As promised here comes Pie #2 from Friday night’s adventure to Hampden. This pie is the first one to be reviewed that will be dubbed as a ‘Luxury Pie’. Now to be a luxury pie the criteria is very simple, you just have to not be a scotch pie. That’s it. You can be steak, chicken, mongoose and lingonberry, whatever you like as long as your not a basic scotch mince pie. The reason for this you ask? Well I go to many games of football, and many places more than once, some of these places offer more than one type of pie. Sometimes I’ll do two in one go like I have at Hampden, others I may review on separate occasions. Either way it’s good news because it will mean more pies to taste, and that’s why we’re all here because we love a good pie.
Before we start it is also important to note that unlike a scotch pie, with ‘luxury pies’ you do not use brown sauce, the filling should suffice, that’s why you pay extra, only when something has gone wrong should the ‘Pie Band Aid’ be applied.
That’s the rules of luxury so, Let’s Rate Some Pie!
Where: Hampden Park, Scotland v Belgium, World Cup Qualifying Group A
Price: At £2.60 this is 40p more expensive that it’s scotch equivalent but, as previously stated, is seen as a more high end product, something I will confirm one way or another in the next few paragraphs.
Presentation: Well that extra 40p doesn’t change how the pie gets handed to you, silver tinfoil case and a tiny, tiny napkin. However in this instance the case and napkin combo cause a couple of issues not encountered when consuming a scotch pie which will be covered further down.
Meatiness: Now this is not mutton, this is prime steak in an unctuous savoury gravy, well at least that’s the idea. I’m pleased to say that this was a perfectly acceptable attempt at it, the pie had clearly been baked for the appropriate amount of time as the gravy had not dried out and the meat was still pull-apart-at-your-teeth tender. There was a distinct taste of steak, although for me I would like a bit more pepper, but that’s personal preference as I like a bit of spice.
Pastry: Being a ‘luxury pie’ you are treated to a puff pastry top, which in this instance was sufficiently risen to be called puff pastry but not so much that the pastry to meat ratio was effected. However when picking up the pie the bottom completely fell out of it due in part to the plentifulness of the gravy. This is a common gripe I have with steak pies as it often results in you spending more time getting yourself in a right mess than focusing on the game in front of your eyes. Covering your fingers in gravy and steak rather than using the pie casing to do the work for you. This is why the reason the picture above is still sitting in the case. That being said the pastry complemented the filling very well and compared with some I have had in the past this crust was still relatively sturdy barring the very centre.
Overall: A first venture into luxury pies and it can be deemed a moderate success, tasty filling and nice pastry but while the bottom falling out doesn’t impact on flavour it does mean you get in a bit of a mess. You might even enjoy that. However I think its fair to say that in these circumstances a napkin the size of Papa Smurf’s bed sheets doesn’t really suffice.
Gravy Factor: Tasty Gravy. A good marker for all luxury pie’s to aspire to, need to sort that soggy bottom though.
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 with all things going to plan will have a new article up tomorrow.
One last thing before I go, whilst in ‘The International’ after the game, I came across this gem of a poster. A pie for 30p when you buy a pint. Bargain!
This week Meat Filled Pastries laughs in the face of the international break and all the problems it apparently causes football fans across the country by not just bringing you 1, but 2 Pie’s. That’s right I risked high cholesterol and possible meat induced coma’s for all you lovely, lovely pie munchers. (Editing Note: That last line was not a joke about lesbians).
I have split them into 2 reviews so that they both get the proper time and attention they deserve.
So without further ado, and with just a touch of man flu, mainly in part to the multiple drenching’s that I, like many others, experienced to and from Hampden on Friday night, Lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Hampden Park, Scotland v Belgium, World Cup Qualifying Group A
Price: A Hampden Scotch Pie comes in at £2.20, I have touched on my feelings on the price of my pie at the upper echelons of the game so it’s safe to say I wasn’t overly enamoured at paying this, however when put in comparison to the recently reviewed Rangers Pie then this seems to be par for the course.
Presentation: Standard silver tinfoil and tiny napkin presentation here, and I mean a tiny napkin. It’s worth adding at this point that the pie was absolutely roasting making the napkin size even more impotent and which also in part explains the slightly misshapen ‘one bite expose’ taken above, I nearly dropped the thing twice!
Meatiness: A Scotch Pie. It was a nice meaty pie, but as you may or may not have noticed there is one thing missing for it to allow me to assess a full flavour profile. You Ready for this? Now bear in mind this was for a pie consumed at the home of our national football team, team of our national sport.
Here it goes, they had NO BROWN SAUCE! What the hell man?!? Seriously.
It’s bad enough that I was soaked and my team were getting pumped but to no be able to sauce my pie is just a travesty too far, especially when you right a blog about these pastry delights! And no, before you say it, tomato sauce is not just as good. It is an abomination to put such stuff on your pie, it doesn’t enhance the flavour as brown sauce can so often do. It totally changes it and anybody who uses tomato ketchup instead of eating their pie bareback needs to have a long hard look at themselves.
