Hello and we’re back to pies after my grand Canadian adventure before getting elbow deep in meat filled pastries I’d like to say a ‘Howdy!’ to my new Canadian followers, I hope you find my tales of pie just as entertaining as The VanCan ScranVan Diaries.
To say it was a joyous return to Scottish junior football would be a lie with the entertainment being provided by the never-ending stream of aircraft’s arriving into Glasgow as opposed to the game of ‘football’ going on in front of me. That being said I had just woken from a post-travel 15 hour slumber meaning that I was more than ready to devour a meat filled pastry or two.
It was good to see the SFA taking a sensible approach to Scottish Cup Final ticketing, they get slated a lot, and quite rightly so sometimes but when they do good it rarely gets acknowledged, if somebody wants to lend me a student card so I can get in for a fiver I’ll be even happier and maybe even your pal.
Anyway the end of the junior season means that a plethora of fixtures are coming hurtling towards me over the next couple of weeks and as such a plethora of pies, so let’s get back to it with this homecoming offering from Yoker Athletic.
So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Holm Park, Yoker Athletic 1-1 Pollok, West Superleague First Division
Price: £1. A single golden nugget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Presentation: This pastry was presented to you on a small paper plate, an unusual, but not totally alien, presentational technique. The benefit of plating up your pie means that you can easily stack up multiple orders whilst also providing you with a substantial buffer to any potential overheating. There was also a pile of medium-sized white napkins for you to pick at freely for the all important post-consumption mouth wiping.
Meatiness: This was a nice return to scotch pies for this lads palate. The pie was nicely filled, not bursting but substantial enough when looking at the all important meat to pastry ratios. It was firm, meaning that it ate well and didn’t fall apart and there was a lingering pepper kick, perhaps a tad weaker than I would prefer but still pleasant enough. It wasn’t ground-breaking but it certainly did the job.
Pastry: The pastry was well-baked. Crispy and golden on top. Soft but sturdy underneath. A perfectly acceptable receptacle for meat.
Brown Sauce: Despite supposed dwindling sales it was still HP that did the job.
Overall: A pleasant filling, well-baked pastry that stayed together well and a dollop of HP sauce readily available. There was not much to complain about but at the same time not much to get carried away with either.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto. Well actually, it was slightly better than that but at present I’m not sure if a luxury Bisto brand exists? If it does I would rate it as that.
Another pie down. Looking ahead towards the end of the season (and barring a catastrophe on my part) we will hit 100 pies before the final goal goes in, and that even in my ludicrous world of pie is some achievement! Next up will be another junior review from Kilsyth Rangers.
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. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.
If you want to read about pies: meaty, spicy, pastry covered pies then this is the place to be, as this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s journey to find the tastiest football snacks in all the land. This edition sees us staying in the junior ranks with a pie from Ayrshire and Maybole Juniors but more on that in a bit.
As I am sure many of you are aware I like watching football. I especially like watching football when I get to go a place I’ve never been before,this trip to Maybole being a case in point. I can’t think of any other scenario why I would visit Maybole, it’s not noted for anything particularly famous, it’s not near the seaside and I have no known family currently residing in the area. Maybole, and no offence meant here, is not somewhere you would book your summer holidays to.
What it does have however is a junior football team and so with gay abandon I journeyed on down.
My particular highlight was the pub that was chosen for pre match refreshments by the bus committee. It’s fairly common place for our band of merry men to be found in some particularly odd wee pubs and this one was no exception. Named ‘The High Society’ on entry things looked fairly generic ‘old man’ that was however until you glanced at the fifties style motif in the window. As you entered the walls were adorned with pictures of crooners from yesteryear while the toilets seemed to be something more resembling a sauna than a urinal. Throw in a random games room, jingly door chimes and the obligatory one lady behind the bar suddenly finding her Saturday afternoon a lot busier than usual and you had all the ingredients for your traditional pre-match small town bar. I love these a little bit.
