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Pie 63: The Glenafton Athletic ‘Onion’ Pie

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Monday Night Pastries
Monday Night Pastries

Hello and welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries. Home of the greatest sporting snacks that Mother Earth has so generously bestowed upon us. This pie review is written with more than a splodge of sadness, not for the ketchup blob you see before you, but because this pie symbolised the end of my 28 year run as a football fan without suffering the heartache of relegation.  I’ve  put a positive spin on it in my latest non-pie piece for Meat Filled Pastries, ‘Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?’ (http://wp.me/p3Q7wL-34), and the fact a whole new world of pie has been opened up to me is one of the few shining lights at the end of a pretty terrible season. However let us not dwell on such matters, I am a pie professional and as such I will give a fair and honest assessment of this Monday evening offering from the world of Scottish football.

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

Where: Loch Park, Glenafton Athletic v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: You know what, I’m not even writing it. If you keep up to date with Meat Filled Pastries you know how much a junior football pie is………….

………OK, OK, it was £1.20 but the only reason I tell you know is because I realised half way through that previous sentence that some of you may not keep up to date with my stories of pie, and whilst I chastise you for doing so, I am nothing but a benevolent host.

Presentation: This was presented in a polystyrene try which when looking around also doubled as a chip holder. It meant that the pie’s heat was kept safe froom my palm although it also led to it not being held as securely as it would have been snugly fitted into my hand whilst wrapped in a napkin. Which brings me to the other point about the presentation, there was no napkin, meaning that I had to resort to the ‘rubbing-your-hands-together-really-fast-so-that-all-the-spillages-either-absorb-into-your-skin-or-drop-off-altogether-technique’. A slight distraction from the game going on around me. As I surveyed the pie before me I did find myself wondering that if this was a Saturday afternoon and not a Monday night things, in the presentation stakes at least, may have been very different.

Meatiness: Speaking of things that were different there was no brown sauce! No golden brown tang to smatter on my pie! Once again I put this down to it being a Monday night but it didn’t make it any less distressing. Saucing issues aside this was a tasty, well seasoned if somewhat wet pie. I say wet as opposed to greasy because although there was plenty of moisture within the pie at no point did I feel a tidal wave of grease flowing down my gullet although I did feel it crumble a little with every bite I took. As a result of this it was really messy to eat but I was enjoying it. The other thing that struck me was that despite no indication as to this being anything other than a standard scotch pie it was clearly of the oniony persuasion. It was laden with large pieces of translucent onion adding a note of sweetness I have came to expect from an onion pie. I kid myself that an onion pie counts as 1 of my five-a-day but I feel confident in saying this offering is the closest I have came to eating a vegetable on this journey. I just wish there was some brown sauce.

Pastry: As I said the pie filling itself was quite wet and as I hope you can see from the one bite expose above this caused the pie to fall apart somewhat as I ate. First the pastry walls, although crisp at the top, started to cave and then the base slowly fell apart in my hand. In the end I was actually quite thankful for the polystyrene tray as it provided a perfect boat shaped receptacle for this pastries meaty cargo.

Overall: As onion pies go this was pretty good it was incredibly moist without the flavour being washed away however I cannot condone the lack of napkins and brown sauce. A taste sensation in the mouth but more than a handful when it came to its consumption.

Gravy Factor: Can you get anything moister than gravy? If so this is it. Moist Gravy.

The next review from Meat Filled Pastries will be from New Douglas Park home of Hamilton Academicals where I had the pleasure of watching THAT game.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 57: The Rangers ‘Macaroni’ Pie

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Bursting with Meat......
A Macaroni Filled Pastry

Hello pie lovers and welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries and it’s continual quest to champion football’s only snack of choice the humble pie. Let’s address the elephant in the room straight away. I already know what you’re thinking, ‘How does he have the audacity to call this splendifirous journey of pie Meat Filled Pastries when it’s clear to see that this is a pasta packed pastry presented before me?’. Well firstly, I would ask you to take the bass out of your voice and secondly make you aware of the badgering I have been subject due to the fact I hadn’t reviewed a Macaroni Pie. So here it is, a macaroni pie, if you’re still a bit miffed I hope the small bit of upcoming pie-related word play in this further explanation will help ease your confusion.

‘Meat Filled Pastries’ is a celebration of pie, specifically pie at sporting venues across this fair land of ours. In the main these pies will be filled with meat in a variety of different concoctions that have been brought to the fore on these pages. Some of the most talked about reviews wherever I go are when pies wander from their conventional scotch format and start throwing such ingredients as steak, beans, haggis or potato at you. It’s these curveballs of content that nicely leads into the final point of this introduction. How can we, as connoisseurs of pie, really know which pie is right for us when we don’t give them all a bash; or to put it in pun form ‘Diversi-pie’. To ‘diversi-pie’ is to truly become one with the ethos of Meat Filled Pastries.

So without much further ado, and as requested by the proprietor of www.dedicaked.com your one stop shop for all things cake whether they be popped, cupped or celebratory, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Price: £2.35. 15p cheaper than the previously reviewed steak offering but 15p more expensive than the also reviewed scotch effort from Ibrox. Already this pie is causing me problems on review. Is this a luxury pie? It’s price, greater than a scotch, would suggest yes but can we truly call a Macaroni Pie one of luxury on Meat Filled Pastries? At present I’m undecided so let’s move on.

Presentation: Medium sized white napkin with a snug fitting tin foil case surrounding the pastry. I actually successfully turned this pie upside down without anything falling out but more on that in a bit.

