Happy New Year! I wish you all a happy and adventure filled 2020. It’s the 1st of January 2020 and whilst this day signifies the start of a new decade for those that recognise that to be the case it also, more importantly, signifies the day that we find out the winners of the 2019 Meat Filled Pastries Awards, now dubbed The Meaties!
There are five categories this year, with the addition of a Meat Free Pastry Award as well as an award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Matchday Pastries, given to a pie that year on year continues to deliver recognising the pastries that I can’t help but go back for.
As always I preface these awards by saying that these are the opinions of Meat Filled Pastries and thus subjective and if I haven’t eaten it, then I can’t give it an award. The awards are given to those pies reviews reviewed for the first time in 2019 and if you’re thinking of one that you feel is better then get in touch and I’ll see what I can do for 2020.
For now though, let’s get straight into dishing out some pie-gh fives!
Best Non – Pie Pastry 2019: Pie 161: The Glenafton Athletic Sausage Roll
In what was a fairly disappointing category this year it is perhaps fitting that a sausage roll that I suspect was thrown together at short notice by those who supply hot goods to Loch Park has risen to the top of the miscellaneous meat filled marvel pile. A generous wrap of golden pastry snuggled around a slab of well seasoned Lorne sausage. It was huge, it was good value and after much perusing of my year in pie it was the only candidate to win this first award.
I find myself wondering as I write whether or not this is a pastry you can even buy in the here and now.
Best Meat Free Pastry 2019: Pie 184: The Irvine Meadow XI Macaroni Pie
A squat little pie that had a strong cheesy kick. Not only was the sauce delicious but the texture of the pasta was exactly what you would want from a macaroni pie, toothsome and intact meaning that with each bite you got a little pop as the air rushed through. The thing that made this pie stand out over the others was the moreishness to the bite, if the kiosk under the stand at Meadow Park hadn’t been the other side of the ground from where I was situated I may have gone and got another that day.
Pie 180: The SWNT Macaroni Pie (c/o Hibernian FC) – A well constructed and generous macaroni based pastry.
Best Luxury Pie 2019: Pie 177: The St. Johnstone Steak & Chorizo Pie
There was a lot of agonising over this one in what was an exceptionally strong and far reaching category in 2019. Eventually it came down to which first bite I remembered with the most clarity, the taste that still lingers in my mind and the review that seemed the most gushing in praise of the time, and so with those criterion in mind St. Johnstone are awarded the 2019 Best Luxury Pie Award. The gravy was luscious, the steak tore tenderly as I ate with an undertone of paprika provided by chorizo which itself added another texture. The pastry was golden and that day I also got an empire biscuit too. A worthy winner.
Honourable Mentions (There’s a Few)
Pie 182: The Forres Thistle Steak Pie – A huge pie packed with lots of steak and tasty gravy.
Pie 166: The Bohemian FC Chilli & Chorizo Pie – The first ever international entry into the Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame. The Irish side’s Chilli & Chorizo behemoth served with mash, peas and gravy was a rare pie treat from the League of Ireland.
Pie 173: The Linlithgow Rose Curry Pie – The finest curry pie to grace these pages, delicately spiced with chicken present in every bite.
Pie 185: The Port Glasgow Steak Pie – Whether you decide to use the wooden fork provided or not this generously proportioned steak pie has lots to love with a flaky golden top and layers of steak and gravy housed within.
Pie 165: The
Clydebank Maryhill Breakfast Pie – Initially brought to my attention during the Bankies tenure at Lochburn Park if this award was to be dished out for concept alone it would be hard not to give it to this offering based in Glasgow’s West End. It might not have won this year but it is still a tremendous match day bite.
They say that controversy creates cash and for some this choice will prove to be somewhat controversial but for me in 2019 no scotch pie had me grabbing for more quite like this savoury little number from one of junior football’s most southerly outposts. Demolished in just a few bites this may not be a pie that fits into the most lauded of aesthetics with it’s misshapen casing and puddle of grease but it truly was a taste sensation.
Pie 187: The Linlithgow Rose CFC Pie (c/o Linlithgow Rose) – Gentle with pepper and well textured, part of the excellent trio of pie options available at Prestonfield.
