Hello and welcome to this penultimate presentation of my pastry passion, pies! The World Cup is here and as such the end of the regular football season is nigh and whilst their professional counterparts have been on holiday for a couple of weeks junior footballers are winding up their seasons. Todays review comes from the East of Scotland Super League side Camelon. One of the quirks of going to a game of football pretty much anywhere is sometimes you see the occasional familiar face that you haven’t been expecting. Junior football has been littered with ex=pro’s over the years but the foreign contingent whilst a little harder to find are still relevant. For example former St. Mirren, Hamilton and Hearts winger Jose Quitongo played for as many junior clubs as he did senior and the Angolan is now manager of Ayrshire district side Muirkirk whilst former Swedish international Robert Prytz lit up the junior game in the late 90’s playing for Pollok despite being closer to collecting his bus pass than starting his first day of school.
These are just two examples of which I know there are many more which brings us nicely to the subject of today’s pre-pie diatribe, former Trinidad & Tobago international Collin Samuel currently leading the line at Sauchie Juniors. He was in surprisingly good shape although it would not be preposterous to suggest that he enjoys a little bit more of the good life than he would have done so as a pro. I always wonder how players of his ilk end up playing where they do. Is it a case of diminishing powers? A desire to just play for the love of the game or the love of a good party preventing them from reaching their full potential? It’s perhaps a case of picking one of these three but whatever the reason it always brings much joy and chatter to the terraces when a splash of international colour is present at a junior game in Scotland.
But for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Carmuirs Park, Camelon v Sauchie, East of Scotland Cup Semi Final
Price: At £1.40 it follows a trend of East of Scotland based pies being slightly more expensive than their western contemporaries, not excessively so and still far cheaper than top end senior Scottish pies but certainly worth a mention.
Presentation: A small white napkin that wasn’t quite big enough to have the whole pie sit on top of it.
Meatiness: The filling was pretty underwhelming if I’m being honest. It was well filled and formed but lacked the real punch of flavour a good scotch pie should. After each bite there was no real linger of flavour and, for my palate anyway, there was no peppery heat to help elevate its meaty status. Actually as I got towards the centre of the pie it was a bit cold, perhaps a side effect to the rather large crowd that had gathered at the game a point that was further illustrated to me as I watched the man behind the counter shuttling another two boxes of pies from the back. The lack of heat will have no doubt played a part in the flavour being a little lacking in this particular meat filled pastry.
Pastry: The pastry was nothing spectacular and although the top of the casing appeared loose it clung on without flipping over as I took each bite. It held the meat inside sufficiently and provide a change in texture but aside from these primary functions there isn’t much else to be said here.
Overall: A pretty average effort, disappointing that it was cold and I was certainly thankful for the bottle of HP on the counter to add some much need depth of flavour. The cold centre makes me wonder if this was microwaved before being finished in the oven but that is pure speculation on my part. Overall though, I’ve had better.
Gravy Factor: Lukewarm Bisto.
So not a stand out offering from Camelon but another pie none the less, the last pie of the season will be coming from Fir Park as I take a break from the Men’s World Cup in Brazil to follow Scotland Women on their journey to Canada 2015 as they take on group favourites Sweden in World Cup Qualifying.
Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!
The next entry on Meat Filled Pastries is brought to you by the Scottish National Women’s Football team and their home for the Canada 2015 World Cup qualifiers, Fir Park, Motherwell. Now usually this paragraph is reserved for some absolute nonsense about the week that has just passed but this time I’m going for a slight change of pace.
Recently one of my closest friends passed away after a 2 year battle with bowel cancer and all the complications ensued, aged just 28. Throughout it all he refused to let it stop things he wanted to do and see the things he wanted to see. To pass many a bored hour in hospital or at home he busied himself with a number of internet projects. One of which is ‘The Grambler’, a bookie busting algorithm of randomnosity, that experiences varying levels of success, with any winnings that it procured going to The Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Awareness. The links are located on the right hand side of this page and I’ll put the full addresses at the end of this latest entry into the Pie Hall of Fame. Please take the time to have a look at these sites and if you like this, Leading the Line or The Grambler itself feel free to make a donation or have a flutter.
With all that being said let’s get into the business of talking about pies. My mate was a massive Motherwell fan, and so when it became apparent that things were not to go his way I made it an aim to get to Fir Park as quickly as possible as some kind of weird meat filled pastry tribute.
So without much further ado Lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Fir Park (Home of Motherwell FC) Scotland Women v Bosnia and Herzegovina Women, World Cup Qualifying Group 4
Price: Priced at £2.00, while still expensive for a meat filled pastry when placed in comparison with both the Hampden and Rangers pie it actually comes in at 20p cheaper than these similarly levelled competitors.
Presentation: Came in a silver tin foil case, with a ‘help yourself to napkins’ policy, they were of adequate size so only one was required. Not really much to report here.
Meatiness: As always a scotch pie, this effort was something of a deep-filled beauty. What immediately struck me on first bite was that this was not the same generic fare I had experienced at grounds of similar stature previously. This is not to say the previous pies were not good, more an indication of the pleasant surprise that engulfed me on the realisation of this very point. The meat inside was really savoury and although that smack of pepper I usually like in my pie was not present the flavour of the mutton inside meant I did not miss it at all. The meat also held incredibly well and was soft to the bite.
Pastry: A nice even bake on the top of the pastry meant the all important crust was present with enough bite to provide texture but soft enough not to leave you wishing you had the denture work of a 1970’s Bond villain. Unfortunately, as does happen from time to time when a tin foil case is used to hold these meaty delicacies, the pastry at the bottom of the pie was ever so slightly soggy meaning there was some minor spillage when picking it up to take a bite. However that being said, this was a minor inconvenience in an otherwise delicious pie.
Overall: A very good effort, the meat was tasty and the pastry ratio was spot on combining to give this pie an ‘original’ taste, not like a Werther’s, but a taste that after enough time could be distinguishable as a ‘Motherwell Pie’, something that I feel is lost at the top end of the modern game. As a side note the Brown Sauce on offer was not provided by HP but by another company whose name is long forgotten but proved itself a dark, tangy and tasty alternative.
Gravy Factor: The ladies in the pie stall at Fir Park did just as well as the women on the field, as Scotland won 7-0, in providing a pie that fully deserves the rating of lovely lady gravy.
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 with all things going to plan will have a new article up tomorrow.
Finally and most importantly this week are a couple of links below that if you have a few minutes to spare I would love you to have a look at them and maybe make a wee donation:
Bobby Moore Fund: bobbymoorefund.cancerresearchuk.org
The Grambler: thegrambler.com
Just Giving ‘The Grambler’s ‘Kick Cancer’s Arse’ Fund: http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3
That’s it for the latest edition of Meat Filled Pastries, so until next time, Go Forth and Eat Pie!