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Pie 126: The Queens Park “Cheese & Onion” Pie

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Welcome back to another edition of Meat Filled Pastries where we’re always on the hunt for some meaty thrills whilst holding back on the spills because a spilled pie leads to a sad guy.

Now unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks we have seen the dawning of a new year and with it the thoughts of new hopes and expectations that it will bring. I’m not one for the phrase “New Year, New Me” philosophy that blights social media for those first few days of January but I do see it as an opportunity to set some goals and try new things.

It’s also the time of year where people declare their body a temple and health boards and charities across the country champion well-meaning campaigns such as “Dry January” and the awfully named “Veganuary”. Now this may perhaps come as a surprise to some but I am quite happy to eat a meal without meat, in fact when you consume the volume of Meat Filled Pastries that I do it is somewhat of a treat. However with that being said I cannot get on board with replacements such as “Facon” and “Tofurky”. I’ve got in to many a debate about this with non-meat eating friends before but for me if you don’t want to eat meat why are you then replacing it with things that look and (supposedly) taste like the things they don’t have any interest in eating? It’s an endless riddle to me. Most vegetarians are sound and rational people. Most vegans however, are in my experience (bar the odd exception), raving lunatics who must burn all of the 150 calories they consume a day telling the world that if you eat meat you deserve to burn in the depths of hell for having the audacity to like the occasional chicken nugget. It’s not my fault you’ve chosen a life of cauliflower “steaks”. I accept that as your life decision so don’t come preaching, and I mean preaching, to me because I don’t agree. All of which, kind of ironically, brings us to today’s pie review; The Queen’s Park Cheese & Onion Pie, a veggie (but not vegan) friendly option at the much debated home of Scottish football Hampden Park.

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

Where: Hampden Park, Queen’s Park 2-2 Albion Rovers, Scottish League One

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Price: A whooping £2.70. For a pie with zero meat in it. Now I’m making an assumption here but I’m guessing that pie prices for Queen’s Park games are dictated by someone other than the club as history has shown that a pie at a Scotland game will cost you exactly the same for a (supposedly) much higher level of football. I’m not even going to begin to claim to the understand the economics behind Queen’s Park playing at Hampden, and for what it’s worth I think they should continue to do so, but £2.70 for a pie definitely needs looking at when compared with their League One peers.

Presentation: The tin foil case of potential doom accompanied by a large white napkin for mopping up at this point the unknown treasures within.

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Meatiness Cheesy-Onionyness: Sigh. This was fairly rubbish. Always a disappointment in the pie game. Inside this pie was a mushy yellow and white paste that I presume was meant to be rich and cheesy with a strong onion linger in the background oozing as you pull away each bite and where you try to stop a small string of cheese getting stuck in your beard. Positively dreamy.

What actually happened was the appearance of a bland blob that tasted more of uncooked roux and a hint of cheese tainted with a pepper kick so offensively strong that the acrid burn stabbing at the back of my throat resulted me going and having to get a second beverage. On review fairly rubbish seems far too genteel. This was looking to be a bit of a disaster and then there was the pastry…

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Pastry: I have often talked about the pit falls of the tin foil case. A Sophie’s Choice of a decision for butchers and bakers between the appearance of uniformity and the risk of the pie sticking to the bottom of the case. It’s a risk that often backfires and in this instance the result was no different as half my pie stayed glued to the bottom as I lifted it to take my first bite. The pastry on the top edges was golden and crisp but at the base was as near to raw as I think I’ve ever had at a football game. So raw infact, that I could actually leave a thumbprint in the bottom with the mixture of filling and pastry creating a texture that I’m sure could be used as a Play-doh substitute at a nursery. I can’t think of the last time I thought, “I might not even finish this” but it was really that poor. I am however a trooper, and so I powered through like any good pie muncher should.

