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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 61: The Cumnock ‘Onion’ Pie

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'This pie represents a call to arms!'
‘This pie represents a call to arms!’

In 3 days time (Friday April 11th 2014) entry’s close for the 2014 British Pie Awards and I’m using this latest entry into the Meat Filled Hall of Fame to encourage all you pie fans to ensure that the tastiest football pastries are proudly presented at this annual extravaganza. If you read this then please let your club know, let your fellow fans know whether they be supporters of your club or another and let the friendly faces behind the pie stalls up and down the country know that this is the time for their pastries to shine.

More information can be found at this link, http://www.britishpieawards.co.uk so go and have a look but until then with much gust and little further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, this is the same price as the standard scotch offering, re-opening the debate as to whether or not an onion pie should be bracketed as one that is luxury in nature.

Presentation: I touched on the lovely ladies behind the counter in my previous review (Pie 60: The Cumnock Pie) so we can return our focus onto the ever classical but oh so minimalistic production values of the medium-sized white napkin in which this pie was nestled. Standard.

Meatiness: This pie had that distinctive waft of onion that I have come to associate with pies of this nature although not as strong as other similar offerings. The meat inside was formed in a way similar to a scotch pie, a seasoned block of mutton that whilst lacking in that distinctive peppery kick was laden with chucks of near translucent white onion. There was enough fat within the pie to keep it moist, perhaps a little greasy for some but nothing that a couple of extra steps on a treadmill couldn’t take care of. I would add that in this instance a dot of brown sauce would have definitely enhanced the overall taste experience due to the fact it’s meaty content was that of a scotch pie but as I am treating this as a luxury option not a drop was to be had on this occasion.

Pastry: The main distinguishing feature of this pie was the two holes on top of the classic scotch pie casing, this I assume helps to easily distinguish between the normal scotch and onion options available whilst serving. Outside of this it was a normal hot water pastry surround and top. It was a little bit caught around one edge but nothing that was too detrimental to the overall flavour of the pie. A solid pastry casing for the meat inside that tore apart as your mouth would expect it to on each bite.

Overall: A sweet onion pie that whilst different was also very much the same as the scotch pie effort. The large chunks of onion added extra flavour but maybe could have been a little more cooked through before adding to the mince. It would have benefitted from a glistening blob of brown sauce and perhaps being a tad less greasy but this was still a tasty treat.

Gravy Factor: Chunky Onion Gravy.

After a whistle-stop tour of East Ayrshire we have reached pie number 61, the next offering is to come from a yet undetermined location and as soon as I know the Meat Filled Pastries twitter, which you can follow on the right side of this page, will be the first place to tell you but until then go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ‘Deliberate Deliberations’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at what constitutes a deliberate handball in the modern game. An archive of all my non-pie pieces can be found on Leading the Line and on The FBA’s website.

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 60: The Cumnock Pie

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Brought to you by 'Nock Nosh'
Brought to you by ‘Nock Nosh’

 

A pie for every minute in an hour, that’s the stage we’ve got to as the season enters its final throngs and a pie on a warm sunny day becomes anever increasing possibility. If you weren’t aware of it already this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s mission to keep pies at the forefront of footballsnackage on the terraces up and down this wonderful land of ours. I write this as I sit and watch Barcelona vAthletico Madrid in the Champions League and I wonder what the pies are like at the Nou Camp? I assume the answer is non-existent; my only experience of Spanish football to date coming at Tenerife v Barcelona B where the snack of choice was sunflower seeds, husked at the teeth and available in a variety of flavours. A surprisingly tasty but very messy and distracting footballing snack. But what about snacks across the rest of the world, what do they eat there? What do they do when they need something to get them through to dinner time? The Germans are known for beer and sausage but outside of this is their any country in the world where a food stuff can be so intrinsically linked to football as the humble pie is in bonnie Scotland.

