cliftonhill

Pie 62: The Arthurlie Pie

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Derby Day Pastry
Derby Day Pastry

It’s Meat Filled o’clock and this latest offering comes from the Southside Clasico in Barrhead between local rivals Arthurlie and Pollok. When I arrived at a sun-drenched Dunterlie Park it became apparent that a summer quiche would have been a more appropriate way to take in this derby day clash than my usual match day snack of choice, but as champion of the humble pie nothing was going to stop me munching down once more on that heavenly combination of meat and pastry with the same gleeful gusto as always.

So without much further ado, and with a Solero on standby, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1.20. A price that come rain, or in this case, shine will forever be engrained on my memory as the price to be for scotch pies in junior football during the 2013/14 season. Will the prices go up next year? We’ll have to wait and see.

Presentation: Although this was wrapped in the ever classical medium sized white napkin unusually for a junior scotch pie it was presented in a silver tin foil case which whilst keeping the pie warm contained a heat that was mercifully gentle on the finger tips.

Meatiness: I’m going to be honest here before I get started. I’ve been to Dunterlie for a number of years and in my head the pies have never lived long in the memory and I was concerned that it would be destined to take it’s place alongside some of the other ‘Bog Standard Bisto’ offerings encountered this season. However something had changed and I am pleased to report this was a well seasoned savoury morsel. Although not packing the fiery kick of pepper that so often gets my taste buds going the flavour of the pie itself was warming enough to compliment the pleasant late spring day that was bestowed upon me. Throw on the customary dollop of brown sauce and you had a perfectly pleasant mouthful of meat to satisfy yourself with.

Pastry: The pastry was of the well fired variety, not to everybody’s taste but for me it always adds a charred and bitter note that compliments the meat and sauce combo that will always be there when I do these reviews. It was maybe a little soft underneath but there was no sticking to the tin foil case and as such no spillage occurred the more I bit through. However apart from being well fired this was a pretty bog standard pastry that was designed more to hold the meat inside than to add a buttery wave of flavour.

Overall: A pleasant surprise of a pie, not spicy but well seasoned and savoury. The overly crisp edges may put some people off but the addition of brown sauce made a flavour trifecta that made it worth a nibble on one of Glasgow’s sunnier days.

Gravy Factor: Surprise Gravy. May not be a pie of the year contender but certainly worth parting with your £1.20 for.

Another pie down and as it stands only a few more to go this season. As this will be the last one to appear on the pages of the Albion Rovers programme this season I just wanted to say thank you to the good folk at Cliftonhill for giving me a platform to share my pie based nonsense. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I do writing it. If you want to keep track of my pie journeys over the summer and any of my other football work you can do so by visiting http://www.meatfilledpastries.com, my next offering will come from Junior Cup Finalists Glenafton Athletic.

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

Pie 56: The Rangers ‘Steak’ Pie

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Steak pie Muthafudgers!
Steak pie Muthafudgers!

It’s pie time. Luxury pie time. Another hulking brute of pastry, steak and gravy. I’ve done a lot of pie reviews recently and as such I have very little new nonsense to spew forth in your direction as a pre-amble to the main event and therefore without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Price: A rather hefty £2.50, a cash equivalent of 2 Junior level scotch pies and a full 50p more than another luxury option, the recently reviewed, Ayr United Steak & Ale Pie (Pie 54). A price symptomatic of the ludicrous idea that if you are a bigger club you are obliged to charge a bigger price when in fact all that you are increasing (apart from my waistband) is the profit you make. Seriously let’s think about this for a minute. How many pies do you think are consumed at Ibrox, Celtic Park or Hampden? A conservative estimate of 5000-7000 let’s say. Now how many are consumed at Cliftonhill, Newlandsfield or Ochilview? A couple of hundred. Now using a fairly basic knowledge of how business works and economies of scale, the larger the bulk amount initially purchased from the supplier is the cheaper the P.P.P (Price Per Pie) becomes. Basically what I am saying is I’m willing to wager a considerable sum that the P.P.P before selling onto the fans is far less at bigger stadia than at smaller grounds. Is that saving passed on? Erm, no. But at least the pie is of far superior quality? Well let’s move on form this digression and see before this rant takes on a life of its own and I end up with another website dedicated solely to the price of pies!

Presentation: Your standard steak pie presentation here. A medium-sized white napkin wrapped around a silver tinfoil case, although the case seemed a little battered and bruised and as a result was nowhere near as snug fitting as it would usually be as a pie with a hint of luxury in its make up. Not necessarily a bad thing, as in fact I think it will have prevented the all to familiar scald to the palm often associated with a hot pie and tin foil case.

Meatiness: Look here’s the thing it was a nice pie. The first bite produced a more mince based texture meaning a splurge of gravy landing on my lips and as I bit further in bigger chunks of shredded steak were there for my teeth to bite done on and chew. It was seasoned well a wee bit peppery with more salty than some of the other pies I’ve had on this journey but seasoned well nonetheless. The thing is I want my pie, not to be happy with being like all the others, but to stand out from the crowd and have an identity that can only be found at that one footballing location, this pie sadly did not meet that brief. Nice but a little bit soulless.