Brown Sauce: Regular readers will know that a luxury pie (i.e. a non-Scotch Pie) does not get dotted with some of the brown stuff but given how consumption had gone to this point I thought I’d grab a sachet to try and save it. Sadly, even this most wondrous of condiments couldn’t prevent me from experiencing culinary doom.

Overall: This was not very good. The filling was bland but yet somehow offensive and the pastry was near raw and stuck to the case. If you go to a Queen’s Park game I’d avoid this and stick to your traditional Scotch or Steak. If you’re feeling fancy wire into a Chicken Curry but if you’re a vegetarian I’d just settle for a Mars Bar.

Gravy Factor: Literally better off eating a spoonful of unwatered Bisto.

Well that was disappointing. It’s often said it’s easier to criticise than praise but for me the purpose of this site is to champion the best pies around the grounds and beyond and so when I’m met with something bad it’s a chore to break it down. That said, if I’m not honest and go about proclaiming every pie as the greatest I’ve ever had then I lose all credapie-ility.

Next up is a first review from Clydebank, something I couldn’t quite believe when checking the archives before the game so hopeful we see a return to pie glory. 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.

 

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Pie 77: The Stirling University Pie

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Welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries one mans journey to champion the humblest of pastries, the pie, thanks for visiting and your continued support.

So what’s been the happy haps? Well since my last entry I have been awarded the honour of  judgeship at the 2015 World Scotch Pie Championships. To say I’m chuffed is a bit of an understatement, never in a million years did I think that when I started this little venture 16 months ago I would find myself responsible for helping crown a world champion in pies. I would like to thank Div at Pie and Bovril for giving me the call to arms and the Scotch Pie Club for accepting his recommendation. Judging takes place on the 11th November in Dunfermline and if you are reading this thinking you have a belter of pie to offer then you still have five days to enter at the link below:

http://www.scotchpieclub.co.uk/index.php?ID=2255&CATEGORY=6-News+and+Events

This championship does everything I want in highlighting the humble pie as the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions that it truly deserves to be. The winners will get announced in January and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it all goes.

My second piece of news involves another episode in my travels with the Tartan Army this time from Warsaw. Now I’ll save you the blow-by-blow account of whatever drunken debauchery I may or may not have got involved in but what I would like to share is my television debut on Sky Sports HQ. Accosted by David Tanner outside a rather swanky hotel after picking up tickets for the game myself and my fellow companions swiftly found ourselves in the media spotlight responding to a series questions about ticket prices and our predicted match outcome. Now in hindsight a shout to Meat Filled Pastries wouldn’t have gone a miss but it was all good fun in the end. If anybody happened to be recording Sky Sports HQ at about 3.15pm on the 14th October give me a shout would love to give it a watch.

So an eventful few days have been had. The last 3 days have been spent sleeping but here I am feeling semi-normal again so without further ado let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Forthbank Stadium, Stirling University v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Second Round

Love a view of the hills in the background
Love a view of the hills in the background.

Price: £2, double the price of the pie fare I have encountered in the lower leagues of junior football and quite a bit more than even the most expensive of junior pies. It surprised me quite a bit considering the fledgling nature of the club and the Lowland League set up that it currently sits within. I’m sure the pricing will be for economical reasons but with a target audience made up mainly of students it could be cheaper.

Presentation: Remember when you were wee and you used to go to the shop and buy a 10p mix up from the local café or newsagent and it would actually have 10 sweets in it (oh for those halcyon days) well remember the bags that the sweets would come in, that is what this pie was presented on. Not in. On, like really. What made this all the stranger was that on the other side of the counter, out of reach of your average punter was a pile of small black napkins that every pie eater’s heart would have been desiring. Stranger still some people got given one of these napkins and some didn’t. As one of the unlucky few I soldiered on with my paper poke but a consistent approach to presentation in the future would be much appreciated.

THE PIE

Told you it was on a paper bag.
Told you it was on a paper bag.

