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Pie 61: The Cumnock ‘Onion’ Pie

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'This pie represents a call to arms!'
‘This pie represents a call to arms!’

In 3 days time (Friday April 11th 2014) entry’s close for the 2014 British Pie Awards and I’m using this latest entry into the Meat Filled Hall of Fame to encourage all you pie fans to ensure that the tastiest football pastries are proudly presented at this annual extravaganza. If you read this then please let your club know, let your fellow fans know whether they be supporters of your club or another and let the friendly faces behind the pie stalls up and down the country know that this is the time for their pastries to shine.

More information can be found at this link, http://www.britishpieawards.co.uk so go and have a look but until then with much gust and little further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, this is the same price as the standard scotch offering, re-opening the debate as to whether or not an onion pie should be bracketed as one that is luxury in nature.

Presentation: I touched on the lovely ladies behind the counter in my previous review (Pie 60: The Cumnock Pie) so we can return our focus onto the ever classical but oh so minimalistic production values of the medium-sized white napkin in which this pie was nestled. Standard.

Meatiness: This pie had that distinctive waft of onion that I have come to associate with pies of this nature although not as strong as other similar offerings. The meat inside was formed in a way similar to a scotch pie, a seasoned block of mutton that whilst lacking in that distinctive peppery kick was laden with chucks of near translucent white onion. There was enough fat within the pie to keep it moist, perhaps a little greasy for some but nothing that a couple of extra steps on a treadmill couldn’t take care of. I would add that in this instance a dot of brown sauce would have definitely enhanced the overall taste experience due to the fact it’s meaty content was that of a scotch pie but as I am treating this as a luxury option not a drop was to be had on this occasion.

Pastry: The main distinguishing feature of this pie was the two holes on top of the classic scotch pie casing, this I assume helps to easily distinguish between the normal scotch and onion options available whilst serving. Outside of this it was a normal hot water pastry surround and top. It was a little bit caught around one edge but nothing that was too detrimental to the overall flavour of the pie. A solid pastry casing for the meat inside that tore apart as your mouth would expect it to on each bite.

Overall: A sweet onion pie that whilst different was also very much the same as the scotch pie effort. The large chunks of onion added extra flavour but maybe could have been a little more cooked through before adding to the mince. It would have benefitted from a glistening blob of brown sauce and perhaps being a tad less greasy but this was still a tasty treat.

Gravy Factor: Chunky Onion Gravy.

After a whistle-stop tour of East Ayrshire we have reached pie number 61, the next offering is to come from a yet undetermined location and as soon as I know the Meat Filled Pastries twitter, which you can follow on the right side of this page, will be the first place to tell you but until then go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ‘Deliberate Deliberations’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at what constitutes a deliberate handball in the modern game. An archive of all my non-pie pieces can be found on Leading the Line and on The FBA’s website.

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.

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Pie 60: The Cumnock Pie

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Brought to you by 'Nock Nosh'
Brought to you by ‘Nock Nosh’

 

A pie for every minute in an hour, that’s the stage we’ve got to as the season enters its final throngs and a pie on a warm sunny day becomes anever increasing possibility. If you weren’t aware of it already this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s mission to keep pies at the forefront of footballsnackage on the terraces up and down this wonderful land of ours. I write this as I sit and watch Barcelona vAthletico Madrid in the Champions League and I wonder what the pies are like at the Nou Camp? I assume the answer is non-existent; my only experience of Spanish football to date coming at Tenerife v Barcelona B where the snack of choice was sunflower seeds, husked at the teeth and available in a variety of flavours. A surprisingly tasty but very messy and distracting footballing snack. But what about snacks across the rest of the world, what do they eat there? What do they do when they need something to get them through to dinner time? The Germans are known for beer and sausage but outside of this is their any country in the world where a food stuff can be so intrinsically linked to football as the humble pie is in bonnie Scotland.

With a World Cup on the horizon and the barren pie weeks of the summer to contend with, perhaps we will look to find out more in the future, but for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Townhead Park, Cumnock v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: Priced at £1.20, yeah £1.20 your average junior pie price. Let’s just move on.

