My apologies to the good folk at Carluke Rovers, I should have done this two weeks ago but as my fellow supporters of junior football know at this time of the season free time comes with an even greater premium as clubs play 2,3 or even 4 games a week! It can be a bit of a slog for players, managers and supporters alike as you jump from town to town in the mad dash to get the season wrapped up before the summer really comes. Whilst arguments cold be made about summer football and artificial pitched in truth the junior calendar doesn’t really help itself to begin with as cup after cup are played until even wee Jimmy the groundskeeper has won a trophy too.
In some way’s I understand it; the Sectional League Cup give fans guaranteed derbies whilst bigger clubs get to boost the coffers of their less fortunate neighbours every second season whilst the Central League Cup at the end of the season gives teams with not much to play for some meaningful fixtures to get their teeth into. At the same time though what is the need for a cup where the exact same participants take part in it twice, all be it with slightly altered formats. I’m coming at this from a Glasgow based perspective but I know that the same problem abides both west and east of the place I call home. As you may have gathered by now I’m not one to turn down a game of football but even I, as an individual who breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of a Saturday afternoon in Homebase, think something needs to be done to jazz up these perceived ‘diddy’ cups.
With all that being said, and to stick to my wholly contrary roots, today’s pie review comes from one of them and the Central League Cup 2nd Round, so without much further ado let’s rate some pie!
Where: The John Cumming Stadium, Carluke Rovers 0-3 Pollok, Central League Cup 2nd Round
Price: At £1.20 this pie was bang on message with the rest of junior football as a whole although it would be fair to say that it was perhaps a littler more expensive when compared to some of their previously visited divisional rivals.
Presentation: Medium sized white napkin that was bigger than the circumference of the pastry that sat on it. It’s all you need really.
Meatiness: This was a substantially sized meat filled treat with coarsely ground mutton populating nearly every cavity of its pastry tomb. The meat was well-flavoured and if ever I was to describe mince as succulent this would be it. That said, with succulency (pretty sure I’ve just made up a word) comes grease and in this case the dreaded drip test very nearly put paid to a new pair of trainers. Luckily my time spent in St. Petersburg as Galloping Horse #2 in the Russian National Ballet production of Calamity Jane meant I tip toed my way around the fatty splashes trouble free. Grease never harms the flavour unless it’s excessive but it does make eating it that little bit more treacherous.
Pastry: The pastry was well-baked and sturdy enough to support this fairly moist pie. There was a little rim of boil out on the top but the base was near perfect in its cooking. To be honest not a lot to say here as it was a solid, if unspectacular, effort all round.
Brown Sauce: The bottle had all the hallmarks of being found in a popular high street frozen food chain, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good though. Zingy, spicy and fruity like a good brown sauce should be.
Overall: Nice flavoursome meat, solid pastry and a decent brown sauce makes this a good effort. A little less grease and you’re on to a winner.
Gravy Factor: Moist.
This is the first of an unintended double-header from Carluke as their Chicken Curry Pie gets ready to go under the Piecroscope.
So 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.
I’m still powering through the Spanish classes at the moment so I’ve not had much time to let my meander too much but one thing I’ve still had time for is my football. Prior to this week’s match our group of merry men had set up camp in the local bowling club. Whilst supping a pre-match pint our conversation was halted by the unexpected sound of an elderly man gleefully ringing a bell.
It soon became apparent that the bell signalled the all important announcement of the pairings for that afternoons bowling session and so with the mystery solved we resumed our conversations, primarily focusing on how white all the participating bowlers jackets were only to be again interrupted. This time by a lady of later years who I can only assume took great pleasure in very sternly shushing our collective more aggressively than any person has done anything in their life ever. It was both comical and frightening but nonetheless effective as it brought instance silence and a clear understanding that you should never EVER mess with an old dear when it comes to her bowls. Needless to say 20 minutes later, and feeling like a group of naughty school children, we had finished our pints and it was off to the match we went.
So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Brig O’Lea Satdium, Neilston 1-8 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5
Price: At £1.20 this is a return to the average pricing of the 2014/15 season so nothing to really grumble about with that.
Presentation: Presented within an aluminium foil container (somewhat of a rarity at junior level) and with a medium-sized white napkin of sufficient size to prevent the foil melting into your hand and forming some kind of half man half meat robotic mandible that would protrude from the end of your arm.
