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Pie 71: The Wishaw Juniors Pie

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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!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Beltane Park, Wishaw v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly: Entry Fee £3, Programme: None

Or as the natives call it Wishae'
Or as the natives call it Wishae’

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.

THE PIE

The first junior pie of the new season
The first junior pie of the new season!

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 meatfilledpastries@hotmail.com.

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.

Pie 23: The Motherwell Pie

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The discerning choice for young women who like fitba'.
The discerning choice for young women who like fitba’.

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!

Pie 21: The Maryhill Pie

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A pie worthy of a cup final
A pie worthy of a cup final.

 

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.

Pie 15: The Rangers Pie

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A first bite into a SPFL Pie
First strange look for taking a picture of my pie…Done!

The Pie Rush continues.

One of the joys of the early season is that the fixtures come thick and fast and as such so do the meat filled pastries. Now for those amongst you asking where Pie 14 has gone, it was the second pie consumed at my last footballing adventure but doing a review on the same type of pie is not the game here. If I start getting really adventurous some kind of ‘Pie Totalizer’ may materialise but for now number the pie’s I review is the best way to keep count.

This is ‘Meat FIlled Pastries’ first venture into the SPFL so without further ado, lets rate some pie!

Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Berwick Rangers, Ramsdens Cup 2nd Round

Price: A stand alone price of £2.20, I’d missed my dinner so got mine as part of a Meal Deal with a drink and a bar of chocolate (Double Decker) for a whopping £5.50! The price you play for a ‘higher’ standard of play, plastic seats and the inability to move about I suppose.

Presentation: Encased in a silver tinfoil case with a small plain napkin. Not really a lot to say here to be honest.

Meatiness: A nice meaty scotch pie, with that all important hit of pepper, making the most of the mutton inside. As can be seen in the picture there seemed to be a cavity in the middle where more meaty goodness should have been hiding for my delight. No gravy but the pie was suitably moist.

Pastry: The edges were slightly on the teeth-breaking side in some places, although as can be seen I still managed to get a good bite out of it at the second attempt. The base held up well and avoided the dreaded undercooking, turning your tinfoil case into a soup bowl and leaving you cursing the size of your napkin.

Overall: The first brand attributed Pie, as the menu board helpfully advised the supplier as McGhee’s. A nice pie, but for £2.20 you would want better than nice. It is worth noting that HP was the Brown Sauce provided here and that in itself is a rare treat.

Gravy Factor: To give it any more than a Bog Standard Bisto rating when it costs £2.20, for something that is not out of the ordinary, would be doing other pies on this journey a massive disservice.

 

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.