Hello again pie fans and welcome to the latest pie review to beat the big freeze. This week I venture to Springburn in the north of Glasgow to take in one of only four junior games to beat the weather as Petershill took on junior football’s current standard bearer’s and Scottish Cup giant killers, Auchinleck Talbot.
I had actually turned up at Petershill Park not expecting to have a new pie to review. I had been up to see the Peasy, Rossvale and various women’s teams over the last few seasons and only ever been furnished with a standard scotch pie or, as was the case on one occasion, a bridie. However as I stood in the queue the murmers were that a steak pie could be in the offing. As I approached the counter my curiosity heightened and with no menu in sight, I asked, “Can I get a steak pie please, pal?”…
“Aye love, anything else?”. Yes, success! I had a new pie. A pie I wasn’t expecting to taste and savour but there in lies the key question, was it indeed, a pie I was looking to savour?
Well there’s only one way that we’re going to find out, so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Petershill Park, Petershill 0-7 Auchinleck Talbot
Price: I’ve totally dropped the ball here. I couldn’t see a price list and I had eaten yet that day so had bought some other things (a can of Diet Bru and a bag of cheese & onion in case you were wondering). I know that my final bill was £3.40 so the price of this pie is £3.40 minus the cost of a can of Diet Irn Bru minus the cost of a bag of Cheese & Onion crisps. One for all you algebra fans out there, if you know the cost of a can of Irn Bru and a bag of crisps at Petershill Park.
Presentation: Unusual in junior pie circles this steak offering was presented in a silver tin foil case and on top of a large white napkin although given the temperatures on the day I would have quite happily let the pie warm my hands and cool down naturally before I tucked in.
Meatiness: This pie filling was pretty decent. There was a suitably fluid meat flavoured gravy wrapped around some various sized chunks of meat, from the size of dice to almost mince like in texture. The first bite revealed a little bit of a gap as can be seen in the accompanying picture but no bite was bare of meat and in a match day pastry that is something to be commended.
Pastry: A pie of two halves here. The top was well coloured with a little steam hole present to let out the heat. It slid out the pastry case with ease and without any sticky situations occurring. However the bottom was a little on the raw side meaning that it was a little bit claggy after a couple of bites. Luckily though the gravy and crispy side wall combination meant that it was still a perfectly serviceable mouthful.
Brown Sauce: Luxury pies mean naked pies, however on surveying the kiosk area surroundings I couldn’t immediately spy anything to go condimental about if that was your desire.
Overall: Decent filling, decent gravy, decent pastry, even if it was a little under on the bottom. Yeah, decent.
Gravy Factor: Better than a KFC Gravy scented candle (and yes that is a thing!)
Bonus pie reviews are often the best pie reviews, especially at this time of year where fixtures can become a little scarce. I am potentially (Saturday night exploits dependent) going to make my way yo Tynecastle next weekend to see if The ‘Bot can repeat their exploits from the previous round whilst also gain some revenge for a 1-0 defeat to Hearts in the Scottish Cup seven years ago.
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. A contributor to various football websites and publications he also currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert and hosts “The Isco Inferno” a weekly take on all things Spanish football. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ and part-time Madrileno with a passion for food and football that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.
Welcome to Meat Filled Pastries, my mission to ensure that the mighty pie remains at the forefront of fans mind everywhere when hunger strikes at football grounds across the country. Battling the increasing onslaught by chips, burgers, curries and hotdogs to barge its way to the front of your local refreshment counters. As steeped in footballing tradition as the half-time draw, the busted coupon and jumpers for goalpost the pie is football’s culinary gift to the world and as long as I have breath I will ensure it remains that way. Say ‘Aye to Pie’.
Anyway we have two reviews from Auchinleck to get through in the next few days so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Beechwood Park, Auchinleck Talbot v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison
Price: £1.20. That’s right another club who has gone for the junior average of £1.20. I wonder if at the start of the season clubs have a meeting where they decide what the maximum and minimum price of a pie should be. If they do it can I request you to stop doing so and go wild by throwing in a £1.14 or a £1.06 every now and again as it can make for a pretty boring opening to a review unless a rant such as the small one I’ve gone on there takes my fancy. Moving on.
Presentation: A medium-sized white napkin, the classical look most commonly associated with football based meat and pastry parcels.
Meatiness: This was not a scotch pie as anticipated but instead I was greeted with a filling of thick mince and gravy a detour from the loosely formed block of meat you would find in your standard scotch pie. The mince was seasoned very well and the thick gravy that surrounded it caused a playful little dribble to form on my chin the further I delved into its meaty goodness. It was tasty and as such I would have liked a little more of it as on further inspection the fill levels seemed rather shallow when measured against the pastry walls surrounding it. They do however say always leave them wanting more so maybe this is just a clever rouse to get the humble punter to consume yet another meaty morsel so this is but a minor complaint.
My main problem, was one of my own doing. As always with a non-luxury offering I had put a squirt of brown sauce atop of my pie before taking that first bite. With a standard scotch pie you need that squirt of sauce to give that little bit of extra lubrication to help the digestion process and to add another twang of flavour. With a mince and gravy pie the lubrication is already present and as such any brown sauce added could only serve to mask the flavour of the gravy inside. If I’d known I may of refrained from the usual routine, or at least been a little less firm with my routine squeeze.
Pastry: This is where I probably should have realised it wasn’t going to be a normal scotch pie, the tell-tale sign of a puff pastry top often indicates that the filling inside is something not usual in nature. It was flaky and golden on top, whilst the soft layers of pastry underneath almost melted into the meat and gravy below. This wasn’t mind-blowing pastry but a lovely addition to the carnivorous concoction inside. There were a couple of gaps were the filling had leaked through but this only added to the overall presentation and flavour of the pie.
Overall: While the scotch pie is, and should continue to be, the standard-bearer of footballing snackage, this mince and gravy effort is a worthy adversary in the battle for pie supremacy. It was meaty and filled with a lovely gravy topped off with a singular disc of puff pastry. It’s only missing component was that hit of pepper that I so love in scotch pie offerings.
Gravy Factor: Mince and Gravy, and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact there was quite a lot right with it.
Next time out Meat Filled Pastries has a second helping of pie from East Ayrshire as it takes on a new variety, ‘The Onion Pie’.
But until then, 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.
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