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.

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Pie 34: The Irvine Meadow Pie

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'One man went to mo, went to mo a pie down'
‘One man went to mow, went to mow a pie down’

‘If gravy be the food of love, let us pie munch on’

That’s right the next entry into the grease smattered pages of Meat Filled Pastries has started with a Shakespearean quote paraphrased from Twelfth Night, Wullie’s ode to cross dressing. A play that spawned the god awful ‘She’s the Man’ starting Vinnie Jones and Amanda Bynes, yet another perky Disney club kid that went a bit bonkers. How I know this film exists and the reason I have seen it twice are something I will never fully comprehend so I think we shall move on.

Luckily, unlike the aforementioned film, this will not be not god awful, this is a pie review and pies are tremendous! We are back on the Junior football trail for the first of 2 taste sensations from Irvine Meadow.

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

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

Price: £1.20, falling slap bang in the middle of the price range you can expect to pay for a Junior footballing pie.

Presentation: This pie sported the classic medium sized white napkin look. Not a lot wrong with that.

Meatiness: This pie, a standard mutton pie, was nicely flavoured inside. The meat was moist and heated to the temperature where the fat was able to add more flavour. In an ideal world it would have had a twist more pepper but it was perfectly fine without it. My one disappointment was that the meat in the pie was a little sparse. While this was well packed in the centre, round the edges there was space for more to fill, my disappointment is purely down to the fact that I would have liked more meat as it was very tasty.

Pastry: This may have been the best pastry I’ve had so far. The crust was golden brown and had a lovely crisp crunch although as the filling wasn’t as plentiful as I would have desired it took a big initial bite to capture the picture above. That said the pastry was buttery and was seasoned well something that I wouldn’t normally note in the pastry section but felt it significant enough to highlight in this instance. The base held well especially when taking into consideration the meat inside was very moist. The more I consider this pie, the more apparent it becomes to me that the pastry really was the stand out component of this very good meat filled pastry.

Overall: The high praise for the pastry should not mask the fact that the meat inside contributed to make this a delightful meaty morsel. The only tiny fault I could find is that the pie presented to me was a little light on filling but the overall quality was of a very high standard.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy you would make on Masterchef and receive the kind of compliment that involves Gregg Wallace making mouth love to his spoon with delight.

Well one Irvine based pie down, one more to go. Next time out it will be another trip into the lap of luxury and a return to the steak pie.

Until then. 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 33: The Stenhousemuir Pie

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No that's not mood lighting, it was just dark.
Look at the floodlights glisten in the brown sauce. Beautiful.

 

Hello! Do you love pie? I love pie, and that is why I am here once again to get elbows deep in another meat filled beauty.

A few things have happened since my last entry on Meat Filled Pastries. Firstly, I have a shiny new banner header, it’s good innit? I still need to tweak a couple of things but your pie man is now a Pac-man and a big thanks to the person who made my rather crude drawings come to life. Secondly, Meat Filled Pastries made its radio debut as a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ on Pulse 98.4′ It was good fun to speak to fellow junior football fans and obviously spread the word of pie. If any of you missed it here’s a link to the show, http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/72429430/file.html‘, I’m on it for the whole hour so no need to skip ahead. You may hear the odd reference to ‘Beastie’ and I think it will be more entertaining if I let you decide who or what he or she may be. Hopefully though a few good things will come out of the back of my appearance and I’m already pencilled in for an end of season review.

How do you celebrate these latest developments I hear you ask. By sitting back, relaxing and reading another story of football based snacking from the ever increasing tome of pie that is Meat Filled Pastries.

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

Where: Ochilview, Stenhousemuir v Rangers, Ramsdens Cup Semi Final

Price: £2 worth of pie, cheaper than some but more expensive the others within the SPFL set up.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin, sufficient to hold the pie and provide you with a corner to dab your mouth.

Meatiness: I usually find this the easiest part of these reviews to write but in this instance I have very little to say. It was filled well enough but what lay inside lacked any real punch and would have been helped substantially if it was a little warmer. This would have let the fat soften and spread flavour throughout the meat. The addition of a particularly tangy version of brown sauce certainly helped to add some more flavour which was needed. There was nothing wrong with the meatinees of this pie but nothing that left me feeling more than ‘meh’ about it.