Presentation: This pie was presented in the standard medium-sized white napkin that we have all come to know and love however the real stand out memory from this visit was the fierceness of the lassie behind the counter. Almost demanding the queue of men awaiting their post pint snack to announce themselves as the ‘First One’s There!’, if they dared to admit it. I would hate to think what kind of moist panted panic would have ran down the legs od the few that had got to the window and not known what they wanted. OK, I may be exaggerating a bit but for some I would imagine it could genuinely be a little bit frightening.

Meatiness: This was a proper scotch pie with a fairly solid meaty block held within the pastry. It was well textured and a had the peppery kick that I have oh so been missing in my recent pie based exploits. The meat was moist although for my taste perhaps just a little greasy as could be seen by the light pie stain on my napkin after completing consumption. Ignoring that though the meat was well seasoned and the brown sauce dollop that has caused me a few issues in recent weeks returned to its rightful place atop a scotch pie, adding another layer of flavour to the meat inside. Taking all these points into consideration this was a solid filling to a scotch mince pie.

Pastry: The pastry was more of receptacle to the pie as opposed to adding any great waves of flavour. As can be seen from the one bite expose it was a little well fired in places which for me is fine but for some others that may be disappointing. This meant that the pastry was incredibly crisp and on occasion broke off into small shards. No real inconvenience as sometimes I like to do dip the outer edge of the crusts into the puddle of brown sauce above, you know just to mix up the pie eating experience a bit. This pastry did the job it was intended for.

Overall: As previously stated it had been a while since I have had a scotch pie, in its truest form, in my hand. It had a nice pepper kick and lovely crispy pastry. It was a little bit greasy and if I’m being honest it won’t live long in the memory but it was a tasty version of a scotch pie and one that I wouldn’t be disappointed to have pass by my lips again.

Gravy Factor: The Return of the Snack, the scotch pie snack that is.

Another meat filled marvel down, and still so many more to go. The next one will be The Onion Pie offering from Cumnock. How will it stack up against the previously reviewed Onion Pie offering from near rivals Auchinleck Talbot, although I can assure you even I’m not brave enough to tell you which one I think is better. They are all pie and as such are welcomed gleefully into my belly.

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 51: The Kirkintilloch Rob Roy Pie

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Back where it all began
Back where it all began

Hello pie lovers, have you been missing your meat filled fix of pastry based ramblings? I know have. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks meaning that footballing visits have been restricted to Saturdays and as such the pie trail has gone a little cold recently, but fear not I’m back with a wee special edition for you, the Kirkintilloch Rob Roy pie. What makes this pie special? This pie is where it all began, the very first pie reviewed on Meat Filled Pastries. So why am I reviewing it again, I though this was only for new pies? Well quite simply I want to do a proper job of it this time. When looking back on the review it is apparent that this pie review had suffered for the pressures of being the debut edition as it  turned out to be a little sparse in its detail. So on this occasion I want to give it the full beans, something which appropriately enough goes rather well with a steaming hot pie.

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

Where: Adamslie Park, Rob Roy v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: A bargain price of £1 ranking it as one of the cheapest pies found on the menus of kiosks up and down the country.

Presentation: Much like the first time this pie was presented in a single sheet of floral print kitchen roll, a welcome distraction from the usual monotony of the medium sized white napkin.

Meatiness: This was a perfectly pleasant meaty morsel. The meat was of a coarse mince texture but held together very well meaning the bite you took was a true representation of the amount of pie that actually ended up in your mouth. The base taste was more savoury over the usual peppery nature of a scotch pie but there was also a background note of sweetness to it something I assumed was coming from some well softened onions deep within the mix. It would have been easy to attribute the sweetness to the dollop of brown sauce sitting proudly on top of the pastry but the taste was definitely coming from this pie’s meaty core.

