bisto

Pie 97: The Cumbernauld United Pie

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Hello pie fans, how are you? This question is entirely rhetorical as I won’t be able to respond, well unless you get in contact and if you do go to such extremes then I will (because I’m sound like that) get back to you. Anyway as regular readers will know I came back from Canada a couple of weeks ago and it’s safe to say some of my joie de vivre seems to have got lost on the flight back over the Atlantic.

Lazy people would attribute it to the holiday blues but for me it’s been part of a far longer malaise that a holiday only managed to put a temporary pin in. I can’t really put a finger on what has been gnawing away at me. It could be the realisation that as weddings and baby announcements become more frequent that I am now a proper adult, a proper adult who turns 30 later this year but still has next to no idea what he really wants to do with his life. I feel like I’ve lost my sense of purpose at the moment, not in some morbid kind of way where I’m getting the rusty razor blades out whilst turning Alanis Morissette’s Greatest Hits up to 11 ( Writers Note 1: I’ve just had a wee search on Google to see if such a thing exists and it does so in case you’re interested you can purchase The Collection for £4.45 on Amazon). (Writers Note 2: How good is Spinal Tap? Seriously it’s just great).

No, it’s not that but I have always had this belief that I’m destined to do something great, something that will leave my mark on the world for centuries to come. As much as we all have a laugh about it, Meat Filled Pastries (whilst obviously being the greatest thing on the internet today) is probably not going to be my coup de grace but at the moment I’m getting, just a little bit, impatient as I try to get the casserole of nonsense that floats about in my head to form some kind of sensible conclusions. I’m sure I will, it’s just going to take some time.

Anyway, apologies for using these hallowed pages to have a bit of a moan but sometimes man cannot communicate in pie alone. Ah pie, the one meaty constant in my life and the reason why most of you will have skipped to this part of today’s pieatribe upon the realisation that is not a football based tale of humour and whimsy.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Guys Meadow, Cumbernauld United 0-4 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

I didn't stand behind the net all match, that would have been stupid!
I didn’t stand behind the net all match, that would have been stupid!

Price: £1.20 a diversion from the £1 offerings that have been gracing me these last few weeks. A 20% hike in price sounds whopping but in reality it”s only 20p and when you remember that for some pies at Hampden, the home of Scottish Football, they charge you up to £3.60 for a pastry then £1.20 isn’t all that bad really.

Presentation: Another paper plate and medium-sized white napkin offering here. Not quite sure why this has all of sudden sprung up as a key presentational technique towards the end of the season but it seems to be common none the less. This pie had the added bonus of being accompanied by a pint that you could quaff at your leisure during the game, which in Scottish football, is a very rare commodity indeed. It gets loads of extra points for that alone.

THE PIE

A Pie & A Pint and A Game of Football on a Sunny Spring Evening. Nice!
A Pie & A Pint and A Game of Football on a Sunny Spring Evening. Nice!

Meatiness: I know, I know. I need to calm down with the David Baileyesque attempts at pie based photography. I promise you that next time normal service will be resumed. Anyway, this was the first pie that I’ve had in a while that had a serious pepper kick to it, with a linger that lasted long into the night. The meat within was well-formed and suitably moist. That aside though I don’t really have much else to say to be honest, meat wise there was nothing wrong with it but it hasn’t lasted long in the memory.

Pastry: The pastry was slightly over-baked and being honest the top edges were burnt which gave the pie a slightly bitter and chalky finish. I try not to focus too much on the bake when reviewing pies at football grounds. It would be remiss of me not to pass comment as I believe all pies should be prepared with care and presented to fans in its optimum condition but I understand that sometimes a busy pie stall can result in the oven being left on a little bit longer than needed. If this pastry had been cooked to golden perfection I’m sure it would have been a suitably sturdy cup for its meaty contents as it was though, it was just a little bit frazzled.

Brown Sauce: In an opaque brown squeezy bottle this was a tangy version of this king of condiments.

Overall: The burnt pastry let it down a little but it was certainly a welcome return to the long peppery linger.

Gravy Factor: Peppery Bisto with a boozy finish.

Another pie down, a mere 3 steps away from the magic hundred, at which point the realities of writing a book about all of this will finally hit home. But before that pie 98 will be coming to you from Irvine Victoria in the Scottish Juniors. Remember to subscribe to the pie for all my latest meat filled coming and goings.

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.

Pie 95: The Yoker Athletic Pie

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Hello and we’re back to pies after my grand Canadian adventure before getting elbow deep in meat filled pastries I’d like to say a ‘Howdy!’ to my new Canadian followers, I hope you find my tales of pie just as entertaining as The VanCan ScranVan Diaries.

To say it was a joyous return to Scottish junior football would be a lie with the entertainment being provided by the never-ending stream of aircraft’s arriving into Glasgow as opposed to the game of ‘football’ going on in front of me. That being said I had just woken from a post-travel 15 hour slumber meaning that I was more than ready to devour a meat filled pastry or two.

It was good to see the SFA taking a sensible approach to Scottish Cup Final ticketing, they get slated a lot, and quite rightly so sometimes but when they do good it rarely gets acknowledged, if somebody wants to lend me a student card so I can get in for a fiver I’ll be even happier and maybe even your pal.