With a World Cup on the horizon and the barren pie weeks of the summer to contend with, perhaps we will look to find out more in the future, but for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, yeah £1.20 your average junior pie price. Let’s just move on.

Presentation: This pie was presented in the standard medium-sized white napkin that we have all come to know and love however the real stand out memory from this visit was the fierceness of the lassie behind the counter. Almost demanding the queue of men awaiting their post pint snack to announce themselves as the ‘First One’s There!’, if they dared to admit it. I would hate to think what kind of moist panted panic would have ran down the legs od the few that had got to the window and not known what they wanted. OK, I may be exaggerating a bit but for some I would imagine it could genuinely be a little bit frightening.

Meatiness: This was a proper scotch pie with a fairly solid meaty block held within the pastry. It was well textured and a had the peppery kick that I have oh so been missing in my recent pie based exploits. The meat was moist although for my taste perhaps just a little greasy as could be seen by the light pie stain on my napkin after completing consumption. Ignoring that though the meat was well seasoned and the brown sauce dollop that has caused me a few issues in recent weeks returned to its rightful place atop a scotch pie, adding another layer of flavour to the meat inside. Taking all these points into consideration this was a solid filling to a scotch mince pie.

Pastry: The pastry was more of receptacle to the pie as opposed to adding any great waves of flavour. As can be seen from the one bite expose it was a little well fired in places which for me is fine but for some others that may be disappointing. This meant that the pastry was incredibly crisp and on occasion broke off into small shards. No real inconvenience as sometimes I like to do dip the outer edge of the crusts into the puddle of brown sauce above, you know just to mix up the pie eating experience a bit. This pastry did the job it was intended for.

Overall: As previously stated it had been a while since I have had a scotch pie, in its truest form, in my hand. It had a nice pepper kick and lovely crispy pastry. It was a little bit greasy and if I’m being honest it won’t live long in the memory but it was a tasty version of a scotch pie and one that I wouldn’t be disappointed to have pass by my lips again.

Gravy Factor: The Return of the Snack, the scotch pie snack that is.

Another meat filled marvel down, and still so many more to go. The next one will be The Onion Pie offering from Cumnock. How will it stack up against the previously reviewed Onion Pie offering from near rivals Auchinleck Talbot, although I can assure you even I’m not brave enough to tell you which one I think is better. They are all pie and as such are welcomed gleefully into my belly.

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. Something new will be coming soon.

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 59: The Auchinleck Talbot ‘Onion’ Pie

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Did this pie make my eyes water?
Did this pie make my eyes water?

It’s pie time. A new review and a somewhat luxury offering from Auchinleck Talbot awaits. In my eyes a pie is plenty when it comes to match day sustenance,  maybe two but for some the option of a side dish is one that turns their trusty pastry snack into a full blown mid-afternoon dinner. Sides often include but are not limited to chips, soup or in this case a generous dollop of mushy peas. In fact whilst living in Brighton,  I often attended games at Lewes FC, where on one occasion a chap leaning on the barrier to my side advised me to poke a hole in my pie, which I should add was a steak and kidney delight, and pour my Bovril straight inside! People will have their own little pie eating rituals even if they don’t realise it but me; I like my pie to fly solo perhaps even more so since the creation of Meat Filled Pastries. Look out for your pie eating ritual next time you’re about to take a bite.

But anyway rituals aside and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Beechwood Park, Auchinleck Talbot v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: £1.20. The same price as the standard pie offering from Auchinleck and as such almost single-handily throwing my theory out the window that a ‘luxury’ pie has to be significantly more expensive that its standardised contemporaries.

Presentation: Although this pie is packed with onion it was still lovingly dressed in the medium-sized white napkin often seen nestling snugly underneath many a pie across the land.

Meatiness: So what is the difference between a normal pie and an onion pie? Well the first thing you notice is the smell and I don’t mean that to cast a negative light on the filling inside this pie in any way. In fact to be honest I’ve never really though about how a pie smells until this one wafted past my nostrils with its distinctly sweet smell of onion almost immediately putting my taste buds on high alert.

