beith

Pie 155: The Beith Steak Pie

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Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! Frohe Weihnachten!

Have we all got that festive feeling? I know that you will have lathered your turkey in gravy, consumed a round dozen pig in blankets and developed a lactose intolerance after downing a full cattle’s worth of cheese but I think we all still have room to squeeze in a little meaty treat. Welcome to the latest edition of Meat Filled Pastries from the world of Scottish Football. This week we head to Ayrshire and to Bellsdale Park, the home of Beith Juniors, for a steak pie or two.

Bellsdale Park, as well as being renowned for its pretty strong pastry game, is even more famous for its very pronounced slope. Whilst Hibernian were required to flatten their Easter Road pitch back in the early 2000’s, the Bellsdale slope continues to endure. Often the topic of many a terrace conversation you first become aware of the park’s downhill tendencies as you make the approach to the ground with it being near impossible to leave the centre of town without gaining some downwards moment. This suspicion becomes a realisation as you enter and make your way through the turnstile, the two covered enclosures on the far side appearing to move further and further away from pitch level as the grass sweeps down towards the far corner.

I’ve been to Bellsdale at least a dozen times or so over my football watching career and I still find myself amazed that somebody hasn’t said they need to fix it, especially given their recent forays into the “Big Scottish” but I like it. It has character. There is no doubt some sporting advantage to playing down the slope in the second half during a mid-winter battle in the pouring rain whilst the opposition trudge upwards in the opposite direction – a mild exaggeration of course – but whilst the commerciality of new build all weather parks has its merits grounds such as Bellsdale Park need to continue to thrive to ensure those points of differentiation remain on the terraces across the country.

You know what else needs to continue to thrive? Tasty pastry treats. But was the steak pie from the home of The Mighty worthy of the side’s nickname?

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

Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith Juniors 1-3 Pollok, West Premiership

Price: At £2 this was towards the top end of the junior football pie pricing spectrum but within the same range as other luxury offerings across the grade. The same price as their previously reviewed Chicken & Haggis Pie (see picture above) which still remains one of the tastiest match day treats around.

Presentation: In the list of things I bang on about the lack of proper advertising by butchers and bakers that they provide the goods is right up there, so imagine my delight that Irvine’s Bakery continue to supply Bellsdale Park with large cream coloured napkins with their name emblazoned across it. The pie itself was contained within a tin foil case which, as we all know by now, is not uncommon when presented with a steak filled pastry.

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Meatiness: This pie was awash with gravy, savoury in flavour and from a consistency perspective near spot on, allowing me to squeeze the top and bottom to show a little ooze without a single drop being spilled to the gravel below. Especially impressive considering the deep fill that had been executed by the baker during construction. The meat was tender and had a nice variation of small and large chunks, tearing away in strands like a good steak bite should. For some it might feel a little over seasoned, but for me, once married up with its pastry surrounds it made for a tasty steaky mouthful.

Pastry: Anyone who has read some of my reviews from the senior game in Scotland will know that the tin foil case is often the scourge of a good steak pie so I was naturally nervous as I slipped my fingers around the edges and went to pick my pastry up. This nervousness was almost immediately alleviated though as the pastry popped clean out, the base golden, the sides intact and the top still glistening, although perhaps a little ragged in its placement. A small note on what was otherwise a very solidly constructed pie.

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Brown Sauce: Would have been utterly superfluous.

Overall: Unctuous gravy, well cooked and seasoned meat with a non-stick pastry surround. Lovely stuff.

Gravy Factor: Gies a Ladle.

Beith really is the place to be if you want some of the finest football pies around, it is genuinely one of the highlights of my fixture calendar. I’m hoping to squeeze another pie based jaunt in before year end but whether the review makes it before the dawning of 2019 we’ll have to wait to see, so for now I hope you all have had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a happy and prosperous new year.

Oh, and of course, 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.

 

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Pie 110: The Pollok ‘Steak’ Pie

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Hello and welcome to some what of a homecoming for Meat Filled Pastries because as many of you may have realised by now a great deal of my reviews are as a result of my travels around junior football supporting my local team, Pollok and today’s review comes from their home, Newlandsfield Park.

For as long as I’ve been going to Newlandsfield there has been only one pie on the menu, the humble scotch pie. Sure there has been sausage rolls and bridies, I’ve even been known to be partake in the odd hot dog or two but in the main it’s always a scotch pie that is left there sitting in my hand come game day. At the end of last years successful season, and after a few of Caledonia’s Best, I was asked my opinion on bringing a steak pie into the culinary fold. I immediately gave it my thumbs up before getting into a debate about what price it should be that drinking jaegermeister out of a trophy made me forget it’s outcome the very next day.