Anyway the end of the junior season means that a plethora of fixtures are coming hurtling towards me over the next couple of weeks and as such a plethora of pies, so let’s get back to it with this homecoming offering from Yoker Athletic.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Holm Park, Yoker Athletic 1-1 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

Artistic Photography Fail
Artistic Photography Fail

Price: £1. A single golden nugget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Presentation: This pastry was presented to you on a small paper plate, an unusual, but not totally alien, presentational technique. The benefit of plating up your pie means that you can easily stack up multiple orders whilst also providing you with a substantial buffer to any potential overheating. There was also a pile of medium-sized white napkins for you to pick at freely for the all important post-consumption mouth wiping.

THE PIE

Princelike Plate Pie Presentation
Prince-like Plate Pie Presentation

Meatiness: This was a nice return to scotch pies for this lads palate. The pie was nicely filled, not bursting but substantial enough when looking at the all important meat to pastry ratios. It was firm, meaning that it ate well and didn’t fall apart and there was a lingering pepper kick, perhaps a tad weaker than I would prefer but still pleasant enough. It wasn’t ground-breaking but it certainly did the job.

Pastry: The pastry was well-baked. Crispy and golden on top. Soft but sturdy underneath. A perfectly acceptable receptacle for meat.

Brown Sauce: Despite supposed dwindling sales it was still HP that did the job.

Overall: A pleasant filling, well-baked pastry that stayed together well and a dollop of HP sauce readily available. There was not much to complain about but at the same time not much to get carried away with either.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto. Well actually, it was slightly better than that but at present I’m not sure if a luxury Bisto brand exists? If it does I would rate it as that.

Another pie down. Looking ahead towards the end of the season (and barring a catastrophe on my part) we will hit 100 pies before the final goal goes in, and that even in my ludicrous world of pie is some achievement! Next up will be another junior review from Kilsyth Rangers.

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. 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 64: The Hamilton Accies Pie

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A Pie for Scholars or Academics if you will
A Pie for Scholars or Academics if you will

 

For me there is nothing worse than the football season to still be running and then waking up in the morning with the realisation that your team is without a game. Sometimes you have some forethought and a Plan B is well and truly in place and other times it just creeps up on you. The other week it just crept up on me and I found myself at 12 o’clock on a Saturday scouring the fixture lists for something meaningful to attend. The hash tag #helicoptersaturday led me to New Douglas Park and to perhaps one of the most remarkable games I have ever seen. Needing an 8 goal swing and for Dundee to drop points I watched on with my jaw genuinely on the floor as goal after goal flowed in and the pipe dream became a distinct possibility. Alas it was not to be as at Dens Park Dundee claimed all 3 points but for me and the couple of thousand fans at Hamilton on that Saturday afternoon we all left with a story to tell. A story of Hamilton Academicals 10 (TEN) Greenock Morton 2.

My point? If you have a choice between a day in the pub watching Soccer Saturday or actually going to the game then the smell of the grass and the ringing of the tannoy should always win out because at the end of the day you could end up being there to witness a little piece of history.

Anyway, the other benefit of attending NDP on Saturday was a chance to consume yet another pie, or 2 as it happened and so, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Accies v Morton, SPFL Championship

Price: Focusing more on my belly than this here blog my initial pie purchase was done without taking a single bit of notice about the number of gold nuggets that had left my hands to pay for this meaty morsel. Luckily a cursory glance at the price list on a second trip to the refreshment stand revealed this scotch pie was priced at £1.80, competitively so for an SPFL Championship level pie.

Presentation: As classical as the medium sized white napkin is at non league level in Scotland the addition of a tin foil tray for your pie to sit in is the classical interpretation of presentation often presented to fans in the upper echelons of the game. Nothing ground breaking here.

Meatiness: I’m not going to lie, I had almost totally forgot to make my tasting notes about this pie and initially I felt guilty that I had let my tasting standards slip but now as I write this latest review my feelings have changed. You see, the reason why I almost forgot that I had a review to do was that this pie was almost instantly forgettable. Not to say that it wasn’t a perfectly serviceable footballing snack. It had all the right components. The meat was seasoned reasonably with a hint of pepper and it was packed snugly into its pastry surround however I found it lacked the moisture and natural lubrication that a little fat brings to your pie, praise the lord for the return of the brown knight of the pie table Mr. Sauce. As such it lacked a meaty punch and after the final bite had passed my lips I was left with that hollow feeling that only a mass produced pie could leave. It was just a little bit boring.

Pastry: The pastry was also achingly dull and sadly it also seemed incapable of holding the meat inside. As can be seen as soon as I lifted the pie to take my one crucial bite expose it felt apart limply when not supported by its shiny tinfoil shield.

Overall: Ach, it was just a bit dull. I didn’t hate it but when you consume as many pies as I do and then burden yourself with the task of writing about them then you need to find something exciting to write about these pastry jewels. In this case I was thankful for the game going on around me.

Gravy Factor: Sorry folks but it’s a Bog Standard Bisto.

Well this didn’t really meet the heights of the game I had the pleasure to attend but hopefully the next review, Hamilton’s Steak Pie offering can save the day.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 16: The Petershill Pie

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Hangover Pie.
Controversy, at Meat Filled Pastries HQ?

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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