largs thistle

Pie 94: The Largs Thistle ‘Steak & Gravy’ Pie

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Hello! I’d actually wrote this review in Glasgow Airport as I waited to start my journey to Canada’s Pacific coast but unfortunately, as does happen when you spend a lot of time writing, I managed to make the most rookie of errors and not save it. So now a day a couple of days into my Vancouver adventure I’ve suitably shaken off the travelling cobwebs to go again this time with a more pictureseque view on the balcony of my friend’s apartment with a couple of slices of toast for company before embarking on today’s adventures.

As part of any trip I go on I’m always keen to see what level of football is on show, not just on the pitch but for those that attend the games as well. Last night, I went to see the Vancouver Whitecaps and got to sample my first taste of the MLS. That, along with my experiences of watching an FA Cup Quarter Final Replay in Downtown Vancouver will form the basis of another piece of writing focused on football fandom in North America that I will get to at some point over the coming week.

As it is, I still had time for one more pie before departure, so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Barrfields Park, Largs Thistle 1-2 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

Always enjoy a bit of pie marketing
Always enjoy a bit of pie marketing

Price: A pure breed luxury steak pie this was a relative bargain at £1.50, although it would be remiss to not acknowledge that a traditional scotch pie from the same venue would cost you 50p less. Still though £1.50 for a steak pie not to be sniffed at.

Presentation: For a while now I have spoken about the popular convention that steak pies are placed in tin foil sheaths to either help (or hinder) the consumption of a pie that tends to be more plentiful in gravy than a scotch version, recently though, this seems to have changed for on review my last 3 steak pie reviews have all been sheathless and for that I am glad. Why so? Surely the description of just a medium-sized white napkin would bore us all to tears? I hear you cry. Well potentially yes, but, over the last couple of weeks I have been well and truly stung not once, but twice by the sticky bottomed mess that a tin foil container creates when eating a pie (Note: Both these pies came from Hampden). At least if I make a mess then it’s my mess and not as a result of a slapdash approach to filling and baking a steak pie. So yeah mediums-sized white napkin, good work!

THE PIE

Steak & Bake!
Steak & Bake!

Meatiness: This my friends was an absolute meaty triumph. Firstly, despite it’s rather squat looking appearance, this was an incredibly well filled pie. The meat was soft and tender but had enough of a bite to keep your gnashers interested. It was seasoned to almost near perfection, full of umami although there was no peppery kick. The gravy was flowing in abundance and although a tin foil case would have helped to catch any drips caused by too greedy a bite, the juggling was worth it to make sure you captured every morsel. Top pie work going on here.

Pastry: The pastry was lovely and golden all around. The puffy top was flaky and playfully danced along your lips as you took a bite whilst the sides and bottoms were sturdy enough to cope with the meaty voluptuousnous within. If I was being hyper-critical the base was ever so slightly underdone, but that is of negligible consideration when assessing the grandeur of this pie.

Brown Sauce: Steak Pie. No Sauce.

Overall: Great and generous filling with pastry cooked to near perfection, they were championing this pie as something great before purchase and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Gravy Factor: Aw’ the Gravy!

That was rather good. It won’t surprise you to hear that I was unable to obtain a pastry based good at BC Place and the hot dog, whilst huge, just wasn’t quite the same as the warm embrace that only a pie provides. My next pie will be from…well I’m not sure where but I’m sure it’ll be a goody. Keep an eye out for my North American Soccer Review but 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.

 

Pie 93: The Rossvale Bridie

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The worrying thing about the prospect of writing a book is that there is a lot of words involved. I’ve never really thought about it but since this little venture started with Pie 12: The Rob Roy Pie I reckon I’ve probably managed over 75,000 words dedicated to pie whilst championing football’s cause across all levels, mainly junior but with more than a nod to the senior and ladies game. There’s even a couple of pies from across the globe…well England but you get my point.

Along with all the peripheries that this journey has brought me that’s some achievement but it’s beginning to dawn on me that amalgamating all these tales of pastry themed whimsy is going to take all my accumulative nous not to end up with a soggy bottomed mess of pie all over the pages. The premise will be simple, it’ll be about pies and the journey of discovery that has taken me across the country whilst reflecting on some of the more bizarre things that have happened along the way. Will this be my pastry zenith? Only time will tell.

As it stands though we need to reach that magic hundred and leading on from, Pie 88: The Spartans ‘Haggis & Neeps’ Pasty, there is another non-pie based pastry snack on the way from Rossvale.

So without much further ado let’s rate some pie! I mean, bridie.

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Petershill Park, Rossvale 0-2 Pollok, Central League Cup 2nd Round

You could almost kid yourself on this was Summer.
You could almost kid yourself on this was Summer.

Price: £1.50. The same price as the previously reviewed scotch pie offering from the same venue, more than the single golden nuggets I’ve had to part with in previous weeks but still nothing to be sniffed at.

Presentation: It was one of those half and half paper and plastic bags which the bridie was wrapped into as tightly as possible. There was a small napkin dispenser at the counter but thanks to a bumper crowd there was but one dangling in the wind from it by the time I arrived twenty minutes in. When I started reviewing my pastries this kind of shortfall would annoy me but as I learned about the clubs and how they were run I understood the fine balance those at the very bottom of the game have to find between maximum profitability and the need to avoid a loss. Maybe ‘bigger’ clubs should be better at sharing knowledge in this respect rather than turning up and having a moan. Just a thought.

