leadingtheline

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!

Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?

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As some of you may know, I have spent the last year running two sites with football at their heart and soul. This one, a celebration of all things pie and a sister site titled ‘Leading The Line’ where I would muse over many of footballs little foibles that are not solely encased in pastry. As the season comes to a close and plans get set in motion for next year I have decided to amalgamate the two sites into a one stop shop for all things sporting and pie. Do not be afraid that pies will be off the menu for there is another two reviews working their way to you in the next few days but now I want to take this site and to the next stage. This may work, this may not, but either way I will still be your number one friend in pie. So without much further ado, let me welcome you to Meat Filled Pastries first non-pie piece, Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?.

Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards
Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards

When I was a much younger lad I had a t-shirt that read, ‘Football is life…the rest is just a game’. At the time I believed it to be true but as I have grown older with life continuing to throw its many curve balls, both good and bad, I know that the slogan sprawled across my chest in those most innocent of days was nothing but a clever play on words that only helped to serve as just another subtle enabler to my burgeoning football addiction. As I travelled back in the deathly silence of the supporters bus, the realisation dawning on the dozen or so of us on board that this was the season that relegation had finally come after what has felt like years of constant struggle, that t-shirt came screaming to the forefront of my mind and the question I asked myself as I looked around was ‘Why are we all so sad?’. ‘How can something that is in reality so fundamentally irrelevant when compared with matters of life and death cause a group of men to look so down trodden and broken?’

I could analyse what caused this communal depression but instead of staring down the pit of despair that relegation is meant to bring, and quite frankly to try and cheer me up a bit as much as anything else, let us try and put a positive spin on what without a shadow of a doubt is the most soul destroying aspect of the game we all love.

1. At Least it’s Over.

Relegation is not something that happens in an instant, it’s the culmination of a season or in some cases many seasons woes and struggles. There is no more false hope to cling to, no mathematical equation that can save you and no desperate voice in the back of your head screaming ‘Please, please, please just put me out of my misery!’. When that final goal that seals you’re fate goes in the misery finally comes and the grieving can begin. Now some people deal with this grief in different ways, some get misty eyed giving knowing nods and gentle applause to the players who have just not been quite good enough whilst some get angry, unable to contain the raw emotion that the ultimate in footballing failure causes to coarse through their veins. For me I go into quiet contemplation mode, dissect every single tactical decision made, every substitution, every player signed and sold, wonder what will happen next and where it all went wrong this. Three very different ways of coping but all of them finally end with taking solace in the fact that at least it’s all over.

2. A Fresh Start.

A summer of fine tuning and removing the perceived dead wood has you starting the season, albeit at a lower level, as one of the title favourites and not the easy three points that your rivals eyed on a Saturday afternoon. The grieving is over and the wave upon wave of new hope and optimism is near impossible to repress even for the most cynical of fans. There is always that one new signing that scores 3 hat-tricks in pre-season and who you pin your hopes on for the year ahead. If a player doesn’t look up to the task early on they get the benefit of the doubt that a new season brings and you convince yourself he’s bound to come good soon. Sometimes the manager changes, sometimes it doesn’t but who cares as long as we keep winning and the crowds come flooding back.The dread of Saturday is replaced by the excitement of another potential day of glory. The dark days are over, by the end of the year your team will be champions!

3. Road Trip, Baby!

Get the satnav out as your geographical knowledge of the great footballing beyond is about to increase exponentially. All of a sudden places you’ve never heard of become your desired destination on a Saturday afternoon. The roads less trodden become the roads you and your fellow footballing army tread upon with new hope and expectation. You get to meet new people, drink pints in new pubs, stand on new terraces and set your taste buds alight with a smorgasbord of new pies and pastries all season long. For any football fan even the familiarity of a fierce rivalry can still breed contempt and the chance to go somewhere new is often what piques the interest of even the most casual of fans.

4. You Still Have Each Other.

Whatever joys or miseries a new season may bring you can carry on supporting the team you love safe in the knowledge that those fans that were there with you at the bitter end of a previously fruitless season will be standing side be side with you when hope springs anew once again. The slightly un-PC pensioners, the people you can’t remember how or why you stand with but you continue to do so with ever willing acceptance and the generations of family both young and old that are usually the ones responsible for you finding yourself in this mess in the first place.

I had spent 28 years on this earth without suffering relegation. I hope to go at least another 28 more before it happens again but until then I’ll do my best to remember that no matter how big a part of my life this wonderful game is, when the final whistle blows, it’s all still just a game.

 

If this is the first time you have read a non pie piece from me, I hope you enjoyed it and an archive of my previous work will remain on the internet until the end of time at http://www.leadingtheline.wordpress.com. But do not fear I have a programme deadline to meet so a new pie review will be with you imminently.

As always though, until next time, go forth and eat pie!

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.