Something new in the world of Meat Filled Pastries was about to happen.

I took my first bite and was greeted with a combination of fine mince and thick gravy rounded off with some clearly visible slivers of near translucent onion within. The taste was predominantly of meat but you could not ignore the distinct oniony undercurrent adding a layer of flavour not found in your standard scotch offerings. Ironically enough after saying in my last review (Pie 58: The Auchinleck Talbot Pie) that I didn’t require any brown sauce upon it I couldn’t help but wonder if this luxury offering would have been enhanced even further with a wee splodge of brown sauce but it’s was just fine without. I was worried this was a bit of a gimmick but it actually turned out to be a very different animal indeed.

Pastry: A puff pastry top with a golden pastry surround and base it was almost identical to the mince and gravy offering from the same club but for the two holes popped in the lid which in retrospect probably help the scent of onion enter into my nostrils. It held well in my hand and even after squeezing it a little to show more of the filling for that crucial one bite expose the pastry remained intact until my consumption was complete.

Overall: Is it a luxury pie? I’m still not 100%. sure In essence it was your standard pie with a few extra onions through it but it would be remiss to ignore the definitive deviation in flavour that these eye watering roots supplied. I would maybe add some brown sauce next time but it was perfectly lovely without it.

Gravy Factor: This is an easy one. Onion Gravy

Another pie done and as such I can concentrate on something that’s not pie related for the rest of this week. Your next helping of pie will come from Cumnock, Auchinleck’s nearest and fiercest rivals. Let pie battle commence!

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. Something new will be coming soon.

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 54: The Ayr United ‘Steak & Ale’ Pie

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There be booze in this here pie!
There be booze in this here pie!

I’m back and it’s still British Pie Week so that means that once again Meat Filled Pastries is delving headfirst into a meaty masterpiece. You may think I’m being presumptuous, I mean I haven’t even reviewed this offering yet, but let us not forget that a pie no matter how beautiful or tasty is still a masterpiece. A story of man’s struggle to create a crisp but soft pastry golden to the eye and flaky to the touch. To find the finest cuts of meat, to chop or mince them whilst seasoning them sympathetically to enhance the flavours inside whilst providing you, the luck recipient, with an extra dimension of spice, sweet or savoury at the behest of the artist’s moods and tastes. A pie is indeed a masterpiece and one day Meat Filled Pastries will be their Louvre.

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

Where: Somerset Park, Ayr United v Forfar Athletic, SPFL League One

Price: This was priced at £2 and much like the Ayr United’s Scotch Pie (Pie 53) it is priced slap bang in the middle of the range most applicable for luxury pies in the Scottish lower leagues.

Presentation: Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a new leader in the presentation stakes. Look at this, that’s right I’m about to drop a second picture on you.

Just Wow!
Just Wow!

I mean wow, just wow, what is this!?!? Well in its simplest form it is a cardboard sleeve in which the pie was sitting comfortably, but to look at it in its simplest form would be a total waste of a pie review. Is it the front cover of a pie themed trance album that never quite took off? Is it a full-grown version of Sooty’s best friend forever Sweep after an acid trip? Or is it simply a felt tip and highlighter portrait of the first nun who decided she was quite fond of a meat filled pastry every now and again? Either way this provided plenty of entertainment during the pre match build up. Underneath the sleeve the pie was in a simple tin foil case but there was no napkin provided, a first in this journey of pie and could be considered by some as a pie eating faux pas.

Meatiness: Just like the presentation, the meaty filling inside this luxury pie was super fancy. It was a dark, stormy concoction of steak and thick unctuous gravy. Far darker than your normal steak pie which I can only assume was a result of the ale that the meat was cooked with adding a depth of colour and a lovely malty back note to each bite. A common flaw in ale based gravies is that there is no hint of the specially crafted ale that a brewer had spent weeks and months sweating over so it was a delight to taste its presence in this offering. Then there was the meat, not only wonderfully tender with a good mix of shreds and dice but it also had some wonderful crispy bits where the meat had obviously caught in the pan. It really helped to add a homemade feel to the pie whilst adding another dimension of this flavour. I know I’m gushing a bit but wowzers this was good pie!

