macaroni

Pie 119: The Falkirk Macaroni Pie

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The “see you laters” have been said in my last post so I’m not going to labour the point. Instead, like all good encores this will be brief nod to the fans designed to keep those of you on who are interested on tenterhooks with the insinuation that in years to come an overpriced reunion tour will occur where a bedraggled version of me will rate pies through a straw as people stare and wonder, “Has he been on the smack?”

Anyway, before this tangent writes me off as dead in a pool of my own vomit let’s get on with the show.

Let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: The Falkirk Stadium, Scotland Women 0-4 Iceland Women, UEFA Women’s European Championship Qualifying Group 1

Price: £1.90. Not breaking through the two pound barrier makes this a cheaper luxury option although overall this is still at the top end of the matchday pie market.

Presentation: As oft found towards the upper echelons of the Scottish game this pie came in a silver foil case accompanied with a pick as you need selection of napkins from a dispenser beside the kiosk. I went for two. Two seemed right but not excessive.

THE PIE

The Final Bite...
The Final Bite…

CheesyPastainess – As a macaroni pie filling this was a very good effort. The tightly curled tubes of macaroni were soft to the bite without turning into a mushy pulp adding the right amount of texture to this filling. The cheese was also a lovely blend, with the right balance of savoury and salty. The texture here too was spot on, no gelatinous globules of tasteless cheese, instead long strings of fromage based goodness graced my presence with a crispy brown later on top Lovely stuff.

Pastry: I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll say it again. Macaroni Pie pastry is pale and whilst the walls of this particular offering were I was intrigued to find that the top was a little browner and as such a little crisper. There was some issues towards the bottom of the pie meaning the pastry tore against the tin foil tin and a little bit of filling recovery was required but all in all this was a solid effort.

Brown Sauce: Nostalgia dictates that red sauce is used here. A wee sachet (all sachets are too wee for my liking) of perfectly serviceable tomato condimentation. (Note: pretty sure that’s a made up word).

Overall: A friend of mine swore to me that macaroni pies were the best thing ever, whilst I still disagree with that statement I feel confident in saying that they have more than earned their place on these hallowed pages.

Gravy Factor: Cheesy Gravy. And as we all know cheese, much like bacon, is always good.

So that’s it for now. Over the coming months I’ll be trying to pull 3 years of pie based jiggery pokery into something that people may pay for money for (or at the very least download for free from Amazon). There’s a lot of people to thank along the way but I think I’ll save that for the book.

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 115: The St. Mirren Macaroni Pie

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I’m not going to lie folks, this is becoming a struggle, my pie based vocabulary is reaching its peak and I’m conscious repetition is almost always on the cards these days. That said I have an obligation to you, the people who have read, supported and shared this mad adventure, to see it through to season end. So let’s go out with a flurry of flour, a sprinkle of mace and a dollop of brown sauce.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Paisley 2021 Stadium (Christ what a name!), St. Mirren 2-2 Hibernian, Scottish Championship

Watching a "Hibbsing It" live in person.
Watching a “Hibsing It” live in person.

Price: I’ve made a booboo here and totally forgot to check the price. I compounded this booboo when the following Friday I was at the same venue for Scotland Women’s victory against Slovenia and forgot to check again! If somebody wants to correct me then I’m all ears but for now I’m going to say around £2.40.

Presentation: Presented in a silver foil tin on a small to medium-sized napkin, standard presentational fayre.

 

THE PIE

Return of the Mac(aroni)
Return of the Mac(aroni)

Meatiness CheesyPastainess – As regular readers will know this section is usually reserved to the meatiness of my pie, however after tenuously linking meat to macaroni on not one but two separate occasions I decided now was the time to bite the bullet and create a new section. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the snazzily titled ‘CheesyPastainess’ section. So how cheesy and pasta like was this pastry. The answer my friends is very. Let’s start with the pasta, soft macaroni tender to the bite and tasting like pasta as opposed to bland tubes of rubber. The cheese sauce was also very good, distinctly cheesy and I’m confident there was a blend used but of what I’m not sure and there was no floury after taste. It was also lovely and stringy whilst still being easy to eat. I’ve had some rotten macaroni pies but this wasn’t one of them.

Pastry: I often find the pastry on a macaroni pie is paler in colour than that you find on a standard scotch offering and this was no different. That’s not to say it wasn’t baked as this pastry was cooked enough to hold together and fall apart nicely all at the same time. It also managed not to stick to the bottom of the tin, a fate that befalls many a pie encased in silver. Overall another solid effort.

Brown Sauce: Nostalgia dictates it’s always red sauce with my macaroni pie. Nothing has made me change that yet.

Overall: A very good effort from the Paisley Pandas. A sauce that was nice and cheesy, with soft pasta and a well-baked pastry case.

Gravy Factor: Cheese meltingly good gravy.

A third offering from Paisley in the books, the next one could have been number four but the menu was somewhat limited for the Women’s international but never fear a new pie is ready to pop. Next up a Steak & Gravy Pie from Perth based junior outfit, Jeanfield Swifts.

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 107: The Motherwell ‘Macaroni’ Pie

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Yes that’s right folks we are back with pie number two this week and this time it’s one of the meatiest treats around…The Macaroni Pie! Greggs may have shockingly shunned this Scottish staple but for me a good macaroni pie is a tasty treat to behold. There are bad ones though which can leave your mouth drier than a camel covered in talcum powder. So let’s see how this one works out.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, there is no meat in this pie but fear not as back during my review of Pie 57: The Rangers Macaroni Pie I linked cheese and pasta so masterfully to meaty goodness that really this pies eligibility should never be in doubt, so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Fir Park, Scotland Women 7-0 Belarus Women, 2017 Womens European Championship Qualifier

Friday Night Football for Free
Friday Night Football for Free

Price: Although entry to a Scottish women’s international is a bargain £5, or free if you are Scotland loving member of the Tartan Army like myself, the games themselves invariably take place in senior Scottish grounds meaning that the price structure to follow is not that of the entry price comparable juniors but that of the Scottish Championship and above. With that in mind a £2 is not bad and a price worth paying considering the endangered nature of these pastries.

Presentation: Presented in the now traditional-for-this-level aluminium foil container with a medium-sized white napkin. With the bonus that a container providing heat on a cold night where no hot drinks were available!

THE PIE

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Meatiness: So let’s move past the obvious first of all. There is no meat in this pie. So what can I look at? Well let’s start with the pasta, perfectly cooked curls of macaroni that were done jsut enough to not be al dente but not so much that they turned to mush. The sauce was really good, often white based sauces can be heavy with flour but this was velvety smooth and smacked you in the mouth with a strong tang of cheesy goodness. Is it better than a meat pie? Food for thought indeed.

Pastry: There is no pastry top on a macaroni pie instead adorning it is a crisp layer of browned cheddar. Delicious! The pastry surround held together extremely well considering the moist filling inside.

Brown Sauce: But that’s red sauce! Yes it is red sauce. As a young pup my macaroni cheese would always be garnished with a generous dollop of ketchup so in a nod to the past it’s ketchup for this pie. A wee sachet, just fine.

Overall: I liked this a lot and it was a massive improvement on the previous version from Ibrox. The pasta soft, the sauce velvety, smooth and intensely cheesy.

Gravy Factor: Fondue. Sometimes it’s good for you and in this case it was!

Next time out we have a luxury pie offering from the same game where I will once again make the case for supporting women’s football.

But until then, 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 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.