Meatiness: Erm, right…there was no meat in this pie. How am I meant to review it’s meatiness when there is no meat within? Time for some tenuous linkage. Now as we know meat in its purest form comes from animals, in the case of a scotch pie it will come from mutton. Mutton is a form of lamb. Lamb’s are most often located on farms, as are cows. Cows, another provider of delicious meaty sustenance, regularly need milked. Milk when separated is turned into two parts; curds and whey. Curds are acidified and drained resulting in the very beginnings of cheese. These are then pressed and matured to turn into the cheese that we recognise in shops, burgers and this macaroni pie that I am trying to review before you. Therefore as cheese is derived from milk which is taken from a cow which we butcher for meat then this is indeed a meat filled pastry, huzzah!

Anyway, onto the actual tasting and after a week that was very heavy on the pie consumption it was actually a nice change of pace to bite down on something that wasn’t bursting with gravy. It was very much how I had expected, a compression of macaroni in a pastry case. The pasta was cooked well and there was enough of a cheesy hit coming from it to add another layer of flavour. My only complaint was that after a couple of bites it felt rather dry and going against the usual rules I applied a splodge of tomato ketchup for moisture and as such helping the last few bites slide down easily. Was it better than a bona fide meat filled pastry? That really depends on the pie you’re comparing it against. Against a standout steak or scotch then not a chance but against a bog standard offering I would say at least this offers something different.

Pastry: The pastry was of a more complex structure than your average scotch or steak pie. Although the side and base casing weere still standard in nature there was no top. Instead a layer of cheese that had almost burnt created an extra punch of cheesy flavour which did wonders for the overall effect of the pie. On the down side though, due to the fat content within the cheese there was a little bit of tearing when taking the pie out of its tin foil case due to it melting through. However as a man who likes his cheese this was something I merrily picked away at after consumption.

Overall: It’s never going to replace a meat filled pastry but if you are ever wanting a change of taste with your Bovril then this is well worthy of your time and appreciation. It was a little dry inside but I loved the cheesy top and I could defiantly see potential in this to become something truly special with a little more of the cheesy gravy inside and the potential to add ingredients such as ham or chilli. All in all a bit of an eye opener really.

Gravy Factor: Not your usual meaty gravy here but its cheesy cousin Monsieur Béchamel. Worth a try and the type of gravy I am happy to bracket as luxury due to its unusual nature.

Well that was a bit different and it would be a fair assumption to make on your part that this won’t be the last Macaroni Pie you will see. That said the next two offering’s come from East Ayrshire and Auchinleck Talbot, will their pies be as good as their performances on the pitch? We’ll have to wait and see.

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 17: The Hampden Pie

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The Patriotic Pie
The Patriotic Pie

This week Meat Filled Pastries laughs in the face of the international break and all the problems it apparently causes football fans across the country by not just bringing you 1, but 2 Pie’s. That’s right I risked high cholesterol and possible meat induced coma’s for all you lovely, lovely pie munchers. (Editing Note: That last line was not a joke about lesbians).

I have split them into 2 reviews so that they both get the proper time and attention they deserve.

So without further ado, and with just a touch of man flu, mainly in part to the multiple drenching’s that I, like many others, experienced to and from Hampden on Friday night, Lets Rate Some Pie!

Where: Hampden Park, Scotland v Belgium, World Cup Qualifying Group A

Price: A Hampden Scotch Pie comes in at £2.20, I have touched on my feelings on the price of my pie at the upper echelons of the game so it’s safe to say I wasn’t overly enamoured at paying this, however when put in comparison to the recently reviewed Rangers Pie then this seems to be par for the course.

Presentation: Standard silver tinfoil and tiny napkin presentation here, and I mean a tiny napkin. It’s worth adding at this point that the pie was absolutely roasting making the napkin size even more impotent and which also in part explains the slightly misshapen ‘one bite expose’ taken above, I nearly dropped the thing twice!

Meatiness: A Scotch Pie. It was a nice meaty pie, but as you may or may not have noticed there is one thing missing for it to allow me to assess a full flavour profile. You Ready for this? Now bear in mind this was for a pie consumed at the home of our national football team, team of our national sport.

You Ready?

Here it goes, they had NO BROWN SAUCE! What the hell man?!? Seriously.

It’s bad enough that I was soaked and my team were getting pumped but to no be able to sauce my pie is just a travesty too far, especially when you right a blog about these pastry delights! And no, before you say it, tomato sauce is not just as good. It is an abomination to put such stuff on your pie, it doesn’t enhance the flavour as brown sauce can so often do. It totally changes it and anybody who uses tomato ketchup instead of eating their pie bareback needs to have a long hard look at themselves.

Anyway back to the pie, the meat was flavoursome without blowing me away, I have a feeling this may be a common occurrence when sampling pie’s higher up the footballing ladder but I didn’t feel my filling was terrible in anyway. Just a bit uninspiring.

Pastry: The top came a little loose under pressure but was overall cooked to the necessary level to retain its crispness whilst also allowing an easy bite. My one complaint would be the over exuberant sprinkling of flour that topped the pie, leaving in some bites a slightly chalky after taste.

Overall: Look, it’s not going to give you that, ‘Oh I must have it again feeling.’ but for something that is produced for the mass market it’s perfectly serviceable. Although it will take me a long time to forgive them for the no brown sauce fiasco.

Gravy Factor: Just below Bog Standard Bisto, and it’s standing just below is purely down to the lack of brown sauce provided. Once again for £2.20 you want a scotch pie that is more than nicely cooked mutton in a crust.