeed.

Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp all round and did not fall victim to the soggy bottom that often befalls a tin foil encased pastry. It did become a little flimsy as you ate through but this can be attributed to the vastness of meat within and as such required one of my patented pie juggling techniques to consume successfully without spillage. The pastry was perhaps a little salty but other than that as pastry goes it was pretty sound.

Brown Sauce: HP in a squeezy bottle. How it should be at a football ground.

Overall: A big hunk of spicy sweet meat in a well-baked and sturdy pastry case that matured in flavour with every bite I took.

Gravy Factor: A hunk a hunk a tasty gravy!

Next time out will be a review from Ibrox and Meat Filled Pastries first ever ‘Seasonal’ Pie but until then 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 103: The St. Anthonys Pie

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Me llamo Chris. Yo como empanadas.

Sorry folks, the book has had to go on hold for a couple of weeks whilst I power through some intensive Spanish lessons. I drop to one lesson a week next month and the book writing can gather pace once again. My main focus just now is drawing an upside down question mark successfully, something that I’m finding far more difficult to do than the actual Spanish itself!

Anyway you’re here for pastry not paella patter so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: McKenna Park, St. Anthonys 0-4 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5

A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon
A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon

Price: At £1.50 this is at the top end of the junior scale, 50p more than the offerings from Cambuslang Rangers and Vale of Clyde we have already encountered this season. A loftier price is greeted with loftier expectations.

Presentation: Covering all the bases here this pie is presented on a polystyrene plate along with a fairly large white napkin. Whilst the plate will I’m sure appease those of a frailer disposition I felt it was superfluous when you consider the size of the napkin provided. A grumble for the sake of grumbing I think because as you will soon see I quite liked this pie.

THE PIE

To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.
To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.

Meatiness: The last time I visited McKenna Park (in those dark days where Meat Filled Pastries had yet to exist) I remember getting a pie and being slightly disheartened to see some empty boxes from a high street frozen food purveyor. The pie was serviceable but it was slightly disappointing to know that a baker somewhere may have had something better to offer. It was then to my great joy that the boxes were nowhere to be seen (disclaimer: if it turns out these are the same frozen pies I owe said frozen food retailer an apology). The meat was both sweet and spicy, the heat being provided by pepper along with something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Whilst I love a peppery kick, one too strong can leave an acrid dry taste in the back of your throat, something that this mystery ingredient helped to avoid with great aplomb. It was very well filled, held together well whilst I chewed through and was sufficiently moist. I had two, partly because I was hungover, but mainly because I really enjoyed this meaty treat.

Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp. There was some boil out which may have put some people off however I enjoyed the wee squirts of mince that had poked through and been crisped up by the oven almost like the crispy edges on a freshly grilled lamb burger. It was a bit rough around the edges and the top wasn’t quite as secure as it could be, popping up as I ate but these are small niggles for a well-baked pastry.

Brown Sauce: HP. Squeezy bottle. Minimal mess. Maximum taste.

Overall: Tasty filling that was both spicy and sweet. Well cooked pastry and a dollop of HP, either this is the best mass-produced frozen pie ever or The Ants have upped their pastry game.

Gravy Factor: Great Gravy. The bar for the 2015/16 season has been set.

Next time out will be a review from the Renfrewshire hills as on offering from Neilston Juniors is on the cards.

But until then, 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 101: The Cambuslang Rangers Pie

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“…and then in the distance I could hear the roll of a shutter, the chatter of a forming queue. As I turned my head I gazed at the pie hut beckoning me with all its meat and pastry glory. A culinary siren song wailing in my ears, my initial despair turning to joy as the first pie of the 2015/16 drew ever near. I took my first bite and lo’ it was good.”

Meat Filled Pastries is back!

Now I know last time out (after reaching the magical ton) I said that I was retiring from the pie reviewing game so that I could focus on writing a book. I had become a little jaded and felt like the time spent on the website and its associated projects was stopping me pursuing some other interests. However after a month without the pressure of pie and a bit of better planning on my part this year I find myself rejuvenated and once more ready to bring you the best sporting pies around.

I also started coming round to the idea that keeping the website going will actually help in putting the book together, giving an underlying theme to the story so far. It means it may take a bit longer than planned, but by putting in a long-term strategy I hope it’s going to turn out to be a good wee read. The pre-ambles this season will be replaced by excerpts/updates on the book, a promotion ahead of time kind of deal plus should help keep me in check when it comes to actually finishing it.

So without much further ado, and for the first time this season, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Somervell Park, Cambuslang Rangers 0-1 Irvine Victoria, Thomas Loach Memorial Trophy (a.k.a. Friendly)

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Price: It may be a new season but it’s nice to see that you can still get a meat filled treat in exchange for a solitary golden nugget. £1 for a hot lunch is a bargain no matter where you go.

Presentation: Continuing the renaissance theme, this pie was presented on a medium-sized white napkin with the added bonus of a second layer. I imagine this was a deliberate ploy by the purveyor of pie to help protect your (and his) hands from a pastry fresh from the oven.

THE PIE

It just felt so right to have a pie in my hand once again.
It just felt so right to have a pie in my hand once again.

Meatiness: This was a very moist pie, at first when I held it I was concerned it was going to be swimming in grease but thankfully that wasn’t the case. It had a sweet after taste that usually indicates a pie with a high onion content, although that wasn’t visibly present, and on this occasion there was no kick of pepper. The texture was a little disappointing as the filling quickly turned to mush once it had entered your mouth as opposed to holding together for a little while. Take some of the moisture out the centre and you have a decent little filling here.

Pastry: This is where I felt the pie let itself down a bit. On the face of it things were very good. It had nicely golden crispy top edges and the base was well cooked and remained intact throughout. The problem, oddly, was the sides where small patches of perfectly smooth and hard pastry were to be found leaving a weird feeling on your tongue. The best comparison I could give was that of an uncooked pork rind, it’s a shame as the rest of pastry was very good.

Brown Sauce: Tangy and Sweet. I recognised the large unbranded cylindrical bottle almost instantly as one of those often found in high street frozen food stores. Did the job. (Note: I don’t know if I’ll keep this section going forward, it’s a pretty hard thing to right about creatively).

Overall: Very moist, quite sweet with a well-baked pastry in parts. The texture though was a little bit odd both inside and out.

Gravy Factor: Whisk out the lumps from that thickening agent for a little bit longer and you could be on to something good.

S0 there we go. 101. I have no real targets from here on in other than getting the book done anything else that comes my way I’ll be sure to let you know.

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.