Meatiness: This pie was a tasty treat, admittedly it’s tastiness boosted by my Sunday afternoon hunger. The meat inside was moist without being greasy and was well filled. There was a gentle peppery kick, not mind blowing but with enough of a presence to add another dimension to the flavour profile of this pie. Outside of that there wasn’t a great deal to be said about it to be honest, for two quid I was hoping for something a little more.

Pastry: Now when I first went to get a pie before kick off the lovely ladies at the Stirling Uni counter informed me that none were present and as such me and fifty or so others found ourselves waiting in the half time pie queue. This immediate need for pie I think then resulted in the pastry being ever so slightly underdone. It was  too soft and it missed the crunch of crispy edges. Due to the pastries softness it also splintered all the way round dividing this pie into loose wedges much like you would find on a deep dish pizza. It didn’t make it difficult to eat but stopped it from hitting any kind of pie perfection.

Brown Sauce: I’ve been a bit lax on this section I know but this seemed a good juncture to bring it back. The brown sauce provided in this instance was difficult to pinpoint as it was presented in a small white bowl in which you spooned your required dollop on with. At least it was different from a squeezy bottle or sachet.

Overall: A bit too pricey for my taste given the comparative surroundings but a solid effort none the less. The paper poke and bowl were a novel approach to match day pie preparation.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto with a few idiosyncrasies thrown in for good measure.

Another pie down, and the first of my Lowland League adventures complete, next up remains a mystery but until next time go forth and eat pie!

Pie 76: The Maybole Pie

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If you want to read about pies: meaty, spicy, pastry covered pies then this is the place to be, as this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s journey to find the tastiest football snacks in all the land. This edition sees us staying in the junior ranks with a pie from Ayrshire and Maybole Juniors but more on that in a bit.

As I am sure many of you are aware I like watching football. I especially like watching football when I get to go a place I’ve never been before,this trip to Maybole being a case in point. I can’t think of any other scenario why I would visit Maybole, it’s not noted for anything particularly famous, it’s not near the seaside and I have no known family currently residing in the area. Maybole, and no offence meant here, is not somewhere you would book your summer holidays to.

What it does have however is a junior football team and so with gay abandon I journeyed on down.

My particular highlight was the pub that was chosen for pre match refreshments by the bus committee. It’s fairly common place for our band of merry men to be found in some particularly odd wee pubs and this one was no exception. Named ‘The High Society’ on entry things looked fairly generic ‘old man’ that was however until you glanced at the fifties style motif in the window. As you entered the walls were adorned with pictures of crooners from yesteryear while the toilets seemed to be something more resembling a sauna than a urinal. Throw in a random games room, jingly door chimes and the obligatory one lady behind the bar suddenly finding her Saturday afternoon a lot busier than usual and you had all the ingredients for your traditional pre-match small town bar. I love these a little bit.

Anyway with my throat suitably lubricated it was game time and as such without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Ladywell Stadium, Maybole v Pollok, West of Scotland Super League, First Division

Cattle, Cemetery, Fields. Standard Junior Football Back Drop.
Cattle, Cemetery, Fields. Standard Junior Football Back Drop.

Price: £1. A drop in division has certainly resulted in a drop in price. Let’s hope this isn’t a drop in tasty quality.

Presentation: A variation on the classic white medium-sized napkin. The far more cost efficient, but no less effective, one sheet of two ply kitchen roll. Actually a little bit bigger than a medium-sized napkin with the added gripy-ness of dimples. No pattern on the roll though, always slightly disappointing. Where’s my random fruit or cuddly penguins?

THE PIE

It's a pie. Duh!
It’s a pie. Duh!