Jaegermeister: Makes you Tell Everyone Everything and Remember Nothing!

At the start of the season I was then somewhat disappointed to discover that no steak pies were to be found. I didn’t think much of it putting the conversation that was hazy in my memory down to one of those lost in the bottom of a pint glass. Imagine then how my heart soared when a few weeks ago a 24 steak pie trial took place. As the clubs resident pie expert I had to get involved.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Newlandsfield Park, Pollok 4-2 Beith, West Superleague Premier Division

One from the archives, forget to take a picture as I was in more familiar surroundings.
One from the archives, forget to take a picture as I was in more familiar surroundings.

Price: Piloted at a price of £1.60 this is about average for a luxury steak pie found at junior grounds in the west region. A pilot price that has since increased to £1.70 on full roll out, just in case next time you’re at Newlandsfield you feel short changed by the price of your pastry.

Presentation: Unusually for a steak pie there was no tin foil surround. At first it was presented on a medium-sized white napkin but as I began to walk away I was shouted back and advised ‘That might not be enough’, before being given an extra couple of sheets of kitchen roll. You don’t get that kind of consideration at Parkhead or Ibrox.

THE PIE

Like the baby Jesus wrapped up in his manger. Except this is a pie, and that's kitchen roll.
Like the baby Jesus wrapped up in his manger. Except this is a pie, and that’s kitchen roll.

Meatiness: This pie was filled to the brim with some lovely and unctuous gravy. It was well seasoned although slightly salty but not offensively so and the consistency was near spot on, firm enough to hold should your conversation start getting a bit ‘handsy’. The meat was split across the pie into about a half dozen substantial chunks. Cooked well enough for you to bite through it tenderly without having to tug too hard, with your teeth tearing off the meat into the kind of thin strips of beef that only long and slow cooking can provide.

Pastry: The first thing I noticed that this wasn’t a puff pastry case that is most commonly attributed to a steak pie but instead something more akin to a scotch offering. Secondly this pie was the definition of golden brown in colour. It was immaculate in that sense without even a hint of boil out. It was also perfectly round, on first appearances it was very impressive. There were a couple of issues though. To accommodate the wetter filling of a steak pie the pastry was a little thicker than you would normally find on a scotch pie which, whilst not an issue on the sides and bottom, did result in the top ‘flapping’ a bit as you took a bite almost like a cracker on a pile of mince, not to the detriment of taste but just a little bit fidgety.

Brown Sauce: None. It’s a luxury pie.

Overall: A tasty steak filling with a slightly biscuity pastry top but perhaps one of the most attractive pies I ever did see.

Gravy Factor: Biscuits and Gravy. Tasty gravy.

I hope they let me in next week after that review. I’ll always be honest, even when it comes to my home town team and this is definitely a worthwhile addition to the matchday menu. The next review is yet to be determined as winter throws up all manner of possibilities in the footballing calender thanks to the never ending raft of call-offs and re-arrangements.

So until then, go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

Pie 83: The Thorniewood United Pie

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It’s Meat Filled Pastries Time! Let’s. Get. Meeeeatyyyy!

Hello, hope you’re well, I thought today I’d address just a couple of the most commonly asked questions I’ve received since starting my journey of pie. Just a couple though, I wouldn’t want to be struggling for words when it comes to writing my memoirs. I thought the best way to do this would be to answer the two questions that are asked by 90% of the people who hear my story, namely, “Who Does the Best Pies?” and “Don’t You Ever Get Sick of Pies?”. Consider it an end of year treat for you all.

Firstly let’s address the number one question I’m asked, “Who Does the Best Pies?”, but to be honest it’s far more complex than blurting out a name or venue. For starters there are lots of different types of pie available, some scotch, some steak and some completely different. To pick one, as a solo muncher of pies, when there is a multitude of parameters to consider would be reckless on my part. Secondly I like to think the best I’ve ever had is always the next one to pass by my lips, call it part of my relentless optimism to do with all things related to pie. That not a good enough answer? Sounding a little too measured and political? Well OK then, some standouts for me are ‘The Beith Chicken & Haggis Pie’ and one I haven’t ever reviewed on the pages of Meat Filled Pastries ‘The Burghead Thistle Mince Pie’. Two that still to this day linger long in the taste buds.

Secondly, ‘Do I Ever Get Sick of Pies?’ Course not silly, pies are awesome.

Seriously though, not really. Due to the volume I find myself consuming at football matches it’s not something I tend to have for my dinner or lunch. My favourite item from Greggs is a Roll and Chicken Bake and the amount of effort that goes into making a really good pie, pastry and all, means that they tend to get made as treat (usually for the amusement of others) as opposed to being a regular item on my homemade menu. I like pies but I love food and to limit myself to one item would be just too much to bear.