Pastry: The pastry was lovely and golden. Soft and crispy with a small hole to let the steam out the top. The most impressive part though was that there was no soggy bottom and no catching on the tin foil case just a lovely layer of crisp soft pastry from top to bottom. It may appear, when looking at it, that it was a little pale but in reality this was the crowning glory on this belter of a pie.

Overall: This pie came with a lot of hype and before consumption I was nervous that it would be nothing but a disappointment. I am delighted to report that I had no need for nerves as this was delightful from first bite to last. Great Meat. Great Gravy. Great Pastry. And the kind of presentation that requires 3D glasses and a time machine back to the sixties. If you go to Somerset Park this pie is a must. Well played Boaby, whoever you are!

Gravy Factor: Bathe me in this gravy, wash me down with a towel and then ring it dry straight into my wide open gob!

This pie definitely made a midweek drive to South Ayrshire a trip worthwhile. A review this good only goes to encourage me to go further with these pie adventures and as such my next stop on Saturday will be Dunterlie Park home of Arthurlie, let’s just hope the rain eases up a bit.

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 53: The Ayr United Pie

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It's a pie, honest!
It’s a pie, honest!

Happy British Pie Week everyone! That’s right, a week devoted entirely to pie and here at Meat Filled Pastries we are fully embracing the festive period with a plethora of pie lined up for your delectation over the coming week. This review is the first of two from the home of Ayr United, Somerset Park one of the few remaining senior grounds in Scotland with a proper old school feel to it. With a main stand that I swear hasn’t been touched since it was built and three sides of proper terracing. The home end, when even half full, can generate a proper atmosphere that only a pitch level terrace can. It will be a sad day when the inevitable move to a one or two-sided, Lego brick special in the middle of an industrial estate somewhere transpires and as such if you’ve never been I highly recommend a visit before that fateful day arrives.

As I say this is the first of two reviews from Ayr and as always in the case of double reviews we start with the humble scotch pie, the number one snack of choice across all of Scottish football.

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

Where: Somerset Park, Ayr United v Forfar Athletic, SPFL League One

Price: Priced at £1.50 this pie falls snugly into the price range found at grounds across the lower divisions in Scotland’s professional set up.

Presentation: After our flowery diversion at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy last time out (Pie 51), it is a return to the medium-sized plain white napkin, that classic pie look that will never go out of fashion. I should note here that this pie was roasting on receipt and as such my napkin was halved in my hand to prevent the potential disaster of a pie lying prone upside down on the floor beside me.

Meatiness: This pie was filled with mutton to near perfection, there was a small gap between meat and pastry to help cool the meaty innards as you ate. The meat held together excellently on first bite and continued to do so as I munched my way through. There was a definitive hint of spice in this pie but not through a big kick of pepper as normally would be the case but instead from something much sweeter. If you asked me to pinpoint it to one flavour I would speculate on a hint of smoked paprika but at the time of consumption I found it hard to really nail down exactly what I was tasting. What I can definitely confirm though is that this was a very tasty pie indeed and the flavour lingered all the way until pie number 2 was ready for consumption.

Pastry: The pastry was a lovely and golden in colour that managed to be just crisp enough to added a nice crunch at the top of the crust but soft enough that the pie could be gobbled up in two or three bites if the mood took you. It tore off from the main body of the pie with ease and as such at no point did I fear that a meaty dribble would cascade down my arm and fall heartbreakingly onto the floor below. One of the better pastries I have tasted on this journey.