Meatiness: Confession time here folks, I had drunk a few beers the night before and so to ward off any potential hangover I had started my alcohol consumption a bit earlier than usual. It’s not big or clever but it is the facts so this pie review will benefit, or be hindered dependent on your point of view, by the notes made after consumption was complete. What I can tell you is this, the pie was moist without being greasy. It was tasty enough with a distinct meaty flavour and it was of a sufficient standard to warrant a second one soon after but it wasn’t outstanding. This can be attributed to the lack of any real peppery kick and so the addition of HP helped to enhance the overall flavour experience. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge spending another £1 should I ever venture to the Ladywell again  so in that respect you can say meat wise this pie did a good job.

Pastry: The pastry fell apart quite a bit, not enough that there was a spillage of the muttony goodness inside but sufficient enough for me to partake in a spot of pie juggling. You know what I mean. That dance of switching your pie from hand to hand dependent on where the most dangly bit is based in the eternal hope that no meat shall hit the terrace below. The walls were caving in a little bit but I’m willing to put that down to a grip that was too firm more than anything else. As a receptacle for meat this pastry did its job.

Overall: After a few pints this filled the pie shaped hole in my belly not once, but twice.

Gravy Factor: Safe Gravy. The kind of gravy you would make for a dinner party when you’re not really sure what everyone likes.

Pie 76 is gone. Pretty short and sweet on this occasion. However do not fear as Pie 77 is on the horizon with Meat Filled Pastries first visit to the Scottish Lowland League and Forthbank Stadium home of Stirling University. The review will be done before I set off to Poland where I have high hopes that the eastern European love for meat and carbs will give me a pie based treat to behold.

However until, next time go forth and eat pie!

 

 

Pie 62: The Arthurlie Pie

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Derby Day Pastry
Derby Day Pastry

It’s Meat Filled o’clock and this latest offering comes from the Southside Clasico in Barrhead between local rivals Arthurlie and Pollok. When I arrived at a sun-drenched Dunterlie Park it became apparent that a summer quiche would have been a more appropriate way to take in this derby day clash than my usual match day snack of choice, but as champion of the humble pie nothing was going to stop me munching down once more on that heavenly combination of meat and pastry with the same gleeful gusto as always.

So without much further ado, and with a Solero on standby, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1.20. A price that come rain, or in this case, shine will forever be engrained on my memory as the price to be for scotch pies in junior football during the 2013/14 season. Will the prices go up next year? We’ll have to wait and see.

Presentation: Although this was wrapped in the ever classical medium sized white napkin unusually for a junior scotch pie it was presented in a silver tin foil case which whilst keeping the pie warm contained a heat that was mercifully gentle on the finger tips.

Meatiness: I’m going to be honest here before I get started. I’ve been to Dunterlie for a number of years and in my head the pies have never lived long in the memory and I was concerned that it would be destined to take it’s place alongside some of the other ‘Bog Standard Bisto’ offerings encountered this season. However something had changed and I am pleased to report this was a well seasoned savoury morsel. Although not packing the fiery kick of pepper that so often gets my taste buds going the flavour of the pie itself was warming enough to compliment the pleasant late spring day that was bestowed upon me. Throw on the customary dollop of brown sauce and you had a perfectly pleasant mouthful of meat to satisfy yourself with.

Pastry: The pastry was of the well fired variety, not to everybody’s taste but for me it always adds a charred and bitter note that compliments the meat and sauce combo that will always be there when I do these reviews. It was maybe a little soft underneath but there was no sticking to the tin foil case and as such no spillage occurred the more I bit through. However apart from being well fired this was a pretty bog standard pastry that was designed more to hold the meat inside than to add a buttery wave of flavour.

Overall: A pleasant surprise of a pie, not spicy but well seasoned and savoury. The overly crisp edges may put some people off but the addition of brown sauce made a flavour trifecta that made it worth a nibble on one of Glasgow’s sunnier days.

Gravy Factor: Surprise Gravy. May not be a pie of the year contender but certainly worth parting with your £1.20 for.