Meatiness: This pie was huge and it was with some great relief that when I bit inside the pastry was not just a hollow shell but bursting to the seams with meaty goodness. The filling was sweet and spicy however the pepper kick wasn’t prevalent until the very end of consumption at which point there was some linger. Although the first bite was a little greasy, leaving that slightly unpleasant film on the lips that grease often does, the quality of this pie filling grew the further I munched my way through. There were some rumblings from others that I was being blinded by the (unusual for the juniors) ‘fancy’ tin foil casing but as an experienced pie connoisseur I can assure you that this was not the case, after a sluggish start on my palate this filling was very tasty indeed.
Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp all round and did not fall victim to the soggy bottom that often befalls a tin foil encased pastry. It did become a little flimsy as you ate through but this can be attributed to the vastness of meat within and as such required one of my patented pie juggling techniques to consume successfully without spillage. The pastry was perhaps a little salty but other than that as pastry goes it was pretty sound.
Brown Sauce: HP in a squeezy bottle. How it should be at a football ground.
Overall: A big hunk of spicy sweet meat in a well-baked and sturdy pastry case that matured in flavour with every bite I took.
Gravy Factor: A hunk a hunk a tasty gravy!
Next time out will be a review from Ibrox and Meat Filled Pastries first ever ‘Seasonal’ Pie but until then go forth and eat pie!
Me llamo Chris. Yo como empanadas.
Sorry folks, the book has had to go on hold for a couple of weeks whilst I power through some intensive Spanish lessons. I drop to one lesson a week next month and the book writing can gather pace once again. My main focus just now is drawing an upside down question mark successfully, something that I’m finding far more difficult to do than the actual Spanish itself!
Anyway you’re here for pastry not paella patter so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: McKenna Park, St. Anthonys 0-4 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5
Price: At £1.50 this is at the top end of the junior scale, 50p more than the offerings from Cambuslang Rangers and Vale of Clyde we have already encountered this season. A loftier price is greeted with loftier expectations.
Presentation: Covering all the bases here this pie is presented on a polystyrene plate along with a fairly large white napkin. Whilst the plate will I’m sure appease those of a frailer disposition I felt it was superfluous when you consider the size of the napkin provided. A grumble for the sake of grumbing I think because as you will soon see I quite liked this pie.
Meatiness: The last time I visited McKenna Park (in those dark days where Meat Filled Pastries had yet to exist) I remember getting a pie and being slightly disheartened to see some empty boxes from a high street frozen food purveyor. The pie was serviceable but it was slightly disappointing to know that a baker somewhere may have had something better to offer. It was then to my great joy that the boxes were nowhere to be seen (disclaimer: if it turns out these are the same frozen pies I owe said frozen food retailer an apology). The meat was both sweet and spicy, the heat being provided by pepper along with something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Whilst I love a peppery kick, one too strong can leave an acrid dry taste in the back of your throat, something that this mystery ingredient helped to avoid with great aplomb. It was very well filled, held together well whilst I chewed through and was sufficiently moist. I had two, partly because I was hungover, but mainly because I really enjoyed this meaty treat.
Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp. There was some boil out which may have put some people off however I enjoyed the wee squirts of mince that had poked through and been crisped up by the oven almost like the crispy edges on a freshly grilled lamb burger. It was a bit rough around the edges and the top wasn’t quite as secure as it could be, popping up as I ate but these are small niggles for a well-baked pastry.
Brown Sauce: HP. Squeezy bottle. Minimal mess. Maximum taste.
Overall: Tasty filling that was both spicy and sweet. Well cooked pastry and a dollop of HP, either this is the best mass-produced frozen pie ever or The Ants have upped their pastry game.
Gravy Factor: Great Gravy. The bar for the 2015/16 season has been set.
Next time out will be a review from the Renfrewshire hills as on offering from Neilston Juniors is on the cards.
But until then, go forth and eat pie!
This week I’ve been collating some figures to find out exactly how much this little adventure has cost me so far as part of an elaborate (but yet to be fully designed) data centric centre spread. Including the review that I am about to bestow upon you this journey of pie has cost me £725.25, I can’t decide if that’s a lot or not yet. I’m sure come final edit I’ll reveal what has been my most costly pie as well as coming up with a list of ridiculous things I could have spent my final total on but for now I’m happy I’ve spent it on football and pies.