Anyway with my throat suitably lubricated it was game time and as such without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Ladywell Stadium, Maybole v Pollok, West of Scotland Super League, First Division
Price: £1. A drop in division has certainly resulted in a drop in price. Let’s hope this isn’t a drop in tasty quality.
Presentation: A variation on the classic white medium-sized napkin. The far more cost efficient, but no less effective, one sheet of two ply kitchen roll. Actually a little bit bigger than a medium-sized napkin with the added gripy-ness of dimples. No pattern on the roll though, always slightly disappointing. Where’s my random fruit or cuddly penguins?
Meatiness: Confession time here folks, I had drunk a few beers the night before and so to ward off any potential hangover I had started my alcohol consumption a bit earlier than usual. It’s not big or clever but it is the facts so this pie review will benefit, or be hindered dependent on your point of view, by the notes made after consumption was complete. What I can tell you is this, the pie was moist without being greasy. It was tasty enough with a distinct meaty flavour and it was of a sufficient standard to warrant a second one soon after but it wasn’t outstanding. This can be attributed to the lack of any real peppery kick and so the addition of HP helped to enhance the overall flavour experience. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge spending another £1 should I ever venture to the Ladywell again so in that respect you can say meat wise this pie did a good job.
Pastry: The pastry fell apart quite a bit, not enough that there was a spillage of the muttony goodness inside but sufficient enough for me to partake in a spot of pie juggling. You know what I mean. That dance of switching your pie from hand to hand dependent on where the most dangly bit is based in the eternal hope that no meat shall hit the terrace below. The walls were caving in a little bit but I’m willing to put that down to a grip that was too firm more than anything else. As a receptacle for meat this pastry did its job.
Overall: After a few pints this filled the pie shaped hole in my belly not once, but twice.
Gravy Factor: Safe Gravy. The kind of gravy you would make for a dinner party when you’re not really sure what everyone likes.
Pie 76 is gone. Pretty short and sweet on this occasion. However do not fear as Pie 77 is on the horizon with Meat Filled Pastries first visit to the Scottish Lowland League and Forthbank Stadium home of Stirling University. The review will be done before I set off to Poland where I have high hopes that the eastern European love for meat and carbs will give me a pie based treat to behold.
However until, next time go forth and eat pie!
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!
Where: My Gaff. Entry: Free, it’s my house if I charged myself to enter my house that would be just mental.
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.
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!
Today’s entry into the Meat Filled Hall of Fame is a return to junior football one of the key inspirations for this journey of pie. Those who follow my adventures will have been now been able to piece together my allegiances at junior level and this season, mainly thanks to a pretty woeful one previously, a whole new world of pie has been opened up to me as my team face life in a new division. But before, a hopefully triumphant, league campaign gets underway there is a few friendlies to get out-of-the-way first.
I always find it really interest going to friendlies, not so much for the football which is usually pretty mundane, especially when you have no affiliation to any one team, but for the reactions of the crowd, because for every fan who see’s a friendly for what it is; a chance to warm up for the season, try new things and see new players there is another one who still treats it as the same kind of life and death scenario that a relegation six pointer in February would be. Personally I err on the side of the former. I mean just because Dundee beat Manchester City 2-0 it doesn’t automatically equate to Paul Hartley being the odds on favourite to be the next Chelsea or Barcelona manager nor does it mean that Manuel Pellegrini will be popping up in Falkirk or Hamilton anytime soon because he can’t hack it at the highest level any longer, football just doesn’t work that way.
The other thing that’s nice about friendlies, especially for a man who loves his football, is that there is pretty much a fixture within reach every couple of days and at this time in the season more than ever you find yourself at places that you wouldn’t normally be.
So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Beltane Park, Wishaw v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly: Entry Fee £3, Programme: None
Before continuing I just wanted to take time to thank the folk at Wishaw for their hospitality, they are clearly a club who are trying to set themselves up for a bright future after a previously nomadic existence and their generosity on Saturday did not go unappreciated. Good luck for the new season in a new division folks!