Another pie down and as it stands only a few more to go this season. As this will be the last one to appear on the pages of the Albion Rovers programme this season I just wanted to say thank you to the good folk at Cliftonhill for giving me a platform to share my pie based nonsense. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I do writing it. If you want to keep track of my pie journeys over the summer and any of my other football work you can do so by visiting http://www.meatfilledpastries.com, my next offering will come from Junior Cup Finalists Glenafton Athletic.

However until next time, as always, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 57: The Rangers ‘Macaroni’ Pie

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Bursting with Meat......
A Macaroni Filled Pastry

Hello pie lovers and welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries and it’s continual quest to champion football’s only snack of choice the humble pie. Let’s address the elephant in the room straight away. I already know what you’re thinking, ‘How does he have the audacity to call this splendifirous journey of pie Meat Filled Pastries when it’s clear to see that this is a pasta packed pastry presented before me?’. Well firstly, I would ask you to take the bass out of your voice and secondly make you aware of the badgering I have been subject due to the fact I hadn’t reviewed a Macaroni Pie. So here it is, a macaroni pie, if you’re still a bit miffed I hope the small bit of upcoming pie-related word play in this further explanation will help ease your confusion.

‘Meat Filled Pastries’ is a celebration of pie, specifically pie at sporting venues across this fair land of ours. In the main these pies will be filled with meat in a variety of different concoctions that have been brought to the fore on these pages. Some of the most talked about reviews wherever I go are when pies wander from their conventional scotch format and start throwing such ingredients as steak, beans, haggis or potato at you. It’s these curveballs of content that nicely leads into the final point of this introduction. How can we, as connoisseurs of pie, really know which pie is right for us when we don’t give them all a bash; or to put it in pun form ‘Diversi-pie’. To ‘diversi-pie’ is to truly become one with the ethos of Meat Filled Pastries.

So without much further ado, and as requested by the proprietor of www.dedicaked.com your one stop shop for all things cake whether they be popped, cupped or celebratory, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Price: £2.35. 15p cheaper than the previously reviewed steak offering but 15p more expensive than the also reviewed scotch effort from Ibrox. Already this pie is causing me problems on review. Is this a luxury pie? It’s price, greater than a scotch, would suggest yes but can we truly call a Macaroni Pie one of luxury on Meat Filled Pastries? At present I’m undecided so let’s move on.

Presentation: Medium sized white napkin with a snug fitting tin foil case surrounding the pastry. I actually successfully turned this pie upside down without anything falling out but more on that in a bit.

Meatiness: Erm, right…there was no meat in this pie. How am I meant to review it’s meatiness when there is no meat within? Time for some tenuous linkage. Now as we know meat in its purest form comes from animals, in the case of a scotch pie it will come from mutton. Mutton is a form of lamb. Lamb’s are most often located on farms, as are cows. Cows, another provider of delicious meaty sustenance, regularly need milked. Milk when separated is turned into two parts; curds and whey. Curds are acidified and drained resulting in the very beginnings of cheese. These are then pressed and matured to turn into the cheese that we recognise in shops, burgers and this macaroni pie that I am trying to review before you. Therefore as cheese is derived from milk which is taken from a cow which we butcher for meat then this is indeed a meat filled pastry, huzzah!

Anyway, onto the actual tasting and after a week that was very heavy on the pie consumption it was actually a nice change of pace to bite down on something that wasn’t bursting with gravy. It was very much how I had expected, a compression of macaroni in a pastry case. The pasta was cooked well and there was enough of a cheesy hit coming from it to add another layer of flavour. My only complaint was that after a couple of bites it felt rather dry and going against the usual rules I applied a splodge of tomato ketchup for moisture and as such helping the last few bites slide down easily. Was it better than a bona fide meat filled pastry? That really depends on the pie you’re comparing it against. Against a standout steak or scotch then not a chance but against a bog standard offering I would say at least this offers something different.