THE PIE

Well Bridie...
Well Bridie…

Meatiness: The reason I prefer a pie to most other pastry snacks is that the ratios usually always work to the benefit of carnivores everywhere with the pastry acting as supporting cast to the meaty main event. In a bridie the balance isn’t quite the same, I’ll come onto the pastry in a bit but it’s important at this juncture to highlight that to get to this bridie’s core you had to chomp through layer upon layer of pastry. Once there you were greeted with a well seasoned and moist oniony mince parcel, it was just rather small.

Pastry: As I have just highlighted there was an abundance of pastry to be had with this football snack. It was beautifully golden and flaked away well, it was consistent all the way round and had just a few layers of softer pastry underneath the initial crispness that eased you into a bite of meaty goodness further in. Due to a lack of pies, a number of my fellow fans had opted for a bridie and could be audibly heard singing the praises of this pastry surround.

Brown Sauce: Much like a pasty to add sauce to a bridie is an invitation for an ever flowing waterfall of brown sauce flavoured goodness ending on the floor around you with no obvious pool for it to lie in. No sauce here.

Overall: A tasty meat filled pastry, heavy on the pastry and perhaps a little light on the filling.

Gravy Factor: Sometimes I like to get a hunk of bread and sook up all the gravy with it. There just wasn’t enough gravy here this time.

Number 93 is in the books. Thanks to the wonders of modern-day Retail I currently have a Washing Machine scheduled to arrive at my flat sometime between 11-3 on a Saturday! I mean really!? Hopefully I can get that fixed and will be reviewing a luxury pie from Largs Thistle.

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.

Pie 40: The Largs Thistle Pie

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'Do you want a flake in yer pie!'
‘Do you want a flake in yer pie!’

‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,

Meat Filled all the way.

Oh what fun it is to have the gravy on my face.’

‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,

Pastry golden brown.

Oh the taste of a brown sauce squirt is by far the best around.’

I was going to apologise for going all festive on you but in reality I’m really chuffed with that. Hello my fellow pie connoisseurs and welcome to another entry into the best football based pie site around. As Christmas comes closer shops across the country are stocking those most festive of treats, mince pie’s, and I am not excited in the slightest. But you’re the Pieman, Mr. Pie, Sir Meat Filled of The Pastry Roundtable, yes these are all true but I have never been partial to a mince pie or the candied peel nature of Christmas desserts. However, this year in the spirit of this here misadventure I am pleased to announce that I now think mince pies are….alright. I still think they have the distinct aftertaste of ear wax but I can munch my way through one in a social surrounding without looking ungrateful at what has been put before me.

Anyway back to the proper stuff and the journey of Meat Filled Pastries’ rolls on to Largs, home of ice cream and Vikings (apparently).

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

Where: Barrfields Park, Largs Thistle v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1. Amongst the cheapest pies that we have come across on our journey so far.

Presentation: Today’s presentation will be presented in the form of a riddle. It is not as black as night, and neither generous or stingy. I’m not going to give you the answer if you have read enough of these by now you know what I’m getting at.

Meatiness: Unless my taste buds were deceiving me this was not your standard mutton pie. It was a tad disconcerting at first, and to fully get my taste buds around it I required another couple of bites but the filling inside was strong in it’s taste of lamb. There was no taste of pepper in this pie which I think only helped to heighten my initial confusion. After my taste investigations I would say this was a really well seasoned lamb mince pie as opposed to a standard mutton scotch pie. Now with this confusion firmly put to one side I could focus on the other elements for consideration. It was well filled if not a tad uneven, the meat inside had a nice bite that held well but for some reason I felt a slight film of grease forming each time I moved the pastry away. On appearances this was by no means a greasy pie but I wonder if the lack of pepper I usually find in the scotch variety was causing confusion in my pallet. It was certainly tasty but definitely not what I was expecting.

Pastry: This was a crisp golden pastry with a lovely buttery flavour, however it was so crisp that it caused me to roll my tongue around my teeth to check for chips when biting down. In fact, the crucial ‘one bite expose’ you see above had to be doctored a bit as on first bite all I was provided with was a shard of pastry. The pastry though was definitely one of the better efforts I have come across but be warned that your first bite should be taken with caution in mind.

Overall: Disconcertion’s aside this was a tasty pie and as it came in at only a quid it was certainly worth the money paid. The pastry was a little too crisp, it would have been better without the faint hint of grease that accompanied every bite and or my taste an extra peppery kick would have been nice. However there was a good splodge of brown sauce available to provide that flavour boost. Everything tasted good but could have been made even better.

Gravy Factor: Made not with gravy granules, but one of those fancy stock pots. A different take on your standard gravy.

Another pie down, another 10 minutes on the treadmill added to the routine. The plan is to visit next one of the most recognisable names in junior football Auchinleck Talbot but that involves some serious negotiations when I get back into work that I reckon will be doomed to failure. I think we can all agree that Saturday afternoon’s should be spent with pie in hand, scarf round the neck, watching 22 men kick about a synthetic leather sphere especially when you run a site based on the consumption of these meat filled beauts.

However until next time, whenever will that be, 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.