Overall: This was an excellent scotch pie and a cracking way to start British Pie Week, it was a near perfect taste combination of meat and spice with a slight sweetness to be found the further you ate while the all important meat to pastry ratio was pretty much spot on too.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that you would stick in a mug and drink while everybody around you pretends to enjoy their cup of tea that was handpicked by a spider monkey.

As you should be able to tell I liked this pie, and if it had been the only meat filled delight on offer I would have quite happily had another but I already had my eye on something far more luxurious, A Steak & Ale Pie and if you want to see what I thought of Pie 54 then tune in later in the week as Meat Filled Pastries celebration of pie continues to rumble on.

But until then 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 49: The Greenock Morton ‘Steak’ Pie

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Back to the lap of luxury...it's STEAAAAK!
No Pies were harmed in the making of this review.

Did you know the word luxury started out as a term most commonly associated with sexual intercourse in the 1300’s? I certainly didn’t and whatever comparison you have now made between the physical act of making love and a golden filled pastry packed with meat and gravy is entirely of your own doing. As part of good housekeeping I should probably confirm that I am never going to tell you to make love to a pie, firstly it’s not that kind of site and secondly it would just be a downright waste. This is not American Pie, you are not Jim, please keep your pants on!

Anyway, welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries where we love pies, not make love to them. This is the second review of a packed week of pie and a long-awaited return to the luxury market with our second offering from Cappielow, home of Greenock Morton.

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

Where: Cappielow, Greenock Morton v Queen of the South, SPFL Championship

Price: At £1.80 it is 30p more expensive that the standard scotch offering at Cappielow but when compared with other luxury offerings it’s priced towards the cheaper end of the scale. As it happens, I nearly missed out on this pastry present to myself, only being alerted to its existence by the chap behind me promptly ordering one for himself and I hope his 3 friends. I imagine it’s the first time anyone has given back a pie at the football but 3 pies in one 90 minute sitting is too much, even for this lover of all things pastry filled and meaty.

Presentation: One of the few luxury steak pies to go against popular convention and not present itself inside a tin foil case, instead flying solo on a napkin of similar size, colour and heat resistance to that the Morton scotch pie was provided on.

Meatiness: This was a steak and gravy pie, the steak was tasty and well seasoned with the right mixture of large chunks and smaller strands of meat distributed throughout. The gravy that surrounded it was seasoned well with a salty as opposed to peppery undertone of flavour which for my palate was perfectly pleasant. As nice as the pie was I am disappointed to report that it was rather cold, not undercooked in any way, shape or form but tasted like it had been sat out for a while before it had made its way into my paws. The taste of the pie was good but I can’t help but wonder if a hotter pie would have tasted even better with the gravy surrounding the steak being glorious and unctuousness as opposed to a little congealed.

Pastry: The pastry suffered from the cold too as it appeared a little pale and limp as opposed to crisp and golden.  The softness of the pastry did make for a really forgiving bite and little mess but from a personal standpoint a good luxury pie should result in puff pastry flakes in your beard and a dribble of gravy down the side of your mouth. This pastry, although perfectly serviceable, robbed me of that satisfaction, and as a result was a little disappointing.

Overall: A pie of frustration. It was tasty but I feel that if this pie had retained some it’s warmth then it would have undoubtedly gained even more ticks in my flavour boxes. A simple message to all you purveyors of match day pies, make sure they’re warm, especially when it’s hats and gloves weather.

Gravy Factor: Leftover Pie. You could heat it up but that would involve getting off the couch, turning the oven on, waiting for it to heat up and then having to repeat the process all over again. After you’ve eaten it you’re happy because you’ve eaten a pie but if that little bit more effort was made to inject it with warmth it probably would have been that wee bit better.

One pie shy of 50, and that my friends will be winging its way to you before the week is out with a return to the junior pie ranks and a scotch pie offering from Penicuik Athletic.

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.