Pastry: The pastry was of a more complex structure than your average scotch or steak pie. Although the side and base casing weere still standard in nature there was no top. Instead a layer of cheese that had almost burnt created an extra punch of cheesy flavour which did wonders for the overall effect of the pie. On the down side though, due to the fat content within the cheese there was a little bit of tearing when taking the pie out of its tin foil case due to it melting through. However as a man who likes his cheese this was something I merrily picked away at after consumption.

Overall: It’s never going to replace a meat filled pastry but if you are ever wanting a change of taste with your Bovril then this is well worthy of your time and appreciation. It was a little dry inside but I loved the cheesy top and I could defiantly see potential in this to become something truly special with a little more of the cheesy gravy inside and the potential to add ingredients such as ham or chilli. All in all a bit of an eye opener really.

Gravy Factor: Not your usual meaty gravy here but its cheesy cousin Monsieur Béchamel. Worth a try and the type of gravy I am happy to bracket as luxury due to its unusual nature.

Well that was a bit different and it would be a fair assumption to make on your part that this won’t be the last Macaroni Pie you will see. That said the next two offering’s come from East Ayrshire and Auchinleck Talbot, will their pies be as good as their performances on the pitch? We’ll have to wait and see.

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. Something new will be coming soon.

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 56: The Rangers ‘Steak’ Pie

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Steak pie Muthafudgers!
Steak pie Muthafudgers!

It’s pie time. Luxury pie time. Another hulking brute of pastry, steak and gravy. I’ve done a lot of pie reviews recently and as such I have very little new nonsense to spew forth in your direction as a pre-amble to the main event and therefore without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Price: A rather hefty £2.50, a cash equivalent of 2 Junior level scotch pies and a full 50p more than another luxury option, the recently reviewed, Ayr United Steak & Ale Pie (Pie 54). A price symptomatic of the ludicrous idea that if you are a bigger club you are obliged to charge a bigger price when in fact all that you are increasing (apart from my waistband) is the profit you make. Seriously let’s think about this for a minute. How many pies do you think are consumed at Ibrox, Celtic Park or Hampden? A conservative estimate of 5000-7000 let’s say. Now how many are consumed at Cliftonhill, Newlandsfield or Ochilview? A couple of hundred. Now using a fairly basic knowledge of how business works and economies of scale, the larger the bulk amount initially purchased from the supplier is the cheaper the P.P.P (Price Per Pie) becomes. Basically what I am saying is I’m willing to wager a considerable sum that the P.P.P before selling onto the fans is far less at bigger stadia than at smaller grounds. Is that saving passed on? Erm, no. But at least the pie is of far superior quality? Well let’s move on form this digression and see before this rant takes on a life of its own and I end up with another website dedicated solely to the price of pies!

Presentation: Your standard steak pie presentation here. A medium-sized white napkin wrapped around a silver tinfoil case, although the case seemed a little battered and bruised and as a result was nowhere near as snug fitting as it would usually be as a pie with a hint of luxury in its make up. Not necessarily a bad thing, as in fact I think it will have prevented the all to familiar scald to the palm often associated with a hot pie and tin foil case.

Meatiness: Look here’s the thing it was a nice pie. The first bite produced a more mince based texture meaning a splurge of gravy landing on my lips and as I bit further in bigger chunks of shredded steak were there for my teeth to bite done on and chew. It was seasoned well a wee bit peppery with more salty than some of the other pies I’ve had on this journey but seasoned well nonetheless. The thing is I want my pie, not to be happy with being like all the others, but to stand out from the crowd and have an identity that can only be found at that one footballing location, this pie sadly did not meet that brief. Nice but a little bit soulless.

Pastry: The pastry was a mere receptacle for the meat inside. A well fired crust with a base that was soft without leaking into the tin foil case below. The looseness of the tin foil case no doubt helping to prevent the pastry sticking to the bottom of the case, a common problem often found when consuming a luxury pie. Once again it wasn’t offensive, in fact it was nice but was it going to live long in the memory? I don’t think so.