Price: At £1.20 this is priced at the same level as your average junior scotch pie from the 2013/14 season showing certain Scottish footballing associations that just because a new season is upon us and your team is on the rise there is still no need to fleece your fans.
Presentation: A simple presentation style found at many grounds of a medium-sized white napkin, certainly nothing to be sniffed at and on review of my one bite expose a napkin that now seems a little larger, although I wasn’t going to get my set square and measuring tape out to see if that indeed was the case.
Meatiness: I hope the picture above does this pie justice in showing how incredibly well filled it was for a scotch pie, this might sound daft, which I know a lot of this usually does, but I could actually feel the weight of a slightly heavier pie in the hand as I made my way pack to my standing spot. As I bit down the meat held really well and was incredibly moist, not with grease but with lovely muttony juices. It was a little cold in the middle but I was pre-warned of this and it was only once I reached the very centre did I notice and in this occasion it didn’t have any real effect on the overall flavour. The other lovely thing that this pie brought me was the return of the long peppery linger that slowly built as I ate and lasted for such a time that it was worth remembering for this review. After the generosity of the club I was worried I was going to have the fudge this a bit to play nice, but I can honestly say this was a very tasty meat filling indeed.
Pastry: The pastry was flaky but held just enough to support the ample mince inside. I was able to break off the top of the crust to dip into the safety of an HP sauce puddle without everything crumbling round about me. Perhaps if I was being hyper critical the sides were a little soft and it became a two hand consumption job by the end but that would be the most minor of grumbles.
Overall: After last weeks professional scotch pie disappointment it was great to feel the comforting bosom of a junior scotch pie to nestle into with its ample meat and long peppery linger.
Gravy Factor: Standard Bearing Gravy. A pleasing pie that has set a true benchmark for the season ahead.
So the first junior pie of the season is in the books and the second one is on its way from Castle Park, the home of Blantyre Victoria. Navigating my way round the south-east of Glasgow should be interesting now the Commonwealth Games are here but I love my football and I love me a pie.
So until next time go forth and eat pie!
Remember to follow Meat Filled Pastries on twitter @MFPTasty and for any enquiries or feedback, and a thank you to those who have already, you can email email@example.com.
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.
The next entry on Meat Filled Pastries is brought to you by the Scottish National Women’s Football team and their home for the Canada 2015 World Cup qualifiers, Fir Park, Motherwell. Now usually this paragraph is reserved for some absolute nonsense about the week that has just passed but this time I’m going for a slight change of pace.
Recently one of my closest friends passed away after a 2 year battle with bowel cancer and all the complications ensued, aged just 28. Throughout it all he refused to let it stop things he wanted to do and see the things he wanted to see. To pass many a bored hour in hospital or at home he busied himself with a number of internet projects. One of which is ‘The Grambler’, a bookie busting algorithm of randomnosity, that experiences varying levels of success, with any winnings that it procured going to The Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Awareness. The links are located on the right hand side of this page and I’ll put the full addresses at the end of this latest entry into the Pie Hall of Fame. Please take the time to have a look at these sites and if you like this, Leading the Line or The Grambler itself feel free to make a donation or have a flutter.
With all that being said let’s get into the business of talking about pies. My mate was a massive Motherwell fan, and so when it became apparent that things were not to go his way I made it an aim to get to Fir Park as quickly as possible as some kind of weird meat filled pastry tribute.
So without much further ado Lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Fir Park (Home of Motherwell FC) Scotland Women v Bosnia and Herzegovina Women, World Cup Qualifying Group 4
Price: Priced at £2.00, while still expensive for a meat filled pastry when placed in comparison with both the Hampden and Rangers pie it actually comes in at 20p cheaper than these similarly levelled competitors.
Presentation: Came in a silver tin foil case, with a ‘help yourself to napkins’ policy, they were of adequate size so only one was required. Not really much to report here.
Meatiness: As always a scotch pie, this effort was something of a deep-filled beauty. What immediately struck me on first bite was that this was not the same generic fare I had experienced at grounds of similar stature previously. This is not to say the previous pies were not good, more an indication of the pleasant surprise that engulfed me on the realisation of this very point. The meat inside was really savoury and although that smack of pepper I usually like in my pie was not present the flavour of the mutton inside meant I did not miss it at all. The meat also held incredibly well and was soft to the bite.