Pie 48: The Greenock Morton Pie

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If I don't say this pie is excellent Kenny Shiels will hunt me down...
If I don’t say this pie is excellent Kenny Shiels will hunt me down and then refuse to comment as to why

Hello and welcome to the first of what will be a veritable cornucopia of meat filled pastries this week, a list so long that I have resorted to my first ever Saturday evening special to prevent me falling behind. The reason for this volume of pie to be reviewed, postponements.

Now, when a fixture is postponed on a Saturday the stomachs of those unfortunate fans who are effected start to rumble, almost chanting the following phrases from deep within;

“Where’s my meat?”,

‘Where’s my pastry?”

”Where’s my pie?”,

“Where’s my gravy?”

You try to kid it on by going to the supermarket, fondling the chilled aisle and coming home to stick a pie in the oven, getting a bit of kitchen roll (never a plate) and eating it on your couch. But your body knows, it always knows, that this is not right and so you are left still unfulfilled with a sadness in your eyes, knowing that this empty feeling will not subside until the next time there’s a chill in the air and a meat filled pastry in your hand. I’m here to help you fill that void, even if it just by a little tiny bit.

As the weather continues to be more temperamental than the French national team during training at a major championships, midweek football starts to become the norm and so the opportunities to bite into even more meaty morsels present themselves. Which is good news for the site but not so good for the waistline. Now before I continue it’s important to note that this particular fixture rearrangement was not as a result of the weather but a tragic event during the match the previous Saturday, and the free entry gesture from Morton and the £6000 raised for the St. Andrews First Aid Group by fans of both sides is testament to the good that football can do.

But as I said there is a lot of meaty goodness to get through this week and so without much further ado. Let’s rate some pie!

Where: Cappielow, Greenock Morton v Queen of the South, SPFL Championship

Price: £1.50. Much like the £1.20 mark in junior football pies, £1.50 is fast becoming the anticipated price for a pie at an SPFL ground outwith the Premiership.

Presentation: A racier version of the medium-sized white napkin, this was a little thinner and a little smaller than what has fast become the standard presentation style found on Meat Filled Pastries.

Meatiness:  I know I say this a lot but the pie was thankfully meaty in both flavour and texture. I also know that a statement such as this could be deemed as redundant when reviewing a meat filled pastry however I do so to make it easy to distinguish when one doesn’t meet the tasting criteria required of such a snack because unfortunately sometimes they don’t. There was a hint of pepper but it was very faint and for my palate it would have been nice for it to have been stronger either during or after consumption. It was also a tad greasy meaning that some of that faint pepper flavour was washed away even further. It was nice but nothing that had me scrambling back to the queue for another.

Pastry: The pastry was quite short, not in texture but in height resulting in a squat little pie that snuggly secured the meat inside. But that snugness meant that when larger bites were taken the pastry caused the meat to flick up in the air that put my cat-like reactions to the test. As always I consumed this pie prior to kick off so there was no distraction from the game itself but I’d imagine it could result in you missing an important piece of on the field action if you partake in your pie during the game.

Overall: Sorry Kenny but I can’t call this pie excellent. I can call it nice and pleasant but I can’t go much further than that. It was lacking a wee bit of punch and for my taste the slight film of grease left on my lips was something I could have done without. I reckon that there will be some people who really like this pie due to its relative inoffensiveness but for me I want my pie to have a bit of bite.

Gravy Factor: Safe Gravy. The gravy that you’ve made thousands of times, one that you quite like but that gets you annoyed each time you make it because you wish you had found a way to do it better.

So another pie down but not the last we shall hear from Cappielow  as the next entry will be a long-awaited return to the luxury market with the streak and gravy offering from The ‘Ton.

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.

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.

Pie 42: The Berwick Rangers Pie

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'A Chippy Pie'
‘A Chippy Pie’

Hello to all my fellow pastry lovers, I hope you had a lovely festive period and that Santa brought you all the pie related gifts your heart desired. It’s been a couple of weeks since the last entry into the Pie of Hall of Fame but we have time to squeeze one more entry in before the bakers of 2013 close their oven doors one last time.

