Hello and welcome to Meat Filled Pastries your one stop shop for sporting pie reviews with bells on, jingly bells if you will. This time out we have a second pie from Dundee Violet, this time of the luxury variety. But first…
Winter is here and as such fixtures up and down the country start to fall by the way side as ice, wind, rain, snow and everything in between cause the groan of thousands to echo deeper into the galaxy than any man has groaned before. The way I see it you have two choices when it comes to dealing with the tragedy of a Saturday morning call off:
1. You accept the inevitability that is a Saturday afternoon traipsing around Marks & Spencer, Homebase and Primark with bags hanging from every limb like baubles on Christmas tree. The promise of a duvet day a distant memory as you find yourself biting your lip watching aghast whilst wee Chantelle screams at her mammy that the Peppa Pig she wants has a nose ring and not the diamante encrusted tail version the bedraggled woman has picked out instead.
2. You put on your big boy (or girl) pants, stick an extra layer on and find a game that has survived the harshest that winter could throw at it from Links Park or Cappielow. It may not be an instant classic, in fact it might turn out to be downright terrible but at least you’re out the house doing the thing that the footballing gods decreed you do on a Saturday afternoon.
There really is only one option and with that option there is usually the promise of a nice hot pie, so with that in mind, let’s rate one of these pastry beauties, let’s some pie!
Where: Glenesk Park, Dundee Violet v Pollok, Scottish junior Cup 3rd Round
Price: At £1.40 this is 30p more expensive than the scotch variety from the same venue but in the luxury market a relative bargain costing much less than some of its senior scotch contemporaries.
Presentation: A single fold of jaggy blue paper towel left me aching for the classic simplicity of the softly layered medium-sized white napkin. There was however no tin foil case surrounding this steak offering, a rarity when it comes to pies of this nature, meaning it could be held comfortably in the hand without having to juggle your snack as a way of shielding yourself from the scolding heat these cases often provide.
Meatiness: This pie was formed of large chunks of steak, perhaps a little too large as it wasn’t as tender as it could have been feeling a little chewy in the mouth. The gravy was thick but perhaps a tad salty for some, personally though I think it managed to stay just the right side of well seasoned. Although well seasoned it wasn’t amazing to eat. The main problem being its temperature with it being just a little cold, no doubt a subsequence of the demand far outmatching the supply with pies coming out of the oven almost as soon as they went in. A bit more heat and everything could have been that little bit more unctuous.
Pastry: As previously stated this pie was a little cold and as such the pastry was a little soft and pale although there was still a touch of crispness to the very top edges. In actuality the fact this pie was a little cool helped keep it together as a crisper pastry and thinner gravy could have resulted in a right old mess without the safety of a tin foil case to hold it all.
Overall: A nice pie taste wise but the cooking of the meat somewhat let it down, it also could have been hotter but I’m not going to hold that against it too much. At the end of the day though it was just nice.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Steak Gravy.
Pie 82 has now been reviewed for you, I actually had to do this twice as my first draft got lost to the gremlins lurking within my laptop that won’t deter me from soldiering on though and next up is an offering from another junior outfit, Thorniewood United, but until next time go forth and eat pie!
It’s been a while since my last Junior pie review, so I am happy to report that this week I will again be bringing you not one, but two pie’s for your mental consumption. My regular attendance of Junior football games is what started this particular little project, and so it gives me great pleasure to bring you more meat filled pastries from the places most of you would never even consider going to, let alone think a football team is there selling pies. This week we start with a special treat, a pie that has a reputation as being one of the best around. So much so, that I had to forgo the usual routine of starting my pie tastings with a scotch mince pie, and instead go straight into the lap of luxury such was my concern that the pie shown above would be sold out before I had a chance to smack my lips right around it.
I also have a bit of exciting ‘Meat Filled Pastries’ news but you’ll have to wait for the aforementioned second Beith pie review later in the week before I reveal this latest development, let’s just say my mouth is going to be doing more than just eating pies in a couple of weeks time.
So with that rather cryptic statement out the way, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith v Pollok, West of Scotland Cup 1st Rd
Price: £1.50 for a luxury pie is a price not to be sniffed at, especially considering it is a pound cheaper than some of it’s SPFL contemporaries and with a far more interesting filling waiting inside.
Presentation: Presented in a silver tin foil case, something that I would be thankful for later, and a large branded napkin for ‘Irvine’s Baker and Coffee Shop’. I liked this touch a lot, not only is it smart for a small business to promote itself and hopefully continue to be a success, but it also gives you the pie consumer a point of origin. In fact it also give’s me as a reviewer a fair chance to point people in the right direction if a pie is worthy of the Meat Filled Pastries stamp of approval.
Meatiness: As can already be seen this pie is not mince nor steak, but the heady combination of chicken and haggis. As I write this I wonder if someone somewhere has thought to christen this the ‘Balmoral Pie’ after that dish commonly found at many a Scottish sit down function. If they haven’t then I will happily allow it’s use on the condition that I get a lifetime supply of these beauties. Firstly it was bursting with meaty goodness! The chicken was cut into rough 1cm cubes, perfect size to provide texture without resulting in you pulling large bits of meat out the centre of your pie when biting. The haggis added a creaminess and that all important hint of pepper and spice that makes a truly great pie which, when coupled with the chicken gravy inside, left you craving that second bite almost as soon as you had dabbed the corner of your lip from taking the first.
Pastry: The pastry was as close to perfect as I’ve had yet, it was sealed with the kind of precision that would have Paul Hollywood stroking his nipples with glee. A golden top with a thin crisp layer and the pastry round the sides soft enough to bite straight through. Then there was the mashed potato, that’s right mashed potato, on a blinkin’ pie, madness I hear you say? Not at all. Although not a world beating mash it provided a lovely contrast to the pastry that surrounded it. My only minor criticism would be that the moistness of the filling did mean that after a few bites the insides fell out the bottom a bit, but I’m not really caring as it was well worth the messy fingers.
Overall: I created the term ‘Luxury Pie’ initially to cover any pie that wasn’t your standard mince pie, however this effort has raised the bar considerably. Fully worth the extra expense and the title of ‘Luxury Pie’ not only for its taste but also its originality.
Gravy Factor: The ‘Balmoral’ Pie would be the kind of gravy that Prince Charles would have at a royal visit and immediately get onto the marketing men at Duchy Originals to buy get it bought out and trademark it as their very own gravy. Lovely, lovely gravy.
The first poultry pie is in the books, and I think you’ll agree that it has done rather well for itself, I’m aiming to get the mince pie review up on Wednesday night, will it fair so well? And perhaps more importantly what is the big announcement from MFP HQ?
Until next time, go forth and eat pie!
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