Pastry: And the feeling of ‘meh’ continues. The pastry was just there, it lacked any real crispness to give a satisfying bite and was slightly pale in colour suggesting it may have been underdone. One thing of note is that unlike most scotch pies there was no hole on top to let the steam out. That’s right this pie is so boring that this may be the most interesting thing you read about it!

Overall: It was just boring, I had been told of the wonderful steak pies at Ochilview but alas these were not on offer for my consumption. Instead I was left with a scotch pie that, while filling a dinner-shaped hole in my belly, did not result in any great feelings of excitement in my taste buds when going to take the next bite.

Gravy Factor: Made with value gravy granules, it does the job but you find yourself reaching for additional condiments straight away.

I feel like any time I give anything other than a positive review I need to put a disclaimer at the end of it to re-confirm that this is just my opinion. Other people may love this pie, others may not. It’s what this journey is all about, watching football and consuming meat filled pastries. Just like every game of football isn’t a 4-4 thriller nor is every pie going to leave you yearning for more but when the final whistle goes or the final bite is but a distant memory you still love it all the same.

Until next time my fellow pie munchers, 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 31: The Dufftown Pie

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Road trip Pie
Road trip Pie

 

Meat Filled Pastries is back! With another 2 pie review’s for you delight and delectation from the picturesque Moray countryside. One of the heartlands of Scottish malt whisky and home to Dufftown Juniors Football Club. I love a football road trip. The getting up early on a Saturday morning, the hip flask in the jacket pocket, the stop at Pitlochry because the majority of your bus just can’t hold it in that long anymore or the plethora of stories that they tell you about football glory days of old I love it all, I truly do. On these trips football usually ends up playing second fiddle to the fun of the jaunt, but I, being a consummate professional, remembered I have a job to do.

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

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

Price: A whooping £2, a pricy pie indeed, especially considering it is classed on these pages as ‘non-luxury’, it transpired that there was a flat pie rate at Westburn Park which only went to heighten my expectation that this mince pie was going to have a lot to offer as it was bracketed the same as the other luxury options.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was very tasty and came with an equally tasty gravy although it definitely could have been more plentiful. The colour of the meat was rich in colour when compared with the more anaemic shade of brown that a scotch pie would usually be associated with. You could tell that the meat was of a good quality, it was therefore a shame that I found myself, as with the gravy, wishing for more of it. As can be seen above this pie was more pastry than meat, meaning that the all important meaty ratios were skewed somewhat. Quantity of the meat aside the innards of this pastry were a tasty treat indeed.

Pastry: This pie had a puff pastry top, not something commonly associated with a mince pie. This meant that you had lots of layers of lovely flaky pastry which got you in the inevitable mess that good puff pastry should. What it also provided is a thoroughly good bite, with minimal risk of any of the filling inside tumbling out. Naturally the top was a little ‘caramelised’ but I think it would have been difficult to achieve a base of sufficient sturdiness without burning the top a little and to my taste a wee bit of the black stuff doesn’t do any harm. What I will say is that, because it was puff and therefore without the crispy pastry walls normally associated with a scotch pie, any bite taken resulted in the brown sauce sitting atop squirting all over the place, a minor grumble on this slightly modified version of a scotch pie.

Overall: This was a tasty pie but there was a couple of things that stopped it from being truly great. Firstly there was the cost, it was £2, I wrestled with the idea of this being a luxury pie to help account for the increase in cost but I couldn’t. Justify it? OK, well if you turned up at the counter of the Dufftown pie hut and asked for ‘Just a Pie.’ this is what would be presented to you, a twist on a scotch pie yes, but it’s still a mince pie. The second thing was the ratios, a mere few millimetres of extra meat would have sent this pie into the upper echelons of pie as much as I enjoyed the alternative puff pastry top.

Gravy Factor: It’s not gravy, it’s jus, you’ll get it in a little porcelain jug and like it!

There will be another pie review from Dufftown on Wednesday, and if you thought chicken, haggis and mashed potato was a bit bonkers, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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 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 30: The Beith Pie

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Not for the faint hearted: No, seriously!
Not for the faint hearted!

 

Word up pie fans! Straight from the meat filled ghetto I am happy to present to you Pie 30 of Meat Filled Pastries: Tour of Pies ‘The Beith Pie’. As promised in my last review I have a couple of announces to make. I have been doing Meat Filled Pastries for 3 months now and I am delighted that people seem to like this little project. To be fair if people didn’t like I’d probably still be here wittering on about pies but I would just like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has read, liked, tweeted, commented and shared with their friends in what ever way you have. I hope this is the start of something that I will keep going for many a pie to come.

On the back of all your support I am delighted to announce that Meat Filled Pastries will be live on air between 8-9pm on Thursday October 31st on Pulse 98.4FM, available on your radio’s in the South of Glasgow and East Renfrewshire area or by the ‘Listen Live’ function on the station website http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/.  I will be a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ a programme focused on Scottish junior football (on Thursday night) the pies provided by these teams. It will be my first appearance on the radio for over 4 years and it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to it. If you have a bit of free time give it a listen.

Secondly I am proud to announce that Meat Filled Pastries now has on offer MeatFilledMerch. Dedicated to all your pie based fashion needs, whatever they may be. You can find the store at http://meatfilledmerch.spreadshirt.co.uk/ and the link is on the right hand side of the site. This is very much in it’s infancy but I hope over the coming weeks I’ll items you may actually want to wear and buy! I would also like to make you aware that any personal profit made on anything bought from ‘MeatFilledMerch‘ will go straight to ‘The Grambler’s Kick Arse Fund’, the full story of which can be found at the following link, http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3, if you could take a look it would mean a lot.

So yeah, busy times at MFP HQ, but now back to the main business of the day, let’s rate some pie!

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

Price: At £1.10 about par for a junior football scotch pie.

Presentation: As previously mentioned in ‘Pie 29: The Beith ‘Chicken & Haggis’ Pie’ this came wrapped in a local bakery branded large napkin by the name of Irvine’s. There was however no tinfoil case, of which I approve, as a good scotch pie should be able to hold itself up securely in the safety of a suitably sized napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was moist and quite flavourful, not particularly peppery but pleasant enough. Unfortunately though this is where the good times end as once the first bite is taken your mouth is subject to a tidal wave of hot grease. A tidal wave !?!? An exaggeration too far you say. Well I counter your act of flippancy at my suggestion by confirming that on tipping the pie to a 90 degree angle a continuous stream of grease came dripping out for just over 19 seconds before subsiding. That’s right, it was that greasy that I thought it worthy enough to get a timer out. Now I should say if you love a greasy pie, then you will love this one but for me every bite left a greasy film that covered every corner of the inside of my mouth. It washed away any of the meaty goodness inside and left my arteries feeling more clogged up than a San Marino’s defence whilst 1-0 up against Scotland with 5 minutes to go. It was such a shame after the highs of the previous Beith based pie.

Pastry: The pastry for what it’s worth was good, although as can be seen from above came with a glistening puddle of fat atop of it meaning that it got soft very quickly, it held well when a bite was taken but was victim to the same gush of grease that put paid to the taste of the meaty filling.

Overall: Part of the tag line of this site is ‘Let the grease hit my elbows’, the grease within this pie though not only would have hit my elbows but made it down to my knees and into my toes. I’m just here to give one man’s honest opinion on pie and If you like your pies greasy then this will be right up your street but for me unfortunately it fell short of the mark. The short taste of meat I managed to get suggested there is a good pie waiting to get out but until the grease is reduced considerably I’ll continue to wish for another one of those beautiful ‘Chicken & Haggis’ offerings.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that started off using bones and scraps for a flavoursome stock but then forgets to skim the fat off the top before leaving it to sit out for a few days. Greasy Gravy.

So another pie review done, and a decidedly mixed bag from Beith. All going well next week’s review will be fresh from the ovens of Moray as Meat Filled Pastries hit’s the Scottish Junior Cup trail to Dufftown but until then 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 on Thursday 31st October for some live pie and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs.

 

 

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!

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