That said this one item has gave me a lot of stories and brought me a lot of fun, so without further ado let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Robertson Park, Thorniewood United v Pollok, West of Scotland Super League First Division

Pretty sure I got trench foot...
Pretty sure I got trench foot…

Price: £1.20. Slap bang in the middle of the junior price range for a scotch pie. Can’t really have too many complaints with that.

Presentation: Aside from the ever classical medium-sized white napkin this scotch pie was presented in a tin foil case a somewhat unusual style for a scotch pie, even more unusual for a junior pie. Perhaps I have been doing this too long already but when I noticed its shiny silver surround a little part of me actually went, ‘oh, that’s new!’, and you know what, it was!

THE PIE

Oooooo silver, fancy!
Oooooo silver, fancy!

Meatiness: This pie was very moist but as I sit here typing this latest review I find it hard to remember anything standout about it, reviewing my short notes on the day moist is all I had written. Moist and pleasant (Mind out the gutter please folks). Something I will admit, and is apparent as I write this review, that if a pie filling is relatively tasty, has nice seasoning and doesn’t leave a waxy trail of grease glued to my arm then it’s fine by me. It just doesn’t give me a whole lot to write about. This pie is an example of that. Absolutely nothing wrong with it but not one to be stored in the vault.

Pastry: It had a nice crispy top with an even thickness of pastry all around. It was perhaps a little soft underneath. A consequence of the tin foil case it sat within but nothing went where it shouldn’t be as I ate. Did a job.

Brown Sauce: This brown sauce was a lot lighter in colour and was almost apple sweet, it had a gentle tang to it and was a nice complimentary flavour to the pastry and meat underneath.

Overall: Nice enough, but won’t live long in the memory.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.

A solid if unspectacular effort from Tannochside, the junior pie bandwagon rolls on with an offering from Ardrossan Winton Rovers and it’s something that is a little bit special.

However until then though, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 73: The Arthurlie ‘Steak’ Pie

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Hello and first of all my humblest apologies as it has been a couple of weeks since my last pie story and I can assure you that it’s not for a lack of football in the time since my last entry.  visited both Beith and Airdrieonians but on each occasion was disappointed to find that new pies were not to be found whilst my own team have been in the midst of a raft of home games that’s not due to end for a couple of weeks yet.

In Beith the steak pie I desired was not on offer and my meat filled misery was compounded further when I was told that they hadn’t made any of their  wonderful Chicken & Haggis offerings, something that I am pretty sure disappointed every single member of the Bellsdale Park crowd. Last week I went to Airdrie to take in my first ever Women’s Champions League between FC Union Nove Zamsky of Slovakia and WFC Kharkiv of Ukraine. It was a freebie on a Monday afternoon so I went with my pie expectations set more to hope than expectation although it was still a shame that they weren’t able to furnish my mush with a pie especially considering a wind was blowing that made it feel more like Lapland than Lanarkshire.

But have no fear as here we have Pie 73, The Arthurlie Steak Pie, so without much further ado, because let’s be honest it’s been two weeks, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, Sectional League Cup Section 5. Entry: £5

That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist
That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist

Price: Priced at £1.50 this was a fairly priced offering falling well below the average of £2 found in senior Scottish football last season for luxury pastries.

Presentation: It was naked! Well not naked it had its roasting hot tin foil underwear on caressing the pastry skin of this meat filled morsel. What I mean by naked is that there was no napkin, no medium-sized wafer of tissued comfort, no piece of kitchen roll or tiny square of white paper to dab my lips with and mop my brow, nothing! Now using my years of pie eating experience I think there was a napkin shortage as there were definitely a small mound present behind Dunterlie’s pie counter but they seemed to be getting dished out to the select few. Maybe I should have made my presence known as Chief-Pie-Officer of Meat Filled Pastries but really should I have had to? Anyway with the lack of a napkin and the aforementioned roasting hot tin foil sleeve in hand I carried out a spot of impromptu juggling before taking my first bite.

THE PIE

NAE NAPKIN!
NAE NAPKIN!