Pastry: A nice even bake on the top of the pastry meant the all important crust was present with enough bite to provide texture but soft enough not to leave you wishing you had the denture work of a 1970’s Bond villain. Unfortunately, as does happen from time to time when a tin foil case is used to hold these meaty delicacies, the pastry at the bottom of the pie was ever so slightly soggy meaning there was some minor spillage when picking it up to take a bite. However that being said, this was a minor inconvenience in an otherwise delicious pie.
Overall: A very good effort, the meat was tasty and the pastry ratio was spot on combining to give this pie an ‘original’ taste, not like a Werther’s, but a taste that after enough time could be distinguishable as a ‘Motherwell Pie’, something that I feel is lost at the top end of the modern game. As a side note the Brown Sauce on offer was not provided by HP but by another company whose name is long forgotten but proved itself a dark, tangy and tasty alternative.
Gravy Factor: The ladies in the pie stall at Fir Park did just as well as the women on the field, as Scotland won 7-0, in providing a pie that fully deserves the rating of lovely lady gravy.
Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side and with all things going to plan will have a new article up tomorrow.
Finally and most importantly this week are a couple of links below that if you have a few minutes to spare I would love you to have a look at them and maybe make a wee donation:
Bobby Moore Fund: bobbymoorefund.cancerresearchuk.org
The Grambler: thegrambler.com
Just Giving ‘The Grambler’s ‘Kick Cancer’s Arse’ Fund: http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3
That’s it for the latest edition of Meat Filled Pastries, so until next time, Go Forth and Eat Pie!
Hi again! Did you think I’d forgot about these meat flavoured beauties? If you did, you’re probably of the macaroni pie quaffing variety and have no place here. I kid, obviously, as all pie’s are welcome here but let me rationalise why this pie blog has been a few extra days in the making. You see footballing pies have passed my lips on more than one occasion in the last week or so but a combination of work and a familiar looking fixture list meant that none of these pies have been new to the world of Meat Filled Pastries, finally on Sunday this changed.
So with the kind of abandon that will be outlawed at Qatar 2022 I headed to Glasgow’s west end for a new pie adventure. Lets Rate Some Pie!
Where: Lochburn Park (Home of Maryhill FC) Clydebank v Pollok, Euroscot Sectional League Cup Final
Price: £1.10, exactly half the price of the previously reviewed Hampden and Rangers Scotch Pies.
Presentation: Presented within a white napkin of sufficient size that a badger could snuggly hibernate in as the winter months draw closer without it’s wee toe sticking out the bottom. This thing was huge and for that I am always grateful.
Meatiness: A scotch pie rammed with muttony goodness from first bite to last in which the meat was incredibly well seasoned. The mince was coarse and importantly still had enough texture to give it a satisfying bite. I think the highest praise I can give this pie is the following antidote. So, after consuming said pie I needed to visit the little boys room (also known as a well drained concrete wall behind the main stand), after doing the required business I started heading back to where I was standing when I suddenly noticed that the peppery after taste was still very clearly present within my mouth. With that lingering taste this pie had now marked itself out as a top contender.
Pastry: The pastry was golden and cooked just to perfection, with a bite that required your teeth to break through but enough give that none of the mince inside was at risk of ending splatted on the concrete. The bake on the pastry was consistent and such was my satisfaction at my first one, I quickly purchased a second which again reached these same high standards of crispy perfection combining wonderfully again with the aforementioned meaty goodness.
Overall: This was a cracking pie, great texture and meaty flavour that managed to linger long after the last bite had been devoured. A pastry shell that managed to be both soft and crispy whilst the brown sauce provided was none other than HP, a cherry meatball on top of this pie flavoured cake.
Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that you would make too much of deliberately so that after your dinner you could pour the remainder onto your plate and happily sook it all up with half a loaf of bread.