Pie 189: The Whittletts Victoria Pie – Packing a peppery punch this pie was well baked with a tasty filling and well complimented by a dod of Daddies Brown Sauce.
2019 Outstanding Acheivement in the field of Matchday Pastries: Pie 29: The Beith Chicken & Haggis Pie
First reviewed five years ago now, there is no pie I look forward to more on a Pollok away day than the Beith Chicken & Haggis Pie. Chunks of chicken breast mixed with peppery haggis in a creamy well seasoned white sauce. The golden pastry egg washed and crimped on top lovingly finished with a piped swirl of mashed potato. Its year on year consistency making it a worthy winner of the first Outstanding Achievement Award.
So that’s it, the 2019 Meaties are over. What do you think? Do you disagree with any of the choices made? Where should I go next? What have been your pie-lights of 2019?
2020 will start as 2019 ended with a review from Whitletts Victoria as I look to close in on Pie 200 by taking on their Onion Pie, however until next time, go forth and have a smashing year as you maybe eat a pie or two!
Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. Editor of Leading the Line, A Scottish Women’s Football writer and a contributor to various football websites, podcasts and publications. 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.
Look, I know. You’re reading that heading and screaming at me to avoid the pre-amble this week. You want to know more about this delectable sounding double meat masterpiece. Patience my friends, the words will be flowing shortly but for now I need to do another little bit of self-promotion. I mean, what’s the point of having your own website if you can’t do that?
So what is it? Well, I have a new podcast project via Leading the Line. Episode One dropped this Tuesday where I interviewed women’s football journalist and co-author of “The Making of the Women’s World Cup” Kieran Theivam.
The pod has been set up with two aims in mind. One, to promote women’s football, particularly in Scotland, interviewing those within the game and those that pass comment on it and two, use the pod to help people promote their own projects and passions, giving a platform to those who are fulfilling a long held creative football based dream or project.
There are already four pods in the bag at the time of writing and I’m hoping over time to see it grow and make things more interactive. The link to subscribe on iTunes is here and you can also access it via all the usual podcast channels including Soundcloud where it’s hosted. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, find the time to drop a wee five star review saying so. At some point I’m sure I’ll find a way to get a pie themed interview in there too.
Shilling done let’s get into the meat of this week’s footballing matters as we head to Perth where St. Johnstone took on Ross County in the Betfred Cup Group Stages. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: McDiarmid Park, St. Johnstone 1-2 Ross County, Betfred Cup Group Stage
Price: This pie was the match day special and was billed at a slightly higher price point than the standard scotch and steak pies on offer. At £2.80 this was one of the more extravagantly priced pastries to be entered into the annuls of Meat Filled Pastries but as I was soon to discover, sometimes, you get what you pay for.
Presentation: The pie was housed in a large tin foil case with a substantially sized white napkin present to prevent the palm from any potential burn. That said it was still absolutely roasting!
Meatiness: Oh my. This was a delight. I’m not sure where to start! First the gravy, fluid but still thick, wrapping itself around a melange of steak and toothsome chorizo cubes, with the flavours of meat marrying with undertones of paprika from the seasoning within this widely known Spanish sausage. The chorizo used wasn’t cooking chorizo though but instead the air dried ready to eat version. Not that was a bad thing, in fact it was somewhat of a masterstroke as it added wonderful texture in amongst the tender steak and luscious gravy occasionally popping with a little burst of chorizo flavour.
Pastry: It came out clean from the pastry, itself a cause for celebration, although I was deliberately gentle to ensure so. The sides were baked just enough to hold but did require a little juggling to ensure the filling stayed within and the top was smooth and golden. Tin foil cases and pies with moist fillings aren’t always a match made in heaven but credit the Saints and Yorke’s their suppliers as this held together adequately.
Brown Sauce: It would have been highly disappointing had I seen anyone splashing this pastry. Definitely not needed.
Overall: Tasty gravy, well textured proteins and good pastry made for a fiesta of flavours.
Gravy Factor: Super Salsa!
I’m glad I took my detour home to Glasgow via Perth as this was a wonderful treat. As a little bonus, and to round off a smashing match day feed, I had some pudding in the form of an Empire Biscuit. It was just the ticket although controversially adorned with a cherry as opposed to a jelly. So as well as your pie thoughts, let me know what goes on top of your dream Empire Biscuit?