Meatiness: Being a steak pie this had to be nothing less than luxurious and I think it made a fairly good fist of it. The meat inside was tender and was chunked into a variety of different sizes, some that slipped straight down the throat and some that required a good chew. There was no hint of pepper or anything out of the ordinary flavour wise but that didn’t stop it from being well seasoned and tasty. There was a lot of gravy in this pie, something I am a big fan of, but something I would have been an even bigger fan of if I had had a napkin. You see as I took a bite, not knowing the size of the steak my teeth had munched down on, bits of meat fell out of there pastry cave and into the shiny silver lagoon below. This resulted in a lot of finger picking and due to a lack of napkin a lot of finger licking. Thankfully this pie was consumed prior to kick off otherwise I almost certainly would have missed something. It’s not really a complaint to be fair as I’m forever eating things with my fingers that I shouldn’t, roast dinners, curries, soup (OK not soup) but when I do I always make sure I have something to wipe my greasy paws on after I finish, it would have been good to have a napkin with this pie as tasty as it was.

Pastry: A puff pastry top with well fired sides. The top was just cooked enough to provide crispness whilst also allowing the soft under layers to mix with the gravy. The sides were well baked at the top and bottom but seemed a little doughy in the middle although due to its crispness I was able to employ the break-off and scoop technique by breaking off part of the crust to use as an edible spoon to scoop up the meat and gravy residue. This pastry had a function far beyond tantalising the taste buds.

Overall: A tasty steak pie, but woe betide the good folk of Barrhead if they run out of napkins again.

Gravy Factor: Messy Gravy. More pastry spoon than silver spoon.

The next helping of pie will be from an as yet undetermined location so keep your eye out by following me @MFPTasty.

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

Pie 72: The Blantyre Victoria Pie

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Have you ever tried to eat a pie in 28 degree heat? Yeah me neither, until now that is.

For the unaware amongst you a heat wave hit the west coast of Scotland that left many reaching for the Factor 50 and as the Commonwealth Games rolled into town I had enough time to nip to Castle Park, home of Blantyre Victoria, for a pre-season friendly before getting home just in time to see a bunch of dancing teacakes look on in horror as SuBo fluffed her lines.

It could have been worse though, for all we know wee Susie could have looked out at the psychedelic nonsense going on before her and thought she had died and gone to Tunnock’s heaven, diving head first into an unsuspecting volunteer trying to first tear the wrapper off the marshmallowy behemoth before consuming it whole. This of course leads to the all important decision of whether or not to lay out the empty foil flat on the ground or to roll it up into a tiny ball before flicking it into the distance in no particular direction. The poor lassie.

Sorry, went off on a tangent there. The point I was aiming when I started out here was that a roasting hot day is not ideal pie eating conditions, but as always I found a way to bring a new pie review to you.

So after finding a shady spot to cool myself down, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Castle Park, Blantyre Victoria v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly. Entry: £3. Programme: None.

Storming the Castle Park walls to get some pie!
Storming the Castle Park walls to get some pie!

Price: There was no menu adorning the pie stall window, and in haste to get out the sun I forgot to ask how much I had to part with for my pastry. However using some simple algebra deducting the price of multiple cans of fizzy pop from the pie purchases of those around me I can confirm this pie can be yours for a solitary British pound. Bargain!

Presentation: It was white. It was medium-sized. It was a napkin. And that’s all I have to say about that.

THE PIE

Stick a flake in it and call it Pi-ce Cream!
Stick a flake in it and call it Pi-ce Cream!

Meatiness: This pie was perfectly pleasant. Nothing outstanding but a tasty meaty treat nonetheless. The meat was relatively well packed although did fall apart a little the more I bit into it. It was moist without being greasy and although the peppery linger didn’t last long on the palate it was still present after I’d finished. It was the kind of pie that is hard to get really enthused about but at the same time leaves you with nothing bad to say either.

Brown Sauce: That’s right we have a new section folks. It’s something I have toyed with in the past but my early season experiences have shown that the sauce itself is a stand alone feature of any pie whether it be good or bad. So how was the brown sauce at Castle Park? In a word: tangy, adding a sparkle of flavour that this pie was maybe slightly lacking. However be careful as too much and you could end up looking like your sucking an invisible milkshake through an equally invisible straw. It provided some added lubrication with a distinct tart tang.

Pastry: The pastry was soft and crumbly, the edges weren’t particularly crisp so there was no brown sauce dunking on this pie but it did mean that if you were in a rush you could eat this pie in a flash. This pastry would be a favourite with the pie eating sprinters but may disappoint those who are in it for the long haul.

Overall: New section about Brown Sauce aside this was a pretty standard pie, but for a pound you can’t really grumble.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.

All things going well my next review will be from Beith, home of one of the best pies of last season the luxury Chicken and Haggis Pie and one of the worst the Scotch Pie. Hopefully the Steak Pie on offer is closer to the former as opposed to the latter. In other news I will be the Scottish correspondent for The Football Pink this season, a link to which can be found on the left hand side of the page, starting with an SPL review that I plan to get done this week. Give the site a visit and order a copy should you get the chance.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!

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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