This figure has solely been calculated based on the cost of entry and the price of my pastry. Travel and beer costs are fully out with the destination clubs control so I thought it would be unfair to judge. However being one not to miss out on a vital statistical nugget I will be investigating how many miles I’ve covered since taking on this voyage of pastry discovery. However that will take some patience and a desire to spend hours on Google Maps which quite frankly is something I have no notion to pursue just now.
So without further ado, let’s rate some pie.
Where: Fullarton Park, Vale of Clyde 0-2 Pollok, Friendly
Price: £1. Despite fears of a financial catastrophe on the Aegean coast, the bean counters at junior football grounds across Scotland have still stuck firmly to the ‘in and around a pound’ pricing policy which is just lovely.
Presentation: Like Hear’say’s debut single, pure and simple here. A medium-sized white napkin.
Meatiness: This was a deep filled pastry and then some. As soon as I lifted it off the counter and held it in my paw I knew immediately that I could skip a couple of arm curls at the gym later that day. The meaty block inside was rather solid however it was sufficiently moist that it didn’t crumble dryly but instead fall apart easily as you bit into the meat and pastry layers. It had that ever so classic pepper kick with a strong and long linger after the last bite was taken. As I reminisce about it now my thoughts are greeted with a joyful haze. I liked this pie.
Pastry: The pastry was golden. Perhaps a little to crisp for an older gentleman to get his gnashers around but for this pie guy it’s pastries golden tinge added just the right amount of texture. The top was a little misshapen and slightly too small to protect the filling which meant it popped up a little each bite you took but that is a minor gripe in what was a solid pastry effort. In fact if anything it added to its charm.
Brown Sauce: HP. Can’t go wrong with that.
Overall: If I was to describe this pie in one word it would be manly. Big hunk of meat. Big pepper kick. Crisp and rugged pastry.
Gravy Factor: Not for girls.*
(*obviously pies are for everyone please, including girls.)
Pie 102. With love from me to you.
Until next time go forth and eat pie.
“…and then in the distance I could hear the roll of a shutter, the chatter of a forming queue. As I turned my head I gazed at the pie hut beckoning me with all its meat and pastry glory. A culinary siren song wailing in my ears, my initial despair turning to joy as the first pie of the 2015/16 drew ever near. I took my first bite and lo’ it was good.”
Meat Filled Pastries is back!
Now I know last time out (after reaching the magical ton) I said that I was retiring from the pie reviewing game so that I could focus on writing a book. I had become a little jaded and felt like the time spent on the website and its associated projects was stopping me pursuing some other interests. However after a month without the pressure of pie and a bit of better planning on my part this year I find myself rejuvenated and once more ready to bring you the best sporting pies around.
I also started coming round to the idea that keeping the website going will actually help in putting the book together, giving an underlying theme to the story so far. It means it may take a bit longer than planned, but by putting in a long-term strategy I hope it’s going to turn out to be a good wee read. The pre-ambles this season will be replaced by excerpts/updates on the book, a promotion ahead of time kind of deal plus should help keep me in check when it comes to actually finishing it.
So without much further ado, and for the first time this season, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Somervell Park, Cambuslang Rangers 0-1 Irvine Victoria, Thomas Loach Memorial Trophy (a.k.a. Friendly)
Price: It may be a new season but it’s nice to see that you can still get a meat filled treat in exchange for a solitary golden nugget. £1 for a hot lunch is a bargain no matter where you go.
Presentation: Continuing the renaissance theme, this pie was presented on a medium-sized white napkin with the added bonus of a second layer. I imagine this was a deliberate ploy by the purveyor of pie to help protect your (and his) hands from a pastry fresh from the oven.
Meatiness: This was a very moist pie, at first when I held it I was concerned it was going to be swimming in grease but thankfully that wasn’t the case. It had a sweet after taste that usually indicates a pie with a high onion content, although that wasn’t visibly present, and on this occasion there was no kick of pepper. The texture was a little disappointing as the filling quickly turned to mush once it had entered your mouth as opposed to holding together for a little while. Take some of the moisture out the centre and you have a decent little filling here.