That’s it for this week so until next time, remember to support your local side, big up women’s football 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. Editor of Leading the Line, A member of the Scottish Women’s Football Media Team and a contributor to various football websites, podcasts and publications. 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.
Hello pie fans, and that’s right I’ve been on my football travels again crossing over the Irish Sea to take in Bohemians v Waterford in what the League of Ireland marketeers will have you believe is #TheGreatestLeagueInTheWorld as I made a whistle stop visit to the Irish capital, Dublin. My path here came via listening to an Outside Write podcast and a couple of follow up conversations with Gerry who runs the A Bohemian Sporting Life website all about the north side club. Not only did Gerry keep me abreast of ticket availability, he also let me have a look around The Bohs home Dalymount Park as well as joining me in what turned out to be many, pre and post match beverages with his buddy Brendan.
This isn’t the first time where my widening football connections has lead to a solo travel experience turning into an even better one with new friends as in March, when I headed to the Basque Country, Dan who runs The Linesman helped to fully indoctrinate me into the Athletic Club pre and post-match atmosphere. Something that I would have done on my own but was made infinitely better with some local knowledge. These acts of kindness are ones I’d be more than willing to replicate in my fair city and if anyone ever does find themselves wanting to know a bit more about football in Glasgow’s Southside I’ll always be happy to show the way.
One of the nuggets of information that Gerry was able to reveal to me before everything got a little hazy was that Bohemians were perhaps the only club in Ireland to have pies on their match day menu thanks to an arrangement with The Pieman Cafe located in the Temple Bar area of the city. This was obviously met with much delight on my part, and so at half time after collecting my customary pin badge I made my way to the queue to experience my first Irish pie eating experience.
So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Bohemians 0-0 Waterford, Dalymount Park, League of Ireland
Price: €10. Yes, on first glance this is a whooping price for a pastry when you consider the site average up until this point floats around the £1.70 mark but this was not just pie alone and while that was an option, the temptation of having my pie with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy truly was a temptation that my slightly tipsy and pretty hungry body could not resist. With a bottle of water thrown in too the €10 price tag seemed pretty good value in a city that has, what I think, a somewhat unfair reputation of being a bit pricey. Also, it was huge!
Presentation: Now given the component parts of pie, mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy it would have been lunacy to present this on the Meat Filled Pastries classic of a medium sized white napkin and so the brown box and fork combination were perfectly fitting in this scenario.
Meatiness: Chilli Beef and Chorizo is a new flavour sensation for the site and it is one that I think The Bohs, and of course The Pieman Cafe, executed admirably. The filling was exactly as a good chilli beef should be, there was a nice spice to the pie with beef and tomato undertones. There were kidney beans and onion present too and the texture was rich but smooth. If there was one small criticism then it would be that the promise of chorizo felt a little unfulfilled but it was still a super tasty filling nevertheless.
Pastry: Shortcrust pastry that seemed entirely in tact from what I could see. It’s sturdiness meant that it held up well to the many wet components around about it and as pastry goes it actually tasted pretty good on it’s own too. If you’re going to serve a pie this size with this assortment of sides a robust pastry shell is definitely the way to go.
Brown Sauce: There was no brown sauce but a couple of ladles of The Pieman’s homemade gravy which was just the ticket. I wouldn’t have added brown sauce as it would’ve been nothing but superfluous.
Overall: Good filling in a massive pastry pie, really tasty beef chilli and gravy with just that little extra chorizo layer missing from it really delivering in every way. I would definitely have another one though.
Gravy Factor: There’s yer dinner!
Do Scottish football clubs limit themselves too much by just serving a single pie on a napkin? You know what, maybe. May be there are some out there but if the option to have a full pie dinner like this was on offer at our football grounds I would almost certainly be all in every time, especially after a few beers.
Next up is a review back in the Scottish Juniors as I visit Newmains United, a club who in recent seasons have shown they are not afraid to think outside the box when promoting their clubs name.
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. Editor of Leading the Line, A member of the SWPL Media Team and a contributor to various football websites and publications he also currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert, hosting “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.