A couple of developments to make you aware of since the last review. Firstly as some of you may or may not be aware I don’t write solely about pies, but try to squeeze out some other football related pieces when time allows me to. These articles have been run primarily through my sister site Leading the Line, and while articles will still appear there from time to time an agreement has been reached with ‘The Football Blogging Awards’ to become a regular contributor in 2014. It will allow me to keep Meat Filled Pastries as a solely independent venture whilst also spreading the word of pie through other channels, something that I wouldn’t be able to do without the support of all you delightful folk that read it.

This brings me on to the second piece of news, for the remainder of the season my stories of pie can be found in the Albion Rovers match day programme. For Meat Filled Pastries to become a part of a fans match day experience is more than I could have wished for when I started this venture but now it’s happened I want more, and in 2014 I hope we will all see the growth of Meat Filled Pastries even further. So if you are interested in my tome of pie and would like me to contribute to your programme, magazine or website just drop me an email or send me a tweet.

So without much further ado, and with the PR Campaign out the way, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers v Peterhead, SPFL League Two

Price: A rather expensive £2, a price that required asking as none was listed for a single pie.  The same price as the ‘Premiership’ pie from Motherwell but more expensive than the Cowdenbeath offering and the various junior equivalents this journey has provided us with.

Presentation: A break from the norm this pie was presented in a polystyrene tray. The reason for the polystyrene tray, you ask? Well this pie did not come from a loan standing pie hut at the side of the ground or from a kiosk in the bowels of the stand but from a chip shop van, a traditional one none the less, one of two conveniently located in the ground. Now this caused a small moment of panic in this pieman’s head, initially because I was unsure how traditional a Fish and Chip Van was at a football ground, but perhaps more pressing was the realisation that there may be no pies to review and as such this blog would have had more padding than Bobby Mann at the end of his playing career. That said I got a pie it was in a polystyrene tray, because usually they would have chips in them, and it came with a medium sized white napkin to mop up any meatfilled spillages. Disaster averted, let’s move on.

Meatiness: This pie was a slow burner on the taste front. On the initial one bite expose the taste, although definitively of pie, was rather underwhelming and I had concerns that this would be confounded to the status of ‘Bog Standard Bisto’. However as each bite was taken the warmth of spice and pepper became more prevalent and by the last bite I found myself wanting more. The meat was well packed inside and not very greasy at all which is impressive considering my suspicions were this was a deep fried pie, but more on that in a moment. Despite the initial concerns of the first bite this was a tasty morsel indeed.

Pastry: This is where my deep fried suspicions really started tingling. The pastry was incredibly golden and the pie lid itself had no hole in the top to let out steam that would be generated in an oven. Then there was the first bite, the pastry didn’t flake but more crumbled and where the pastry had tore away from the main body of the pie it had slightly disintegrated around the edges. It was of no detriment, although the further into the pie you got you became increasingly grateful for the polystyrene tray provided. Once again, just like the filling it was impressive how un-greasy the pastry tasted. If someone at Berwick can tell me if I’m right or wrong on the deep fried factor it’d be greatly appreciated.

Overall: This pie was a pleasant surprise after the obstacles it put in front of itself before its consumption was complete. It was slightly expensive for the surroundings and the fact it came from a chip van was something that caused a bit of initial confusion. The ‘potential’ deep frying left the pie suitably moist and crispy without being over greasy and with a long slow burning flavour of mutton and spice.

Gravy Factor: The marathon pie, remember pie eating is not a sprint, savour every bite and don’t discount it because your first bite wasn’t all your pie dreams were made of.

Another pie down, another five minutes added to the tread next time I’m in the gym. Work commitments mean that next weekends offering will most likely be either the first rugby pie of Meat Filled Pastries journey of pie or from the Scottish Premiership.

Either way, until next time, go forth and eat pie!

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 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 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.