Pastry: This is where I felt the pie let itself down a bit. On the face of it things were very good. It had nicely golden crispy top edges and the base was well cooked and remained intact throughout. The problem, oddly, was the sides where small patches of perfectly smooth and hard pastry were to be found leaving a weird feeling on your tongue. The best comparison I could give was that of an uncooked pork rind, it’s a shame as the rest of pastry was very good.
Brown Sauce: Tangy and Sweet. I recognised the large unbranded cylindrical bottle almost instantly as one of those often found in high street frozen food stores. Did the job. (Note: I don’t know if I’ll keep this section going forward, it’s a pretty hard thing to right about creatively).
Overall: Very moist, quite sweet with a well-baked pastry in parts. The texture though was a little bit odd both inside and out.
Gravy Factor: Whisk out the lumps from that thickening agent for a little bit longer and you could be on to something good.
S0 there we go. 101. I have no real targets from here on in other than getting the book done anything else that comes my way I’ll be sure to let you know.
Until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Hello and welcome to pie 99, The Hibernian Pie, on the home of all your Scottish football snack based needs Meat Filled Pastries. The 99th edition of this blog is brought to you by the Qatar Airways Cup as Scotland took part in one of the most insipid friendlies I’ve had the misfortune to attend. Not even the sight of a rotund individual channeling his inner Crazy in Love era Beyonce as he thrust his king prawn high (well not so high) into the Leith sky could stop this from feeling nothing more than a training exercise.
International friendlies are such a strange commodity in modern football. If put into a coaching context they are vital in preparing for competitive fixtures, especially at the end of a season where many of your squad have gone a few weeks without a game. As a football association they provide a much-needed boost to the coffers to help finances tick over during the summer whilst also providing the opportunity to build a new working relationship with associations across the globe, although why Scotland chose Qatar to do with this, only Stewart Reagan and his human ivory caviar spoon will only know. For fans though it often feels like a fixture too far, not so much when Scotland travel away where a friendly become an end of season jolly, but when you’re at home, to Qatar or a team of a similar ilk. The atmosphere was one of the strangest I had ever experienced, with the stands sounding like a crèche buzzing as it was with thousands of children not really paying any attention. A few slightly more inebriated members of the Tartan Army tried to rouse a song or two only to be met with apathy. It’s in this respect that the UEFA Nations League could very well be an innovation that prevents this malaise and lead to the banishment of the phrase ‘meaningless friendly’.
As it stood though any malaise I was experiencing was temporarily shaken off as I found a pie in my hand, so without much further ado let’s rate some pie!
Where: Easter Road, Scotland 1-0 Qatar, “Qatar Airways Cup” International Friendly
Price: At £2.30 this is at the very top end of the Scottish Scotch Pie Price Scale or the ‘Triple S Double P’ as I have just dubbed it. The equivalent of two junior scotch pies and of a similar price to those found at Hampden, Ibrox & Celtic Park. Pricey Pastry.
Presentation: Pretty standard presentational style here coming as it did in an aluminium tin with a medium-sized white napkin to mop your mouth and shelter your palms from the incinerator like heat that it is greeted you when the pie is placed in your possession.
Meatiness: After successfully avoiding dropping my pie following a totally unnecessary pyro and smoke show prior to kick off I was left with a pastry that was just a bit dull. Yes it had a peppery linger that should be present in a good scotch pie but it had all the quintessential hallmarks of a mass-produced pie. It was a tad grey in colour and lived short in the memory. As I finished it I had flashbacks of my time at the World Scotch Pie Championships Judging Day where an average scotch pie became a bad scotch pie the deeper into the competition I got.
Pastry: Safe. Golden. Perhaps a little soft and soggy bottomed due to the tin foil case it still held together just enough to make it a suitable bowl for the meat inside.
Brown Sauce: Much like the rest of this ‘big league’ pie it was a soulless small brown sachet.
Overall: It tasted like a pie, it had a peppery linger and it held together well but it left me cold come the end. Perhaps I’m being a little harsh but I have grown to view these mass-produced pies with a great degree of cynicism. When I eat these now I don’t feel the love of the butcher or baker, I taste the processing of the machines and the site of folk in white coats and hairnets are never far from my mind. I apologise to Hibernian for getting the brunt of this rant but it’s something that over this journey has niggled at me more and more.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.