For further queries or requests you contact Chris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello it’s not only time for another pie review but it’s also time for another pie of the month from the house that staunch built, Ibrox Stadium. When I turned up at Ibrox on Armed Forces Day I had told myself that no pies would be passing my lips as I had been well and truly burned out by not only the price but also the quality of pastries in Glasgow’s big three grounds over the years.
This came to a head at Hampden the other week. I had first reviewed the Hampden Steak Pie a long time ago now. In fact it was one of the very first pies I reviewed and it seemed to do OK under scrutiny however since then I have been subjected to a number of overpriced travesties with a particular shout out to the Queen’s Park Cheese & Onion Pie – still possibly the worst pie to ever pass my lips. My last Steak Pie at Hampden though was quite frankly taking the piss.
At £2.90 this…this thing(!) masquerading as food has almost certainly forever left me scarred in regards to the catering efforts at the current – and now future home – of Scottish football. The pastry was welded to the case so hard that I could turn it upside down without fear of it falling out. The lid came clean off and the filling was so sparse and dry I can only assume that when this was made that is was not so much as baked but chewed up and spat out into it’s pastry shell. It was an absolute liberty, and I hope when that whatever the renovated Hampden ends up looking like that a new catering contract with somebody who actually gives a f*ck about what they’re producing is dished out.
It made me proper angry and with it’s memory still scratched across my taste buds I turned up at Ibrox knowing that it was highly unlikely that I would be purchasing a pie, and I love pies! But then it happened. I fell into their trap. A new Pie of the Month was there to be had and so with some reluctance I cleaned out my savings and purchased, what was a promising sounding, Chicken & Chorizo Pie. Did I make the right decision though?
Without much further ado let’s rate some pie.
Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers 5-1 St. Johnstone, Scottish Premiership
Price: It was £3.50. I’ve already ranted about the price of pies at the top table of Scottish football in this post and many times before so I think you know my feelings on this by now.
Presentation: Having had August’s pie of the month – The Rangers Bacon Mac & Cheese Pie – I was struck with how this month’s edition looked exactly the same presented as it was in a round aluminium tin and on a fairly large white napkin. Before I attempted a first bite things were actually looking pretty good.
Meatiness: There’s no hiding it, the filling of this pie looked like spew. It was that off white colour that years of television vomits has told us a right good whitey should be. There were some small chunks of chicken accompanied by smaller studs of chorizo sitting in a very thick paste-come-sauce. To be fair it actually smelled pretty good but given its appearance as the lid of the pie came clean off when I ventured to take my first bite (more on that shortly) I found myself debating whether or not I really wanted to dive in. A feeling that I sensed was being felt by the person sitting diagonally behind me as I tried to figure out what was going on inside this pastry.
Continuing with the flavours and I would challenge anyone to add chorizo to something and not manage to draw some kind of flavour out of the final culinary masterpiece. In this instance it was the saving grace as at one point I genuinely had to check that the chunks of white in the pie were indeed chicken due to the paucity of flavour they provided. It was also a little heavy handed on the salt meaning that somehow the final result was a filling that tasted of everything and nothing all at the same time.
Pastry: An anaemic looking disaster. The base so raw that it not only stuck to the bottom of the tin but that it could also be rolled up into wee balls between your thumb and index finger. Once mashed in with the paste masquerading as gravy it was not good. Whilst under baked pastry is a common fault the way in which the lid of my pastry came clean off was a novelty I hadn’t yet experienced. I’m not talking a little loose either, I’m talking about the fact the two parts were never stuck together in the first place. Whilst this would go down like a lead balloon in pie judging circles I was strangely grateful as it meant I had a full disc of pastry to try and spoon the filling out with. A relief given it was impossible to lift the thing from it’s shiny shell.
Brown Sauce: I think brown sauce would’ve actually made this pie even weirder.
Overall: A marketing masterstroke for a mug pie punter like me – yes. A tasty pie – afraid not.
Gravy Factor: Sigh.
I genuinely want to know what kind of checks gets done by these large scale event caterers on the day of the match because if they check some of the riots that I’ve mentioned in this post and say that they are good then clearly I’m in the wrong business.
Anyway I have another pie review lined up for next time from Ayrshire junior side Kilwinning Rangers and their eponymous “Buffs Pie”. Until then though, 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 and The Football Pink as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. He currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert. 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.