Pastry: The pastry was a mere receptacle for the meat inside. A well fired crust with a base that was soft without leaking into the tin foil case below. The looseness of the tin foil case no doubt helping to prevent the pastry sticking to the bottom of the case, a common problem often found when consuming a luxury pie. Once again it wasn’t offensive, in fact it was nice but was it going to live long in the memory? I don’t think so.

Overall: I think the thing that irks me most about paying a premium price for luxury pies in large stadia anywhere is that the addition of the word steak automatically justifies a hike in the price. If I was hungry and I wanted something to eat before or during the game it would do and I would be satisfied but unfortunately I cannot place more praise on it than that.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto from Waitrose when really a trip to Tesco would be just as good.

Sorry that was rather uninspiring, the unplanned rant on pricing aside of course, but as you will already know from this journey I am seeking more than just taste in my pies. Hopefully the next effort from Ibrox later this week will have more to offer, I can guarantee you it’s certainly going to be different.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ’Pretty in Pink’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at some of the pinkest kits you’re eyes ever did see and the stories behind them. I also encourage you to look out for my piece ‘Defining World Class’ on the same site, you’ll have to scroll down a bit but it’s definitely worth a read.

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit 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 you are 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 visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 47: The Albion Rovers Pie

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'In next weeks programme...'
‘In next weeks programme…’

Guess what? It’s time for another entry into the Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame. Yay! Before we get started I want to share one of the many reasons why I enjoy venturing to football down the leagues on a weekly basis. My first game of football was part of generational tradition, my dad was taken by his dad, he then took me and, if I ever screw the nut and stop gibbering on about pies, I would like to keep that tradition going. We always stand in the same place, with the same people around us, different ages and backgrounds all gathered to take part in the joy of a Saturday afternoon at the football.

A lot of the time, the discussions would continue long after the final whistle had gone in the pub round the corner leaving me with people who have been watching football for 50, 60 years and regaling stories of a time when the team were so much better than they are today. I love that. The unity that football brings amongst those who would more often than not be strangers. Unfortunately this past week, one of those friends passed away, but instead of being sad about the life that’s been lost I’m thankful that I took the opportunities I had to listen to the stories he told and for the continual enjoyment that this ragtag group of football fans bring me. I’d strongly advise that if you’ve sat or stood beside somebody for years and never said hello then get your thumb out your bum and fling out a wave, if all else fails you can always talk about the football.

This week, as a small tribute, this review is for Bill. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Cliftonhill, Albion Rovers v Berwick Rangers, SPFL League Two

Price: £1.50, a price that I couldn’t see but one that the ladies behind the pie counter at Cliftonhill were happy to provide. About average for the level of football on offer in Scottish League Two.

Presentation: A break from the classic white napkin…well kind off. It was a bit smaller than usual and it appeared to be pulled from a larger roll as opposed to an individual offering, but it was most definitely white. I think the next pie I have that does not come wrapped in a white napkin of sorts, I will nominate for entry into Le Louvre.

Meatiness: I would call this a proper mutton pie, well filled without being overly so. The meat was moist from it’s own juices and fell apart like a good pie should once bitten, almost perfect in texture. There was a lovely hit of pepper, not spicy but enough to notice it and the taste itself was totally changed once a bite was taken with the incredibly tangy brown sauce that was provided to squirt on top. If I hadn’t already had my lunch I most likely would have got another one.

Pastry: The pastry was a standard crust, contributing to the overall pie eating experience without blowing me away. It held up well and there was no spillage as each bite was taken although the top was a little loose which meant the last two mouthfuls involved using both left and right hands. The pastry shouldn’t have to be the star of the show and in this case it wasn’t but deserves an honourable mention as part of the supporting cast in this mouthful of meat.

Overall: A tasty pie, with the right mix of meat, pastry and spice. The brown sauce, as I said earlier, was extremely tangy and I imagine for some palates would be a bit too much but for me added another dimension of flavour that my taste buds enjoyed.

Gravy Factor: Jolly good gravy with an optional brown sauce inspired tongue tingling kick.

One more thing before we scrunch up the napkin of pie 47 and set our sights on more meat filled pastries. I have often said that pie makers at football grounds should do more to advertise their meaty wares. Well, I’m happy to report that at Cliftonhill there was advertising a plenty championing the name of JB Christies, who after a bit of research turn out to be quite the pie makers. If you make the pies, then make sure we know about it.

Next stop for Meat Filled Pastries, weather permitting, will be Penicuik Athletic from the East Region of the junior football scene but should that fail then the next stop on this tour of pie could be you!

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest piece for www.thefootballbloggingawards.co.uk looks at the new found tradition of kicking the ball out of play when a player goes down ‘injured’ go have a look it’s almost as good as all the pie chat.

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit 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 you are 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 visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.