Anyway back to the pie, the meat was flavoursome without blowing me away, I have a feeling this may be a common occurrence when sampling pie’s higher up the footballing ladder but I didn’t feel my filling was terrible in anyway. Just a bit uninspiring.
Pastry: The top came a little loose under pressure but was overall cooked to the necessary level to retain its crispness whilst also allowing an easy bite. My one complaint would be the over exuberant sprinkling of flour that topped the pie, leaving in some bites a slightly chalky after taste.
Overall: Look, it’s not going to give you that, ‘Oh I must have it again feeling.’ but for something that is produced for the mass market it’s perfectly serviceable. Although it will take me a long time to forgive them for the no brown sauce fiasco.
Gravy Factor: Just below Bog Standard Bisto, and it’s standing just below is purely down to the lack of brown sauce provided. Once again for £2.20 you want a scotch pie that is more than nicely cooked mutton in a crust.
There is something that you should know before I continue this review:
I had drank a LOT of Tequila the previous evening.
Tequila is generally NOT conducive to wanting to feast on Meat Filled Pastries, however with that being said after a can of that well known Scottish elixir of life Irn Bru, I gathered myself and tucked right in. So without further ado, lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Petershill Park, Petershill v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division
Price: Now, got to be honest here. I was rather hungover folks and as such neglected to take a note of the individual price of my Meat Filled Pastry. However through the powers of deduction I can ascertain that as it was £4.80 for 2 Pies and 2 cans of juice, that the pie was at his cheapest £1.40 based on the fact a can of juice will be no more than £1 and to be honest those cans are usually less. Either way that is a pricey Junior pie. (UPDATE: Petershill have contacted me via Twitter and have kindly provided the price of the pie as £1.50.)
Presentation: The pie was presented in a half paper, half plastic bag, an unusual presentation technique for a pie and one that was not a success in this instance. For a start the paper was not enough to contain the pie’s heat, providing insufficient protection from the warmth that a napkin would, luckily they were on hand although were rather on the small side. Then we have the plastic, oh deary, deary me, the plastic. Helping to create what can only be described as a ‘sweaty’ pie, with a thin layer of grease wrapped all the way around the outside making the need for a napkin of greater substance even more paramount.
Meatiness: A Scotch Pie things were disappointing here as well. Somewhere there is a pie maker, in his hairnet and white coat, furiously grinding salt and pepper into an empty pie case because mine certainly was lacking the seasoning a good pie requires. Not even the saviour of many a poor pastry, Brown Sauce, could provide the flavour kick my heart desired.
Pastry: The pastry was ample, too ample for the meat that was provided. It was well browned but due to the way the pie was kept warm in the plastic and paper it took on the taste and crunch of something deep fried as opposed to lovingly baked in the oven. It like most of the rest of the pie left an unsatisfying layer of grease on your lips after every bite.
Overall: Look I want all pie’s to be meat filled delights, but I have to be honest and this is the first pie on my journey that didn’t hit the mark. It was never given a chance the moment it was left to steep under a heating lamp wrapped in plastic, whilst the filling was lacking in that meaty punch in the chops that every football fan is looking for.
Gravy Factor: Anaemic gravy, somebody used one scoop of the best Bisto they could get their hands on when 3 or 4 were required.
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The Pie Rush continues.
One of the joys of the early season is that the fixtures come thick and fast and as such so do the meat filled pastries. Now for those amongst you asking where Pie 14 has gone, it was the second pie consumed at my last footballing adventure but doing a review on the same type of pie is not the game here. If I start getting really adventurous some kind of ‘Pie Totalizer’ may materialise but for now number the pie’s I review is the best way to keep count.
This is ‘Meat FIlled Pastries’ first venture into the SPFL so without further ado, lets rate some pie!
Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Berwick Rangers, Ramsdens Cup 2nd Round
Price: A stand alone price of £2.20, I’d missed my dinner so got mine as part of a Meal Deal with a drink and a bar of chocolate (Double Decker) for a whopping £5.50! The price you play for a ‘higher’ standard of play, plastic seats and the inability to move about I suppose.
Presentation: Encased in a silver tinfoil case with a small plain napkin. Not really a lot to say here to be honest.
Meatiness: A nice meaty scotch pie, with that all important hit of pepper, making the most of the mutton inside. As can be seen in the picture there seemed to be a cavity in the middle where more meaty goodness should have been hiding for my delight. No gravy but the pie was suitably moist.
Pastry: The edges were slightly on the teeth-breaking side in some places, although as can be seen I still managed to get a good bite out of it at the second attempt. The base held up well and avoided the dreaded undercooking, turning your tinfoil case into a soup bowl and leaving you cursing the size of your napkin.