Pastry: When I do these reviews I send myself a quick text message with the price, presentation, tasting notes etc. As I review my notes on this pie I notice that I have nothing about the pastry. Zilch. Nada. Nienti. Hee-to-the-Haw. Now when this happen it usually means one thing, and as I rack my brains going back to the moment my lips were caressed by a combination of pastry and meat I believe that this one thing is applicable on this occasion. That one thing being that the pastry was alright. Nothing better or worse and sometimes that’s all a pie needs. Let’s move on.

Overall: As a return to pies goes this one was defiantly worth a re-visit. It certainly appears in retrospect my first assessment may have been a tad harsh on this little pie. It was tasty, tasted of meat and the note of sweetness differentiates it from the rest of the pack.

Gravy Factor: Better than Bog Standard Bisto.

That felt good, I was worried I’d forgotten how to write about pie for a minute there. Next weekend I have the pleasure of a ski focused stag do to go to so where the next pie will come from at this time I just don’t know, Strathspey Thistle are at home and just down the road from our lodge so if the snow doesn’t play ball you might get something from the Pighlands (rubbish pun!).

But as always, until next time, 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 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 31: The Dufftown Pie

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Road trip Pie
Road trip Pie

 

Meat Filled Pastries is back! With another 2 pie review’s for you delight and delectation from the picturesque Moray countryside. One of the heartlands of Scottish malt whisky and home to Dufftown Juniors Football Club. I love a football road trip. The getting up early on a Saturday morning, the hip flask in the jacket pocket, the stop at Pitlochry because the majority of your bus just can’t hold it in that long anymore or the plethora of stories that they tell you about football glory days of old I love it all, I truly do. On these trips football usually ends up playing second fiddle to the fun of the jaunt, but I, being a consummate professional, remembered I have a job to do.

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

Where: Westburn Park, Dufftown v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Rd

Price: A whooping £2, a pricy pie indeed, especially considering it is classed on these pages as ‘non-luxury’, it transpired that there was a flat pie rate at Westburn Park which only went to heighten my expectation that this mince pie was going to have a lot to offer as it was bracketed the same as the other luxury options.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was very tasty and came with an equally tasty gravy although it definitely could have been more plentiful. The colour of the meat was rich in colour when compared with the more anaemic shade of brown that a scotch pie would usually be associated with. You could tell that the meat was of a good quality, it was therefore a shame that I found myself, as with the gravy, wishing for more of it. As can be seen above this pie was more pastry than meat, meaning that the all important meaty ratios were skewed somewhat. Quantity of the meat aside the innards of this pastry were a tasty treat indeed.

Pastry: This pie had a puff pastry top, not something commonly associated with a mince pie. This meant that you had lots of layers of lovely flaky pastry which got you in the inevitable mess that good puff pastry should. What it also provided is a thoroughly good bite, with minimal risk of any of the filling inside tumbling out. Naturally the top was a little ‘caramelised’ but I think it would have been difficult to achieve a base of sufficient sturdiness without burning the top a little and to my taste a wee bit of the black stuff doesn’t do any harm. What I will say is that, because it was puff and therefore without the crispy pastry walls normally associated with a scotch pie, any bite taken resulted in the brown sauce sitting atop squirting all over the place, a minor grumble on this slightly modified version of a scotch pie.

Overall: This was a tasty pie but there was a couple of things that stopped it from being truly great. Firstly there was the cost, it was £2, I wrestled with the idea of this being a luxury pie to help account for the increase in cost but I couldn’t. Justify it? OK, well if you turned up at the counter of the Dufftown pie hut and asked for ‘Just a Pie.’ this is what would be presented to you, a twist on a scotch pie yes, but it’s still a mince pie. The second thing was the ratios, a mere few millimetres of extra meat would have sent this pie into the upper echelons of pie as much as I enjoyed the alternative puff pastry top.

Gravy Factor: It’s not gravy, it’s jus, you’ll get it in a little porcelain jug and like it!

There will be another pie review from Dufftown on Wednesday, and if you thought chicken, haggis and mashed potato was a bit bonkers, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on 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 tune in to Pulse 98.4 the ‘Listen Live’ function on  http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/. on Thursday 31st October for some live pie on ‘Nugent4Nil’ and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to the now child friendly Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.