Overall: I think the thing that irks me most about paying a premium price for luxury pies in large stadia anywhere is that the addition of the word steak automatically justifies a hike in the price. If I was hungry and I wanted something to eat before or during the game it would do and I would be satisfied but unfortunately I cannot place more praise on it than that.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto from Waitrose when really a trip to Tesco would be just as good.

Sorry that was rather uninspiring, the unplanned rant on pricing aside of course, but as you will already know from this journey I am seeking more than just taste in my pies. Hopefully the next effort from Ibrox later this week will have more to offer, I can guarantee you it’s certainly going to be different.

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.

Pie 47: The Albion Rovers Pie

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'In next weeks programme...'
‘In next weeks programme…’

Guess what? It’s time for another entry into the Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame. Yay! Before we get started I want to share one of the many reasons why I enjoy venturing to football down the leagues on a weekly basis. My first game of football was part of generational tradition, my dad was taken by his dad, he then took me and, if I ever screw the nut and stop gibbering on about pies, I would like to keep that tradition going. We always stand in the same place, with the same people around us, different ages and backgrounds all gathered to take part in the joy of a Saturday afternoon at the football.

A lot of the time, the discussions would continue long after the final whistle had gone in the pub round the corner leaving me with people who have been watching football for 50, 60 years and regaling stories of a time when the team were so much better than they are today. I love that. The unity that football brings amongst those who would more often than not be strangers. Unfortunately this past week, one of those friends passed away, but instead of being sad about the life that’s been lost I’m thankful that I took the opportunities I had to listen to the stories he told and for the continual enjoyment that this ragtag group of football fans bring me. I’d strongly advise that if you’ve sat or stood beside somebody for years and never said hello then get your thumb out your bum and fling out a wave, if all else fails you can always talk about the football.

This week, as a small tribute, this review is for Bill. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Cliftonhill, Albion Rovers v Berwick Rangers, SPFL League Two

Price: £1.50, a price that I couldn’t see but one that the ladies behind the pie counter at Cliftonhill were happy to provide. About average for the level of football on offer in Scottish League Two.

Presentation: A break from the classic white napkin…well kind off. It was a bit smaller than usual and it appeared to be pulled from a larger roll as opposed to an individual offering, but it was most definitely white. I think the next pie I have that does not come wrapped in a white napkin of sorts, I will nominate for entry into Le Louvre.

Meatiness: I would call this a proper mutton pie, well filled without being overly so. The meat was moist from it’s own juices and fell apart like a good pie should once bitten, almost perfect in texture. There was a lovely hit of pepper, not spicy but enough to notice it and the taste itself was totally changed once a bite was taken with the incredibly tangy brown sauce that was provided to squirt on top. If I hadn’t already had my lunch I most likely would have got another one.

Pastry: The pastry was a standard crust, contributing to the overall pie eating experience without blowing me away. It held up well and there was no spillage as each bite was taken although the top was a little loose which meant the last two mouthfuls involved using both left and right hands. The pastry shouldn’t have to be the star of the show and in this case it wasn’t but deserves an honourable mention as part of the supporting cast in this mouthful of meat.

Overall: A tasty pie, with the right mix of meat, pastry and spice. The brown sauce, as I said earlier, was extremely tangy and I imagine for some palates would be a bit too much but for me added another dimension of flavour that my taste buds enjoyed.

Gravy Factor: Jolly good gravy with an optional brown sauce inspired tongue tingling kick.

One more thing before we scrunch up the napkin of pie 47 and set our sights on more meat filled pastries. I have often said that pie makers at football grounds should do more to advertise their meaty wares. Well, I’m happy to report that at Cliftonhill there was advertising a plenty championing the name of JB Christies, who after a bit of research turn out to be quite the pie makers. If you make the pies, then make sure we know about it.

Next stop for Meat Filled Pastries, weather permitting, will be Penicuik Athletic from the East Region of the junior football scene but should that fail then the next stop on this tour of pie could be you!

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.