So there you have it Pie 99, and to celebrate the penultimate entry into the Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame I have borrowed part of a little ditty from Mr. Jay Z:
If you’re having pie problems I feel bad for you son
I’ve had 99 pies but of fish I’ve had none
I’m on the pie patrol, high cholesterol
Pies that wanna make sure my casket’s closed
“Cardiac Arrythmia is a risk”, I know!
But I love food stupid what type of facts are those
If you grew up with football and a thirst for goals
You’d celebrate each minute with meat wrapped in dough
I’m a fair minded critic I’ll give anything a go,
If you don’t like meat pies you can press fast forward
Got beef not lamb then it’s steak that’s on show
A pie innuendo is always the way to go, ayyyoooo
Whether, moist or deep it’s easy being crass,
And here’s another one just for the lads…munchers
I don’t know what you rate your pastries as
or understand the intelligence that a butcher, baker has
Don’t forget the brown sauce, that’d be dumb
I’ve had 99 pies but of fish I’ve had none
99 Pies but of fish I’ve had none
If you’re having pie problems I feel bad for you son
I’ve had 99 pies but of fish I’d have none
I could have done the whole song but I don’t think anybody would have wanted that, I’ve just tested it though and it actually fits pretty well so by all means have at it! Anyway pie 100 is in my sights today and at that point the celebrations really can get started.
However, until next time, go forth and eat pie!
What up pie fans!? It’s me! The self anointed prince of pie, here to spread another pastry review all over the world wide web. As the idea of writing a book continues to take shape I have been looking back over some of my past pastry conquests to see how easily I can knit all these component parts together.
I had already known that the reviews from this sites infant days were far less detailed than those I find myself scribing now but what I hadn’t considered was how the style of my writing has evolved, how the content has varied, and how Meat Filled Pastries has become more than just an ode to pies but a project that has taken me to places that a much younger me would be a little bit envious of. I mean, it’s not commentating on a Scottish victory in the World Cup Final but its a start and as life continues to show me you’ve got to take what you can get and run with it and as long as people want it I’ll continue to find new ways to spread the word of pie whilst being a champion for football’s little guys. You never know maybe one day that World Cup Final dream could become a reality.
So with that in mind, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Victoria Park, Irvine Victoria 1-2 Pollok, West Superleague First Division
Price: £1.20. The same price as the last offering from Cumbernauld United and about par for the course when it comes to junior pies as the end of the season draws near.
Presentation: Presented simply on a medium-sized white napkin, although two may have been more appropriate (more on that later).
Meatiness: This was a well seasoned pie although somewhat missing a peppery kick with the butcher (or baker) focusing more on bringing the most possible flavour out of the mutton within. I mentioned a few moments ago that this pie would have benefited from a second layer of napkining and this was in part due to it being quite greasy, not greasy enough to compare it to the waterfall that cascades from the Beith Pie, but enough for a drop or two to hit the floor below. It also seeped onto the napkin meaning that to wipe your face you had to use a napkin that was already rather greasy, thus replacing the grease that you had just removed from your face. It was a vicious cycle but one I persevered because ultimately it was a tasty pie, I think.
Pastry: The pastry was soft, which can be attributed to the grease around the sides but was rather well fired underneath. This in the end helped consumption as you could tip the pie away from you as the grease looked as it was destined to end up all over the place. Practically it helped but if Paul and Mary were to be presented with it you just know there would be a sigh or two.
Brown Sauce: As you know I adorn my pie with brown sauce, it’s habit. It’s what I’ve always done and on this occasion things were no different…however I couldn’t talk about condiments without making reference to the smorgasbord available at Victoria Park. There was, and I kid you not, the following:
- HP Brown Sauce
- Heinz Tomato Ketchup
- HP Fruity Sauce
- HP Honey Smoked Barbecue Sauce
- HP Oak Smoked Barbecue Sauce
- Reggae Reggae Sauce
- Coleman’s Mustard.
Look and see!
I don’t really get the need for them all but it was impressive nonetheless.
Overall: As I spoke to people about this pie it definitely split the crowd. The fact it was quite greasy counted against it while the fact it was actually pretty tasty worked in its favour. I found myself somewhere in the middle.
Gravy Factor: Aaaah I’m so confused by this pie, in some ways great in others not quite right. It’s definitely gravy, but of what variety? I think on this occasion I’ll leave that totally up to you.
I’ve got a plan for pie 99 but as yet no destination for it.
So until next time go forth and eat pie!