Overall: The first brand attributed Pie, as the menu board helpfully advised the supplier as McGhee’s. A nice pie, but for £2.20 you would want better than nice. It is worth noting that HP was the Brown Sauce provided here and that in itself is a rare treat.
Gravy Factor: To give it any more than a Bog Standard Bisto rating when it costs £2.20, for something that is not out of the ordinary, would be doing other pies on this journey a massive disservice.
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.
Today is a very special day for followers of Meat Filled Pastries, as today you see the addition of the home favourite, the pie that is a direct result of 50% of my ‘scotch’ intake, The Pollok Pie. Now I will try my best to be objective here but you have to understand this pie has been passing my lips for over 20 years, there was a change in supplier about 5 years ago but honestly that only enhanced the experience. This is really the Pie that all other Pie’s will be judged against. The ‘Control’ Pie if you will.
With that all being said lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Newlandsfield Park, Pollok v Auchinleck Talbot, West Superleague Premier Division
Price: £1.30, at the top end of prices within Junior Football for a pie, a 10p increase on the previous year.
Presentation: Your pie comes lovingly wrapped in a small white napkin, although it could do with being a bit bigger as an occasional stray spill tends to end up on the terrace as opposed to saved in the warm embrace of the napkin.
Meatiness: The pie is well filled although there is no gravy, relying solely on the juices of the meat inside to provide moisture, which it does sufficiently, There is a good amount of pepper within, not to provide heat but to knock it up a notch from being your average pie. The meat is well packed forming a small meaty block inside but once bitten it does fall apart without much fuss.
Pastry: Was fired well enough at the bottom so there was no danger of mince falling out the arse of the pie and the edges crispy enough to pick off but not so crispy that you couldn’t bite straight through. My only niggle is the top of the pie casing which was a little loose causing some ‘sauce on nose’ hilarity as you bite down.
Overall: The Control Pie, and a mighty fine one at that, not perfect but even through these rose tinted glasses a worthy effort.
Gravy Factor: The kind of pie Aunt Bessie would have after playing with her lady garden. Satisfying Gravy.
This is a Bonus Pie! Why a bonus pie I here you ask? Because this was a picture taken before the invention of ‘Meat Filled Pastries: A Tour of Pies’ and so therefore misses some of the key elements for a true ‘Gravy Factor’.
However with that being said, lets rate this pie!
Where: Wembley Stadium, England v Scotland 150th Anniversary of the FA
Price: Unknown, by this point both myself and my fellow TA soldier were heavily inebriated and I was not the purchaser of this particular pastry delicacy. The only comparison I have is that whilst Scotty was getting the pie’s in, I got the programmes, they were £6 a pop, more like a glossy magazine. Therefore this pie cost £6 actually it cost £12 as we had to share one because they had ran out, a cardinal sin at any football ground.
Presentation: As can be seen above I wasn’t able to get the ‘one bite expose’, however what can be seen already that this came in a long rectangular box that said ‘One Pie’ on it with handy finger guides in case you forget how to hold things I presume. Although it did keep it piping hot the creative genius who created said packaging forgot one vital, vital piece of information, ‘THAT’S NO’ A PIE’.
Meatiness: The best way to describe this is a Chicken Fajita Sausage Roll, with as much peppers and onions as there was chicken resulting in a meat content of about 50%.
Pastry: The Pastry was flaky, it was a good job the Marketing Graduate who designed the box did otherwise I feel the filling may have ended on the floor such was the floppy nature of the ‘pie’ (it’s still not a pie).
Overall: A spicy, tasty treat but NOT a Pie!
Gravy Factor: I am so confused that this was called a pie: As much gravy as a Sherry Trifle!
Bonus Note: Leading The Line: Scottish Football and the Rest of the Sporting World a blog not based solely on pies, I know a ridiculous idea, will be back to its regular best in the not to distant future. But until next time, MON THE PIES!
I should stress as we start on this Journey of Pie, I am not going to give you lots of instagrammed images of pies, pastry touched up with yellow food colouring or the cheery face of the person who has presented it to me. No, instead it will be a one bite expose of the pie in all its meaty glory.
In most cases the pie will have ‘broon’ sauce on it, as far as I am concerned this is how a pie should be.
With that out the way lets rate some pie!
Where: Adamslie Park, Home of Kirkintilloch Rob Roy JFC.
Price: £1. Bargain for a pie in today’s climate, especially considering the sprint from work to the game involved missing my dinner. Sad Times.
Presentation: Presented in a piece of kitchen paper your Granny would be proud of, no frills but plenty of flowery designs.
Meatiness: A Scotch Pie. It tasted of meat, which is a good start, there was however a lot of space to cram some more muttony goodness into and it was a tad on the dry side, ( It should be noted that this is where ‘broon’ sauce comes into its own.)
Pastry: The top edges were crispy without being teeth breaking, although the bake on the bottom was a little firm resulting in some minor spillage when biting all the way through.
Overall: A solid effort from The Rabs, nothing spectacular, but tasty enough.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto