commonwealth games

BONUS PIE! The Commonwealth Games ‘Steak & Haggis’ Pie

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DISCLAIMER: This is a bit of fun to continue to spread the love of the Commonwealth Games and one of Glasgow’s most distinguishable snacks the humble pie. Kind Regards. CPO, Chris.

Ding Ding! It’s time for the first bonus pie of the season. Pies that have not been consumed in the presence of twenty-two men kicking a ball about a rectangular grass field but instead in a variety of locations across the globe sporting or otherwise. A surprisingly large number of people (more than two) have been asking, ‘So when you doing a ‘Commonwealth Games’ pie?’.

You see for the last 11 days the biggest sporting event Glasgow has ever seen has been right on my front door and I have flung myself well and truly into it. I have loved it, the atmosphere has been amazing, the events have been well organised and entertaining and the volunteers were relentlessly cheery to the very end. I don’t think anybody could have anticipated it going so well but after the debacle in Delhi the Commonwealth Games is back on the map. Anyway at the various events I attended I was always on the look out for a pie, but alas none were to be found.

Well that’s not strictly true. At the Rugby Sevens held at Ibrox there were pies a plenty, however the full Ibrox range has gone under the Pie-croscope already and so with a heavy heart I resolved to having to leave pies off my Commonwealth menu. That was until a trip to my local supermarket uncovered the joyous sight of the Limited Edition Commonwealth Games Steak & Haggis Pie from Bells.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: My Gaff. Entry: Free, it’s my house if I charged myself to enter my house that would be just mental.

This is my ACTUAL living room
This is my ACTUAL living room

Price: Before I reveal the price of this pie let me please remind you this was bought from a supermarket, not from a pie stall, roasting hot and ready from the oven. There would be a bit of preparation required on my part and it would be remiss to ignore the fact that this is a mass-produced pie. So bearing that in mind a price of 50p per pie is still bloody brilliant. 50p! 50P! Five! Zero! Bargain of all bargains right there.

Presentation: The two pies per pack were wrapped in a thin plastic wrapper with the design of a fluttering saltire across it, a Bell’s branded badge in the corner and the contents of the pie scrawled across the top. Once opened these meaty beauties were neatly fitted into two clear plastic pie holders. I fired them into the over for the recommended 15 minutes and presented them to myself on a small, square black plate accompanied with the customary medium-sized white napkin, in the form of a piece of kitchen roll. It was time to scran this pie.

THE PIE

Never with a knife and fork
Never with a knife and fork.

Meatiness: This pie was filled with a thin meaty layer of equivalent thickness to the pastry above and below. Although billed as a Steak & Haggis pie, suggesting a 50/50 split at least of its two component parts, this pie was very much haggis based. This wasn’t a bad thing as it gave a spicy pepper kick to the pie and meant the filling felt thick and unctuous. The few bits of steak dotted throughout were chunked largely enough to provide a contrast in texture to the haggis and thanks to my expert use of the oven the steak pulled away in strips between my teeth. Haggis in its nature is quite moist and so although there was no discernible gravy this pie was anything but dry. Its only real let down was the shallow nature of the filling making it all feel a little bit stingy.

Brown Sauce: Don’t let the bottle of HP in this picture throw you. This is a luxury pie so no sauce required.

Pastry: The pastry was a little limp, there was no steam hole on top although would it really be required given the home-baked nature of this meat filled pastry. Some parts turned golden some stayed as pale as they were before I placed them in the oven. In mass producing the pie I always feel it’s the pastry that suffers more than anything else and this pie was a case in point.

Overall: It was 50p. It had a bit of steak in it and some haggis. This pie was made to be eaten in Scotland.

Gravy Factor: Patriotic Gravy.

Well that was a bonus pie, the next pie will be something a bit more football based from an as yet undecided location. Howver continuing the Commonwealth theme I’ll be looking at whether or not football should have a place in the newly dubbed ‘friendly games’ at some point this week. This will however be after my preview of the upcoming Scottish Premiership season for The Football Pink.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 72: The Blantyre Victoria Pie

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Have you ever tried to eat a pie in 28 degree heat? Yeah me neither, until now that is.

For the unaware amongst you a heat wave hit the west coast of Scotland that left many reaching for the Factor 50 and as the Commonwealth Games rolled into town I had enough time to nip to Castle Park, home of Blantyre Victoria, for a pre-season friendly before getting home just in time to see a bunch of dancing teacakes look on in horror as SuBo fluffed her lines.

It could have been worse though, for all we know wee Susie could have looked out at the psychedelic nonsense going on before her and thought she had died and gone to Tunnock’s heaven, diving head first into an unsuspecting volunteer trying to first tear the wrapper off the marshmallowy behemoth before consuming it whole. This of course leads to the all important decision of whether or not to lay out the empty foil flat on the ground or to roll it up into a tiny ball before flicking it into the distance in no particular direction. The poor lassie.

Sorry, went off on a tangent there. The point I was aiming when I started out here was that a roasting hot day is not ideal pie eating conditions, but as always I found a way to bring a new pie review to you.

So after finding a shady spot to cool myself down, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Castle Park, Blantyre Victoria v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly. Entry: £3. Programme: None.

Storming the Castle Park walls to get some pie!
Storming the Castle Park walls to get some pie!

Price: There was no menu adorning the pie stall window, and in haste to get out the sun I forgot to ask how much I had to part with for my pastry. However using some simple algebra deducting the price of multiple cans of fizzy pop from the pie purchases of those around me I can confirm this pie can be yours for a solitary British pound. Bargain!

Presentation: It was white. It was medium-sized. It was a napkin. And that’s all I have to say about that.

THE PIE

Stick a flake in it and call it Pi-ce Cream!
Stick a flake in it and call it Pi-ce Cream!

Meatiness: This pie was perfectly pleasant. Nothing outstanding but a tasty meaty treat nonetheless. The meat was relatively well packed although did fall apart a little the more I bit into it. It was moist without being greasy and although the peppery linger didn’t last long on the palate it was still present after I’d finished. It was the kind of pie that is hard to get really enthused about but at the same time leaves you with nothing bad to say either.

Brown Sauce: That’s right we have a new section folks. It’s something I have toyed with in the past but my early season experiences have shown that the sauce itself is a stand alone feature of any pie whether it be good or bad. So how was the brown sauce at Castle Park? In a word: tangy, adding a sparkle of flavour that this pie was maybe slightly lacking. However be careful as too much and you could end up looking like your sucking an invisible milkshake through an equally invisible straw. It provided some added lubrication with a distinct tart tang.

Pastry: The pastry was soft and crumbly, the edges weren’t particularly crisp so there was no brown sauce dunking on this pie but it did mean that if you were in a rush you could eat this pie in a flash. This pastry would be a favourite with the pie eating sprinters but may disappoint those who are in it for the long haul.

Overall: New section about Brown Sauce aside this was a pretty standard pie, but for a pound you can’t really grumble.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.

All things going well my next review will be from Beith, home of one of the best pies of last season the luxury Chicken and Haggis Pie and one of the worst the Scotch Pie. Hopefully the Steak Pie on offer is closer to the former as opposed to the latter. In other news I will be the Scottish correspondent for The Football Pink this season, a link to which can be found on the left hand side of the page, starting with an SPL review that I plan to get done this week. Give the site a visit and order a copy should you get the chance.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!